Sunnybrook Farm Museum executive director Ian Warwick holds a working scale model of a combine donated to the museum by the late Vladimer Novak. Over 20 models of Novak’s have been donated to the museum. The Red deer Regional Health Foundation and the Red Deer and District SPCA have also benefitted through a bequest of Novak.

Three Central Alberta charities honour unexpected donor

Three Central Alberta charities each received donations of over $185,000 that were bequests from a Red Deer resident who died last November.

Three Central Alberta charities each received donations of over $185,000 that were bequests from a Red Deer resident who died last November.

Vladimer Novak, 87, known to his friends as Laddie, donated the money to the Red Deer and District SPCA, the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation and Sunnybrook Farm Museum.

The charities honoured the late donor on Thursday afternoon at a gathering with Novak’s friends at the museum.

Novak was originally from Dodsland, Sask., where his Czech-born parents farmed.

When he retired from farming, he moved to Red Deer in 2002 to be near friends in the area.

His last year and a half was spent in the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and local care facilities.

Before he took ill, one of his favourite activities was collecting model farm equipment.

Ian Warwick, executive director at Sunnybrook Farm Museum, said Novak attended the museum’s Pioneer Day events and donated antique tractor models to the museum worth about $10,000, including an electric-powered combine and steam engine.

“All the (steam engine) parts run and you hook it up to a model threshing machine and then the threshing machine runs. It’s just a really unique artifact,” Warwick said.

He said Novak’s donation is about three times larger than any estate money the museum has ever received.

“It’s a significant gift for our organization for sure.”

He said bequests are fairly new to the museum.

“We’ve had a few in the past. I think they’re increasing so people are recognizing that the museum has a place in Red Deer and is making a significant impact.”

The museum has not yet determined how Novak’s money will be put to use. It’s possible the money will go towards its restoration of Calder Community School, Warwick said.

Erin Cupples, fund development officer with the health foundation, said the foundation staff didn’t have the honour of meeting Novak and greatly appreciate his gift that will impact the community.

“It’s such a huge donation. It doesn’t happen too often. We plan just to grow it and then it will be going to the greatest need of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre,” Cupples said.

Tara Hellewell, SPCA executive director, said the Kovak was not known to the SPCA either, but that is common with bequests to organizations that helps animals.

Bequests are a popular way for people to donate to the SPCA. They sometimes come from people who love animals and don’t have children, like Kovak, she said.

“I wish we would have had the chance to know him,” Hellewell said.

Kovak’s donation will go towards the SPCA’s annual $1.1-million operational budget.

“To raise $100,000 is a lot of work for our organization. To have this gifted to us with no special designation, that’s very exciting for us. We can use it as we need to.”

She said it’s been a good year for the SPCA with a 30 per cent increase in fundraising thanks in large part to having a staff member dedicated to fund development.

“It’s been an amazing year of donations. It’s given us stability,” Hellewell said.

Novak also donated $185,000 to Kindersley and District Plains Museum in Saskatchewan.

Just Posted

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

Cryptocurrency here to stay says one Red Deerian

Bitcoin is more than just a commodity with an ever changing value,… Continue reading

Lacombe County residential development and golf course proposed

Lincoln Ranch would include 100 homes and nine-hole golf course

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month