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2012 Mayor and Council's Toast of Champions Nominees

*Indicates that the nominee was also a recipient of the 2013 program

* Cameron Forward 

Grade 12 student at Westwood High School.  Involved in advanced academics, extracurricular activities, service projects and leadership activities.  Currently on Student Council and is President of the Physics Club - was instrumental in coordinating the installation of solar panels in his school.  Talented at piano and various sports.  Involved in Wood Buffalo Leadership Bootcamp and MACOY.  Countless volunteer hours at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. 


Cindy Amerongen                                                
Vice-President of Community Relations and Chief Development Officer for Keyano College. - 30-year resident of Wood Buffalo.  Brought National Philanthropy Day to Wood Buffalo.  Member of several local boards including: Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, and Keyano College.  Strong community advocate. 


David Czibere - Tireless volunteer and  advocate for the community of Anzac.  Has been a board member for the Anzac Recreation and Social Society and the Northland School Division.  Is a Scout leader.  Instrumental in organizing and supporting  the Anzac Football Program.  A strong supporter for local hockey - a coach and mentor.  Very family oriented and continually involved in his community. 


* Elvis Vossler 
- Community volunteer.  Elvis has worked tirelessly to create a safer community within his apartment complex.  By single-handedly organizing community bbqs, outdoor movie nights and other special events, he has created a stronger neighbourhood for his apartment residents and neighbours.  Offers countless volunteer hours to gather donations for community parades.

13 Culture Network Began in May 2011 - comprised of over 25 local groups and individuals. It is a network that recognizes, promotes and supports culture in Wood Buffalo. They meet monthly in various locations in Fort McMurray. They organize local activities during Alberta Culture Days each year - in 2012, they received Provincial funding and recognition as one of five feature celebration sites during Alberta Cultural Days. An amazing example of community development and cultural collaboration.


en EnviroMENTORs                                                                                
Student based program involving youth from various local schools.  These students are committed to increasing the wellbeing of our community by educating other students on civic pride, litter awareness, graffiti awareness and environment.  




*Jack Howell - Strong community spirit and educator. Principal at Conklin Community School.  Created a family-like environment in the school, which stretches into the entire community of Conklin.  Instrumental in organizing a recycling program, which involved the cooperation of local Industry, that financially supports school activities and provides resources such as warm clothing for students and community members.



Jaime Harpe - Community Developer (Janvier).  Originally from Janvier - now lives in Saprae Creek.  Owns TJ's Oilfield Contracting LTD.  Supports community activities both financially and through volunteer hours.  Helps organize the Janvier Mudbog event.  Supported the building of a local youth centre and a collaborative Mental Health Capacity Building Initiative for Janvier residents.  


 Kitty Cochrane - Teacher at Ecole Dickinsfield.  She is passionate about the environment and culture.  Volunteers countless hours to the Wet and Wild Scuba Diving Society - instrumental in setting up a youth scholarship in honour of a member who passed away.  Also involved in music and participates in Full Moon Cafes, and volunteers for the Ukrainian Society.


Len Stepanuk - Cleans the area by the Snye on a daily basis simply because of his personal sense of duty.  He keeps the riverfront clean and safe so everyone can enjoy the beauty of our region's waterways.  Very kind and dedicated to the wellbeing of our region. 


 Lisa Mae Buchanan                                                            
One of Fort McMurray's 40 under 40.  Volunteers for community clean ups, the Northern Lights Health Foundation, and many other community-based programs.  Also volunteers as the OilBarons mascot.  She supports her community by rolling up her sleeves and getting involved.


*Lisa Miller
Principal of St. Martha's School.  Proactive and dedicated to creating a safe environment for her school community.  Is an incredible educator and mentor to her students, who have grown up to be leaders in the military, RCMP, teachers, etc.  She has won numerous leadership and teaching awards. 


*Melissa Gladue - Youth leader                                      
Dedicated to community service.  Alumni of MACOY (Mayor's Advisory Council on Youth).  Continues to be highly involved in the coordination of Santa's Anonymous.  Recognized for her citizenship and leadership through various awards.  In 2012, won the MLA Citizenship Book Award for Father Patrick Mercredi Community High School.  Talented musician and dancer.  


Millicent Compton

Moved to Fort McMurray in 1999 from Newfoundland.  Volunteers with the Fort McMurray Historical Society, the Salvation Army (especially during their Kettle Campaign), the Golden Years' Society and Elections Canada.  Always ready to offer assistance - Heritage Park has benefited from her assistance in cataloguing their collections.  

13 Northern Canada Collective Society (NorthWord) Promoting local writers, poets, artists and literacy one publication at a time.  Beginning 4 years ago, they publish the NorthWord magazine twice per year.  Collaborate with other groups to create a stronger community.  They are dedicated supporters of our region's storytellers.


*Sonia Burke-Smith - "Art Heals"                                    
 Tireless arts advocate and youth developer.  Involved in countless arts/culture programs to raise the profile of artists.  Engages with the Mental Health Association, local youth and Aboriginal communities to build stronger networks of relationships.  Key member of the Culture Network and member of the coordinating team for local Alberta Culture Days celebrations. 


*Zaid Sulaiman - Cultural community leader.  Arrived in 2005 and set up the Pakistan Canada Association.  Has created a community for other families of Pakistani origin.  Coordinates numerous cultural events - builds relationships between Pakistan-Canadians and the entire Wood Buffalo community.

16 Wood Buffalo Communities in Bloom Their work significantly increases community spirit and pride. They promote community involvement through their "nominate your neighbour" program and community clean up initiatives. Their work has successfully had Wood Buffalo recognized nationally as 5/5 Bloom winners.

17 Wood Buffalo Community Village First of its kind in our region - it is a cohabitation model of 8 valued community agencies working together in a shared space. The involved members include: Gregoire Condominium Association, Air Cadets 868 Rotary, Alberta Brain Injury Network, Multiple Sclerosis Association, Volunteer Wood Buffalo, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Canadian Paraplegic Association, North East Alberta Fetal Alcohol Network.


*Dave Kirschner Former Municipal Councillor Dave Kirschner was recognized with a special "Heart of Courage" award for his outstanding services to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Below, you can meet he nine people who received special recognition after nominations were received for the 2014 Citizen Recognition Program:

Elvis Vossler

Zaid Sulaiman

Len Stepanuk

Lisa Miller

Sonia Burke Smith

Cameron Forward

Jack Howell

Melissa Gladue

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