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Community Builders Award honours Stettler's past prominent citizens March 11, 2021 @ 6:40pm

When Malcolm Fischer approached one of the Town of Stettler’s last in-person Strategic Meetings, he proposed a Community Builders Award program be added to the list of community-related projects. He explained felt something needed to be done to make sure those who forged the way, and worked to build the community above and beyond their positions/business were not forgotten. When the members of the meeting were done voting on the projects they supported the Community Builders project was approved.

A committee of like-minded individuals was quickly put together. Leanne Graham from the Town of Stettler Office, Stettler Board of Trade Executive Director Stacey Benjamin, and Project Manager Donna Morris also agreed to help form the pilot committee along with a few other community members.

Meetings with owners/operators of Woodcraft By Dave, and WTS Manufacturing & Sales, Inc. were made between committee meetings to help come up with some options for monuments that could be displayed at locations around the community. The early concept was to create a ‘path’ of monuments located where the recipients had the biggest impact. Materials, and measurements were consulted on by the local business owners who gave their time, and fronted the materials for demonstration purposes so an unfinished monument could be used as a visual aid.

The prototype example the committee has used to demonstrate a Community Builder has been former recreational director Clark Burlingham. Burlingham was one of the first recreational supervisors to be employed by a municipality in Alberta and pioneered early recreational programs that were quickly copied by communities everywhere including Edmonton. He was also a coach of several different sports over the years, including being the coach of a provincial-winning hockey team, and baseball team in the same year and was a dedicated spokesman for Stettler. Burlingham operated the Community Rec Center in what is now the Legion Building and was a huge advocate for youth programs, and family-focused activities.

At the recent Board of Trade meeting, the pilot committee presented to the Board with the hopes that they would be willing to take on the long-term operations of the Community Builders Project and make it a part of their long-running awards Gala. The Board voted to tentatively add the Community Builder’s project to the gala evening pending financial arrangements from the town that the pilot committee is slated to approach at their next meeting.

There are still a few points to be ironed out before the project is handed over to the Board of Trade.

“Like anything, it’s been a group effort, and everyone has contributed.” Malcolm Fisher, Town of Stettler Councillor

Carson Ellis, Reporter


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