Several local residents were honoured in Red Deer this week thanks to the Minister’s Senior Service Awards.
This year, 84 nominations were received from across the province in three categories – individual, organization and the Alice Modin Award. The individual category recognizes Albertans of any age who provide volunteer services that support seniors.
The organization category recognizes Alberta not-for-profit organizations that rely on volunteers to support seniors.
The Alice Modin Award, introduced in 2017, recognizes an individual or couple who is 65 years of age or older and has been volunteering in their community for 20 or more years, actively promotes volunteerism amongst seniors or in support of seniors, and/or has had a provincial impact for seniors through their volunteer efforts.
This year, 48 individuals and 12 organizations were officially nominated. There were also an additional 24 nominees for the Alice Modin Award. About 30 years ago, Modin campaigned to launch a seniors’ day in Strathcona County that helped pave the way for a provincewide Seniors’ Week.
“These volunteers and our government share a common goal – to make life better for seniors who built our province. I’m so grateful for their significant contributions. I look forward to personally recognizing the nominees at community celebrations across the province,” said Lori Sigurdson, minister of Seniors and Housing.
“The contributions that you make to the community are absolutely worth this recognition and are so significant to the senior community. It’s such a pleasure to personally thank you.”
Those in Red Deer who were honoured included Timothy Kmiech, who, since March of 2015, has portered residents at Extendicare Michener Hill in Red Deer.
Dedicating two shifts a week, he is a welcome sight to the seniors and offers smiles and conversation, according to a provincial release. “Timothy is always happy to contribute more time when needed outside his scheduled hours.”
Dolores Naumenko has visited with seniors at Extendicare Michener Hill and provided monthly entertainment through a singing group since October of 2010.
She also assists with monthly church services at the Extendicare and Valley Park Manor.
“It’s very humbling,” said Naumenko of her nomination. “I’ve enjoyed it – I’ve done it for the people,” she said, noting that prior to her service at Extendicare Michener Hill, she volunteered at Valley Park Manor as well. “I visit and spend time with the residents as well.
“I love it.”
D.J. Paul has also volunteered with Extendicare Michener Hill since October of 2015.
He assists with portering residents to activities or entertainment, and also engages seniors with a variety of activities every Thursday night. “Every other Wednesday when they have a concert, sometimes I go to that as well – I help bring people down to listen to the music,” he said. “The residents love that.
“They play the best music ever, and I’m so glad to be a part of that,” he said, adding that helping out at Extedicare Michener Hill overall has been a great experience, and that he was excited for the nomination.
Still a high school student, Paul indeed has, “Many years of meaningful volunteer work with seniors ahead of him,” added a release.
Since 1998, the Awards have recognized outstanding Albertans of any age who volunteer their time to make a difference in the lives of seniors and their community.
Kmiech wasn’t at the nomination celebration held Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Sigurdson said that on Oct. 2nd in Calgary, the winners of the Ministers’ Senior Service Awards will be handed down.