Two tireless community builders and former Red Deer College students were celebrated for their volunteerism at an RDC awards ceremony Wednesday.
Alfio Truant, of Red Deer Bottling, a college supporter and benefactor, received the 2017 G.H. Dawe Memorial Award for his leadership, volunteerism and investment in education.
Local entrepreneur Rod Kennedy received RDC’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2017 for his long-standing community service.
RDC president Joel Ward said both men are highly deserving of recognition for their substantial contributions.
“Alfio has been a legend in this town, ever since the days when he drove a horse-drawn buggy with Coca-Cola,” noted Ward — which is how the first Coke franchises were run.
A long-standing member of the Kinsmen and K40 Club, Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, Elks, and Royal Canadian Legion, Truant studied at RDC and the University of Waterloo before joining his father and brother at Red Deer Bottling Co. in the early 1950s. He helped run the family business for many years, and still serves as chairman of the board.
An inductee in Lindsay Thurber’s Hall of Fame, Truant has volunteered with many organizations, including Westerner Park and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. He’s a strong supporter of education, having helped create many RDC scholarships and contributed to capital projects.
Truant said volunteering comes naturally because he cares about his community and wants to see Central Albertans succeed. He’s excited to receive the G.H. Dawe award since he knew its namesake. “I knew Mr. Dawe very well when he was superintendent of schools, and it’s a real honour to get this award in his name.”
Kennedy, of RBC Dominion Securities, became a successful business analyst after studying at RDC. He later developed his investment/wealth management practise.
His commitment to giving back includes leadership roles with many organizations, including the Red Deer Chamber, Optimist Club, Westerner Exhibition Association, RDC and STARS. Kennedy also founded the Business Advisory Network and serves as a member of the University of Alberta Senate and is on a 2019 Canada Winter Games Committee.
“He’s a great supporter of the college,” said Ward, who feels Kennedy’s role in taking Central Alberta’s perspective to the U of A board is also a “powerful” contribution.
Kennedy said he’s honoured by the recognition. “I love being engaged,” he added, since it helps the community, brings personal satisfaction, and creates life-long friendships.