Lacombe teacher donates money to help orphans before she dies

Lacombe teacher Gwen Bader had travelled the world to help those in need. When Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisiana she returned to the state five times to help build homes.

Lacombe teacher Gwen Bader had travelled the world to help those in need.

When Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisiana she returned to the state five times to help build homes.

She had also been to Belize, Bolivia, Ecuador among other countries to do what she could.

But in her travels she had never gone to Africa and was thrilled that she was to finally get the chance last year with A Better World.

Sadly, she never made the trip. About four months before she would have gone, she succumbed to cancer at age 48.

However, even in death Bader’s compassion will be felt by those she tried to help.

Before she died the former teacher at Lacombe’s College Heights Junior Academy donated money in her will to a project to build an orphanage for 100 girls in Kenya.

Eric Rajah, co-founder of A Better World, visited Bader shortly before she died in Saskatoon, where she was then living.

She asked him to build the dormitory and take some of her former students to Kenya to open it in time for this Christmas.

“So at that moment I had no choice except to say I would do it,” said Rajah, who did not know at that time where all the money would come from.

On Dec. 16, Rajah and 22 young people and sponsors from across Canada will travel to Kenya to finish the orphanage in time for a Dec. 22 grand opening.

The $50,000 project was funded by a number of sponsors including Bader.

Thousands were also raised at a luncheon paid for by Gord Bontje of Laebon Homes, who visited the orphanage last year.

“She has done so many mission trips, all with A Better World, as a teacher. This is a fitting tribute to her life before and after.”

Julia Loxdale, a Canadian University College student, who is going on the mission to Kenya worked as a 13-year-old with Bader in Belize.

Watching Bader hauling buckets of cement up by rope to the top floor of a building they were working on is one of her lasting memories.

“She was amazing and strong and she was a good leader and an all-round awesome person who always wanted to go on these mission trips,” said Loxdale.

“She would be so happy that we were going.”

Belinda Bader is Gwen’s aunt and remembers her niece as someone who loved young people.

“She was dedicated to doing things with young people and for young people.

“(She was) just energetic. She put 150 per cent or 200 per cent of her energies into whatever she was doing.”

Gwen had hoped to devote much of the rest of her life to working in an orphanage in Kenya.

“She would be delighted that a team is going to be over there to open up a dormitory that a lot of young people will benefit from.”

Just Posted

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

Second attempted ATM theft at Red Deer IGA

Anyone with information is asked to contact RCMP

City businesses must have licences

Businesses can apply through new system online called MyLicence

Solar panels installed on city bus station

$550,000 project will generate power for city

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Study of U.S. hospital figures links pot use with increased risk of stroke

MONTREAL — New research is being presented at a conference in Montreal… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl has overtime winner as Edmonton Oilers down Boston Bruins 3-2

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl for the overtime winner… Continue reading

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store on first day

EDMONTON — She’s being called one smart cookie. As people lined up… Continue reading

Most Read