June 24th, 2024

Jubilee medal recipients credit to their communities

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 6, 2022.

Herald Photo by Ry Clarke Perry Stein, City of Lethbridge, and Jennifer Petracek-Kolb, Lethbridge YMCA, congratulate Ryan Wagner, Nobleford and District Emergency Services, for his work in the community and receiving the Queen's Jubilee medal Monday at the Multicultural Centre Downtown.

Honouring those in the community that have contributed to our city, the United Way Lethbridge, Volunteer Lethbridge, and the YMCA of Lethbridge recognized community members for their dedication Monday at the Multicultural Centre downtown.

The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The medal will be awarded to 7,000 Albertans throughout 2022, in recognition of significant contributions to the province.

“We are recognizing really outstanding individuals who have contributed to their community, or to the province and Canada,” said Jaci Zalesak, executive director of United Way Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta. “They have done really outstanding things, whether it’s through volunteer or their work in contributing to the community. People who are change makers and have done some amazing work throughout their lives.”

Perry Stein, MC for the event with the City of Lethbridge, honoured recipients with the Queens Jubilee medal while thanking them for their service and the work they do in the community.

“Today’s medal recipients embody characteristics we should all strive for. They lead rather than wait to be led, to advocate on behalf of those whose voices are too often silenced. They believe in inclusion, diversity, respect, and reconciliation. It is about countless hours to make our communities better without seeking reward or recognition,” said Stein during the ceremony.

Recipients like Ryan Wagner, Fire Chief for Nobleford and District Emergency Services, received medals for their work helping others.

“I was nominated for being a part of the community of Nobleford for the last 20 years, involved in the emergency services field,” said Wagner. “It feels surreal. We never do this for the accolades. We do it to be part of the community. We are here to help our neighbours, our family or friends. It feels nice, but also, we are never in it for the award, we are there to help out.”

With service to the community, recipients share a common humble nature for the work they do, spreading goodwill forward into the areas they focus on.

“On top of being a service to the community, it is fulfilling. I think that is one of the things that is so great about volunteerism, it is rewarding on so many levels,” said Danielle McIntyre, recipient and executive director at Interfaith Food Bank. “Part of being a citizen of Lethbridge is that community nature. People coming together and stepping up a little bit extra when it is required. It is something special to me to be able to see so many familiar faces.”

Giving recognition to those that help serve the community, making Lethbridge feel united, the awards helped shed light on the good work being done in the city with a chance to thank those who put in the effort. “Everyone has the opportunity to volunteer somehow or another, and we encourage people to take a look at where their time or talent is needed,” said Zalesak. “Encourage people to belong to an organization that they would like to participate in and give an hour or two in whatever way they can contribute.”

Other medal recipients included Adonus Arlett, John Coombes (posthumous), Devon Hargreaves, Anita Huchala, Amanda Jensen, Tina McAllister, Michael Marcotte, Aris Slingerland, Jerry Firth, Larry Laverty, Diana Sim, Sharon Yanicki, Erich Dyck, Jerry Brown, Tara Lennox, Stephen Mogdan and Dory Rossiter.

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