Red Deer College (RDC) recently recognized several community members for their community contributions at the annual RDC Community Awards.
Guy Pelletier — a RDC alumni, volunteer and Board Chair of the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division School Board — was awarded the G.H. Dawe Memorial Award for his commitment to community and leadership.
“Harold Dawe had a legacy and commitment to education in Red Deer that is second to none, so to be honoured and even considered is humbling,” Pelletier said. “To be considered to have some of the same characteristics of him is a terrific honour.”
Pelletier credited the work of the College in promoting education in the community.
“My commitment to the College goes back a long ways and I am really happy to be a part of it,” he said. “We do a pretty good job in Alberta and Canada in educating our students. It is because of the hard work of people here at the College and School boards across the Province.
“The appreciation we can show to the College is really important.”
RDC’s Alumni Legacy Award was presented posthumously to Linda Slaymaker, who worked for 24 years at the College in the Financial Services department.
Parker Slaymaker, one of her four children, accepted the award on Linda’s behalf.
“It means a lot to accept the award on behalf of my mother,” he said. “My mother was in Red Deer for 50 years of her life and at the College for 24 years. She was a proud faculty member, as well as a student as well.
“She pushed me real hard to continue my education, always saying ‘Go back to school’.”
Parker said his family was just appreciative of Linda being nominated.
“The Slaymaker family really, really appreciates the nomination alone and when she won the actual award — we were so elated.”
Linda also contributed to the community through volunteering for the United Way and RDC events outside of her career.
The Community Partner Award went to the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society. Board Chair Lyn Radford accepted the award on the Society’s behalf.
“One of the visions that the board has always had is to integrate with the community and make sure we work with various organizations,” she said. “Red Deer College was a really good fit initially because we talked about having the facility for the sports and we talked about the athletes using the residences.”
The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will host several events, but Radford said the partnership with RDC has grown.
“It has gotten bigger and even better,” she said. “We have the opportunity now to integrate into some of their curriculum and programming.
“That is great and it is great to have the Donald School of Business involved. Those are the kinds of partnerships we really wanted to make sure happened, so to be acknowledged for these partnerships is just tremendous and we really appreciate it.”
She added the partnership will be a catapult event into other regional, provincial, national and international events.
“Red Deer is geographically situated so perfectly for hosting sporting events and is becoming a sports tourism mecca,” she said. “Partnerships with Red Deer college would make that even more valuable. We have to continue and show everyone this is possible.”
Sharilee Fossum, an RDC alumni and Chief Financial and Administration Officer at the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award for her personal and professional achievements.
“This is such a privilege,” she said. “Red Deer College was a foundational part of my growing up years and it was really formative in me becoming who I am.
“It sparked a passion for lifelong learning and a passion that has just been continuing on throughout my whole career — being brave and trying new things.”
Fossum encouraged others to continue to be brave in their lives.
“All of that is possible because of my start here,” she said. “Red Deer College is a wonderful and safe place to be brave and try things when you are a young person.
She added, “I am honoured to be recognized by the community, the alumni and the wonderful folks at Red Deer College.”