Andrew Panteluk

Citizens honoured for contributions, community spirit at spring gala

A Red Deerian with a talent to help non-profits develop the fundamentals to succeed, and a teen with an eye on a medical career, were both recognized for their community spirit and contributions at the 2016 Red Deer Citizen of the Year Spring Gala on Friday night.

A Red Deerian with a talent to help non-profits develop the fundamentals to succeed, and a teen with an eye on a medical career, were both recognized for their community spirit and contributions at the 2016 Red Deer Citizen of the Year Spring Gala on Friday night.

Rod Kennedy was named Citizen of the Year and Andrew Panteluk was chosen Young Citizen of the Year.

Presented by the Rotary Clubs of Red Deer, the awards recognize leadership and commitment to the community.

Kennedy said he was humbled to receive the award and proud of the diversity of volunteer organizations in Red Deer.

“I really like the idea that this community provides you that window of opportunity. If you want to volunteer there’s lots of great opportunities to participate,” said Kennedy before the start of the gala held at Red Deer Sheraton.

He has given his time to a variety of local organizations ranging from Westerner Exposition Association, Red Deer College, Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce, Red Deer Agri-trade Society, Red Deer Optimist Club, Red Deer’s Festival of Trees, and the 2019 Canada Games Host Society. He has also made a provincial impact by serving the STARS Foundation and board, and as a University of Alberta senate member.

Kennedy, 61, said over the years the sense of community in Red Deer has become stronger as the city grew and the projects have gotten bigger, like the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

“The volunteer organizations have stepped it up and grown with it. That’s just great for everybody,” said the investment advisor with RBC Dominion Securities.

Kennedy was previously named Optimist of the Year and received the 2005 Outstanding Service Award Westerner with Exposition Association, the 2005 Alberta Centennial Medal, and the 2009 Outstanding Service Award with the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise.

Panteluk, who will graduate from Notre Dame High School in June, intends to pursue a career in medicine and has volunteered in four different units at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

One year on the stroke unit he organized a Christmas party where he played violin and bought a stuffed animal for every patient. He recruited volunteers to spread the event to three other units the following year.

“I’ve known I wanted to be a doctor, but being at the hospital has just totally reaffirmed that,” said Panteluk, 17.

“For me, helping those other people, helping the vulnerable, giving compassion to those who don’t have it, is why I wanted to be a doctor.”

Panteluk took part in a Heritage Youth Researcher Summer Program and assisted physiology and neuroscience researchers.

The high school honours with distinction student has also received a variety of academic, athletic and musical awards, as well as scholarship offers to attend University of Alberta, Queens University and University of Calgary.

He said volunteering can play a major role in the lives of youth and they can use their energy to make a positive impact on their community.

“My dad was a Rotary member for as long as I can remember. Watching him serve has called me to serve as well. Rotary is such a great organization. I hope to become a Rotarian one day being able to, on a local and international level, serve those less fortunate.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

More than $25k raised for Red Deer firefighter who is recovering in hospital

‘I think the support he’s getting is because of the person he is’

Lacombe backs Blackfalds stormwater plan

Stormwater management plan will open up more land for development in Blackfalds

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

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

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

New vacuum needed: Calgary family adopts three bonded St. Bernard buddies

EDMONTON — Three adult St. Bernards who couldn’t be separated because they’re… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Most Read