2022 Citizen and Junior Citizen of the Year

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Grasslands Regional FCSS Society is pleased to announce the 2022 Citizen and Junior Citizen of the Year.

The Citizen of the Year is Reg Radke and the Junior Citizen of the Year is Shelby Gilborn.

Reg Radke

Reg Radke is a long - time resident of Brooks who has always been committed to betterment of our communities and who remains actively involved in many community organizations and projects. He is a strong and passionate supporter and advocate of Brooks and the surrounding area and is well respected for his determination in helping others in the community. A resident of Brooks for the past 18 years, Reg and wife Kathy delight in spending time travelling and spending time with family. Reg ‘retired’ as the Manager at Brooks Campus, Medicine Hat College in 2016 and since then has committed countless hours to a wide variety of community initiatives designed to help ensure a positive quality of life for all residents.

Reg is passionate about all residents having access to safe, affordable, good quality housing! He has been the Board Chair of the Brooks Housing Society for many years which plans, develops, operates and supports non-profit housing for individuals and families. He also sits on the City of Brooks Affordable Housing Committee. Reg is always researching and seeking new, innovative ways to expand affordable housing options to meet the needs of our residents.

For the past 6 years, Reg has been a highly valued volunteer member of the Palliser Triangle Health Advisory Council, and has held the role of Chair for the past 3 years. He has been a strong advocate to have appropriate and accessible local health services, acted as a liaison between Alberta Health Services and community when issues are identified, has helped ensure that community residents have any concerns heard and has been committed to ensuring that communities are kept informed about health-related issues that matter. This role has been critical and much appreciated during the pandemic! In short, Reg is a ‘go to’ guy who is trusted and responsive to community needs.

Reg was involved with the Brooks Rotary Club for 16 years, as a member and President for 2 years, helping with the Rotary’s commitment to Youth Outreach, Community Services and Rotary International Projects. As a member of the local Rotary Club, Reg has worked to provide community enhancement opportunities by raising money for local projects that benefit the entire community. Under his leadership, the Rotary Club raised money for local projects as well as contributing his own time and effort. Some of these projects include the playground at Eastbrook School, the water park in Duke of Sutherland Park, the gazebo at Veterans Park, the new friendship park/playground in the Meadowlake area, as well as many others. Reg was also a member of the Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce for 6 years with 2 of those years as President, committed to supporting and sustaining local businesses.

Also for the greater good, Reg recognizes the need to support the many newcomers in our community. He has volunteered at Global Village Centre for many years to work with other organizations and to help create and offer programs to benefit newcomers and the community at large. This includes the Healing Path Wellness Centre, Inter-cultural Training, conducting PTSD Research with Medicine Hat College, the John Ware Youth Empowerment Program and many others. On any given day, Reg may be involved in everything from painting, plumbing, setting up TV stands, event preparation to helping develop strategic priorities and programming – all this towards helping build cultural understanding and vibrant, welcoming, healthy communities for the good of all.

For much of what goes on to help build strong communities, Reg will be involved somehow -– maybe not in plain sight as he is often behind the scenes working quietly. All of this speaks to his deep caring and commitment to all residents in Brooks and the region in general. As one nominator put it The City of Brooks is dear to Reg and he works passionately to improve the lives of its citizens. His ongoing dedication is a true example of what ‘giving back to the community where you work and live’ means. Reg is also described as humble and compassionate about his community, a vital part of the fabric of the community.

We are sure that Reg will be quick to point out all the work done by many others in the community but we cannot ignore the voices of many community members who wish to acknowledge and thank Reg for his many years of service towards the betterment of the community, the region as a whole and to each and every resident! The hope is that while it does not appear that Reg’s workload has diminished, at least he can set his own schedule!

For his commitment to the greater good, his dedication and hard work over the years to make our communities a better place, Reg Radke is a very deserving recipient of the 2022 Citizen of the Year Award!

Shelby Gilborn

Shelby is a dedicated Grade 12 student at the Duchess School. Shelby is described as community-minded, kind, honest, compassionate, giving, enthusiastic, reliable, trustworthy, efficient and humble with a caring, gentle soul. She can often be seen helping and mediating and putting others ahead of herself and always makes others around her feel valued, included and heard. At home on the family rural property outside of Duchess, Shelby enjoys spending time with her family who are very involved in volunteering and give back to the community. Shelby was born with a heart condition which meant that at the age of 14 she had to quit the high cardio activities she loved. As a testament to her strength, resilience and determination to carry on and help others, she has always found ways to give back to her community while taking care of herself!

At the Duchess School, Shelby has been an active member of the Student Council since Junior High where she may be counted on to supervise and organize events and activities such as Grad Committee, Volleyball Referee, the WE Club, helping younger students with literacy, leadership classes, Diversity Club, Leadership Team and more. One of Shelby’s teachers says “she is a great leader in our building, not because others follow but because she enables others to go beyond their current potential!"

In the community, Shelby extends her generosity and time to help others. She is a member of the Duchess Mennonite Church where is involved in the ongoing service work of the church. She has been a dedicated volunteer with the Special Olympics Brooks Affiliate for a number of years where she encourages the athletes to work hard and have fun, always being the first to celebrate a new skill learned or a milestone accomplished. She also volunteers for the Barracuda Swim Club and In-Sequins Dance Studio.

Shelby has been involved with the Brooks & Area 4-H Club for the past 9 years, currently as President, where she has been instrumental in projects such as the Mental Health Leadership project, Charity Auctions, online counselling for summer camps, sewing and donating scrub bags for nurses and sewing items for senior’s residences, acting as a leader and positive role model to younger members and her peers. Shelby has also helped with Highway Cleanups, planting the Duchess Community Garden and helping at the events to support diversity and inclusion. And in her spare time, Shelby’s selflessness extends into helping neighbours and being ‘famously known for babysitting children for free.’

Shelby displays her citizenship and leadership qualities every day. One nominator had this to say “In my teaching career few students have made an impression on me like Shelby Gibson. Her kindness towards others, her quiet strength and her drive to make the world a better place are inspiring and endearing."

Shelby plans to pursue a career as a teacher. She has always enjoyed working with children, learning new things and looks forward to continued involvement in the community as a teacher. Teaching children is something for which she has a passion and she feels inspired to teach children the importance of community and the joy of giving back. This speaks to her deep commitment to contributing to the betterment of communities and helping others!

Shelby Gilborn is a young woman with a bright future who demonstrates tremendous community spirit, leadership and citizenship through community involvement and is a very deserving recipient of the 2022 Junior Citizen Award.

Many Thanks to all those who submitted a nomination.

For more information contact: Lynn or Tammy at 403-362-4549