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Cochrane and area residents honoured for dedication by federal government with Canada 150 medals

Yesterday, Conservative MP Blake Richards (Banff-Airdrie) recognized nine individuals and one family from the Cochrane area for their community leadership and contributions, in commemoration of Canada's 150th anniversary.
Spray Lake Sawmills owner Barry Mjolsness was one of the Cochrane recipients of the Banff-Airdrie Canada 150 Awards.
Spray Lake Sawmills owner Barry Mjolsness was one of the Cochrane recipients of the Banff-Airdrie Canada 150 Awards.

Yesterday, Conservative MP Blake Richards (Banff-Airdrie) recognized nine individuals and one family from the Cochrane area for their community leadership and contributions, in commemoration of Canada's 150th anniversary. Canada 150 medals were bestowed to the following:

The Kimmett Family

Kelly and Dianne Kimmett, family and friends have worked tirelessly through the memorial foundation established in honour of their late daughter, Dr. Lindsay Leigh Kimmett, whose tragic death was the result of a car accident in 2008.

Their fundraising efforts have benefitted countless children, individuals and initiatives through local and international charities through their annual golf tournament, The Monumental Tournament of Aces and their annual hockey tourney, The Kimmett Cup. The family provides scholarship opportunities for children who cannot afford to play hockey.

The family also co-owns Two Pharmacy, a full-service drug store that re-opened under its new name last year where each purchase goes toward helping the less fortunate on a local and international level.

Alex Baum

The Rotarian and Cochrane Toyota owner volunteers for numerous community causes, including the Cochrane and Area Humane Society, the Calgary Homeless Foundation and Special Olympics Alberta. He has also helped raise funds to construct a pedestrian trail linking the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park to the Trans-Canada Trail. Baum also donates to numerous community projects.

Barry Mjolsness

As the owner of Spray Lake Sawmills, Mjolsness's business contributes to a laundry list of community projects, initiatives and organizations including the Cochrane & District Ag Society, Camp Horizon in Bragg Creek, The Kimmett Cup and Tim Horton's Children's Camps. Following a fire in the late 90s, Mjolsness donated the lumber to rebuild the Bragg Creek Community Centre. The Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre has been a beneficiary of the sawmill including the recent expansion.

Steve Merritt

The Sgt.-at-Arms and spokesperson for the Cochrane Legion, Merritt is being honoured for his commitment to veterans. Merritt works at a local level at numerous legion-led initiatives, as well as with schools to keep the meaning of Remembrance Day alive among younger generations. A veteran of the Canadian military himself, Merritt has done a lot of work in honour of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was killed on Parliament Hill in 2014. He is currently working on the Cochrane Cenotaph Revitalization project, a redesign of the town's cenotaph park, including a bronze statue of a fallen First World War soldier.

Jackie Shier

Shier is being recognized for her humanitarian efforts, including her work as the director of Helping Hands - a faith-based organization that takes the lead on the biannual food drive for the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank. A member of the Cochrane Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Group, Shier has sponsored and assisted a number of families who have migrated to Canada from the war-torn country.

Dan Kroffat

The famed retired Canadian wrestler and personality is being honoured for his dedication to veterans. Last year Kroffat led a new poppy box design initiative - one that serves to be sturdier and theft-proof. Multiple businesses in the Cochrane and Calgary areas tried the box out last season leading up to Remembrance Day, meeting with success. Kroffat aims to launch his new poppy box nationwide this year. He also supports Right To Play, a global organization that supports children in need through sports.

Dr. David Legg

The Mount Royal University professor is being recognized for his volunteer advocacy. A supporter of the Paralympics and past-president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, he has coached and volunteered for numerous school and recreational sports teams. Each week he composes a newsletter of volunteer opportunities for his students. He credits his wife, Julie, for assisting him.

Marina Chabbert

The president of the Cochrane and Area Events Society (CAES), Chabbert takes the lead on the CAES-led annual Labour Day Parade and Stuff-A-Bus event to raise Christmas presents and donations to families, especially children, in need through the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank.

Jack Tennant

The former owner/publisher of the Cochrane Eagle, Tennant has made many contributions to the newspaper industry in Alberta. A longtime advocate for children's charities, Tennant has devoted much of his time to volunteer organizations and efforts, including improving relationships with the Stoney Nakoda First Nation in Morley, 20 minutes west of Cochrane. He is currently involved with Cochrane's Seniors For Kids Society.




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Lindsay  Seewalt

About the Author: Lindsay Seewalt

Lindsay is a senior Eagle reporter who has transformed her penchant for storytelling into the craft of writing.
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