Edmonton and area community leaders receive national honour

November 9, 2019

Medal recipients with Her Honour at the October 30 presentations.

Leading volunteers from Edmonton and central Alberta have been given a special honour in recognition of their longstanding dedication to community service. Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell presented the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to recipients from Alberta Beach, Edmonton, Morinville. Sherwood Park and Sturgeon County.

The ceremony took place at Government House in Edmonton on November 9. A small gathering was also held in late October in the Lieuteuant Governor's suite at the Alberta Legislature for  area recipients unable to attend the November event. The presentations were made on behalf of the Chancellery of Honours.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers is a part of the National Honours system and recognizes the time, compassion and commitment that Canadian volunteers share with a wide range of community organizations.

“There are so many aspects of the quality of life we all enjoy that depend on the energy, compassion, innovation and resources offer by hard-working community volunteers. These medals are a way to recognize their tireless contributions on behalf of all citizens.”  Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

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Recipients of the medal are chosen from public nominations.  General program information and nomination details are at https://caring.gg.ca/en/.


Their Honours with medal recipients at the November 9 ceremony.

Recipients from October 30 and November 9 ceremonies:

Fadhl Abu-Ghanem, Edmonton - Through the Boys and Girls Club, Fadhl mentors youth by using his personal experiences to connect and inspire. He also dedicates his time to advocacy and empowerment through the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and the Safety Summit Committee.

Andree Aston, Edmonton - For over 20 years, Andree has served the music community through as a volunteer the Francis Winspear Centre for Music and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. As a volunteer with the Alberta division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, she supports fundraising events and public awareness campaigns.

Kathy Batty , Edmonton - From unit guider to provincial commissioner, Kathy has been a positive influence on girls throughout Alberta, the NWT and Yukon as a volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada since 1997. As a training advisor, she was instrumental in developing the Training and Enrichment for Adult Members program.

William James Beckett, Edmonton - A volunteer for more than 25 years, James has served as a senior board member of various organizations, and as president of both Engineers Canada and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. He has also served as honorary warden during the ritual of awarding iron rings to engineering graduates.

Chanelle Cluett-Alstad, EdmontonChanelle has been program lead, committee or council member and director for a variety of organizations. She uses her organizational, and multi-tasking skills, to ensure that events are run effectively, namely with Newfoundland’s Memorial University, Labrador’s Hyron Youth Development Council, Hatcher House and Relay for Life.

Unable to attend ceremony due to road conditions Leslie Goertz, Barrhead - Over the past 28 years, Leslie has been a part of the Grizzly Trail Fire and Rescue Association, raising funds to purchase much-needed equipment for the local fire department. He is also a member-at-large of the Municipal Fire Committee. (Medal will be presented at a later date).

Robert Grose, EdmontonPrevious president of Squash Alberta’s board of directors, Robert has spent more than 20 years ensuring the success of squash clubs in Alberta. He has inspired many with his dedication to the sport and his efforts to provide squash players with the opportunity to develop their skills.

Cal Kowton, Sherwood ParkSince 2001, Cal has been a steady leader of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Canada, primarily due to his exceptional fundraising with the annual Flame of Hope Harley-Davidson Raffle. He has attended trade shows, coordinated ticket sales and helped with other Special Olympics Edmonton events.

Susan Kowton, Sherwood ParkAs a volunteer with the Flame of Hope Harley-Davidson Raffle for Special Olympics Canada, Sue travels extensively to sell tickets at trade shows throughout Alberta. Her efforts have directly helped raise over $150,000 each year for Special Olympics athletes.

Robert McKeon, EdmontonBob has been a community builder for 40 years. He was a key founder of the Right at Home Housing Society and Inn Roads Housing Co-operative, and served as a trustee for the Edmonton Housing Trust Fund. He has also volunteered with the Edmonton Good Friday Outdoor Way of the Cross and the McCauley Community League.

Hassan Nawab, EdmontonHassan has provided valuable emotional support for members of his community through the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton and the Lurana Shelter Society. He demonstrates compassion by helping hospital patients, assisting survivors of sexual assault, and advocating for women and children experiencing abuse.

Michael Parker, Edmonton - Since 2010, paramedic Michael has been volunteering his services with Canadian Medical Assistance Teams to help those affected by disasters. He conducted resource assessments and implemented care practices during deployments to Pakistan, the Philippines and Nepal.

Carolyn Patton, EdmontonCarolyn is the creative force behind several military and civic commemoration projects and currently serves as a board member with The Vimy Foundation and Alberta chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council. She previously volunteered with the Art Gallery of Alberta, where she served as a board member, led fundraising and helped street youth express themselves through photography as a mentor with The Focus Project.

Amanda Sarrazin-Gould, Edmonton - With an interest in global affairs, Amanda has volunteered with Ainembabazi Children’s Project and the Student’s International Health Association and participated in humanitarian work in Zambia and Tanzania. In 2012, she started The Red Elephant, a registered charity focused on menstrual health initiatives in low-resource settings.

Angela Weber, Alberta Beach - Angela has organized, promoted and participated in dozens of fundraisers to improve the community of Alberta Beach. Notably, she has helped raise over $70,000 to purchase and install a new outdoor hockey rink, basketball court and outdoor exercise equipment.

Larry Wilkins, Sturgeon CountyLarry provided the practical vision and enthusiasm required to see an ambitious, multi-year new school project through to completion. The Mamawi Atosketan Native School, a high school branch serving the Cree community in Ponoka, now ensures that all Indigenous students have access to the best education possible.

Media contact:

Janet Resta, Communications Officer, Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

janet.resta@gov.ab.ca; 780-919-5505