Lifetime Achievement award recipient Nora Styner of Red Deer gives her acceptance speech at the 10th Annual Women of Excellence Gala at the Sheraton on Wednesday. Styner also received the Athletic, Recreation and Fitness award. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Updated: Excellent women recognized for contributions

Making a difference in Central Alberta

For 25 years Nora Styner has been leading fitness classes for seniors and on Wednesday her dedication earned her the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th annual Women of Excellence Awards 2017.

Styner, who also received the Athletics, Recreation and Fitness Award at the Women of Excellence gala, said leading the Link to Health Program wasn’t about following a strict exercise program. It was simple stretching, bending and marching.

“Our age group is 70-plus with most of us pushing 80. We have two women over 90 who come all the time,” Styner told the audience of over 350 guests at Sheraton Red Deer.

“We don’t want to do Zumba. We don’t want to do Jazzercise, and we don’t want to go to the gym,” she said to a round of applause.

“Yoga is out of the question for if we get down on the mat, we can’t get back up.”

She said having fun is what’s important.

“There is a lot of laughter. A lot of good friendships are made. It doesn’t matter if can’t do some of the exercises. You do the ones you can. Life is about what you can do, not what you can’t do.”

Styner has also volunteered with Red Deer’s hospital for 45 years and continuously with Sunnybrook Church.

“I guess I’m a born volunteer. It really is a family thing,” said Styner who was shocked to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 10th Annual Women of Excellence Awards program and gala is a celebration of innovation, leadership, achievement and talent of women in Central Alberta. Nominees serve as role models for women and girls.

Other award winners included:

Tracy Gardner, of Red Deer — Agriculture Award

Diana Anderson, of Red Deer — Arts, Culture and Heritage Award

Janice Wing, of Red Deer — Business and the Professions Award

Susan Samson, of Sylvan Lake — Community Building Award

Dorothy ‘Dot’ Negropontes, of Olds — Education and Training Award

Bonnee Gregg and Krista Vandenbrink, of Red Deer — Entrepreneurship Award

Nicola Cook, of Olds — Environment Award

Katherine Kemmere, of Olds — Health and Wellness Award

Kath Hoffman, of Red Deer — Human Services Award

Lucienne Henry, of Clive — Young Woman of Excellence Award

The awards are organized by the Red Deer and District Community Foundation. Red Deer Advocate is presenting sponsor.

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