Mel Buwalda has worked as a pharmacist in Rimbey since she moved to town 16 years ago, helping members of the community to feel better and educating them about their health. She also volunteers at the schools where her four children attend and she has previously volunteered with the Rimbey Gymnastics Club.
This year, Buwalda won gold in the Community Hero category of the Best of Rimbey Awards.
“I was speechless,” Buwalda said of being nominated as a Community Hero. “I was surprised and honoured.”
Buwalda said when she thinks of community heroes, she thinks of those who put themselves in dangerous or stressful situations, such as firefighters, police officers or doctors.
“I wanted to help people,” she said of her decision to be a pharmacist. “I thought about being a doctor, but I had friends whose parents were doctors and they weren’t available for family life, so I didn’t want to do that. I thought about being a nurse, but I’m not a fan of bodily fluids. I was working at Shoppers Drug Mart when I was younger and I ended up helping out in the pharmacy. I thought it was interesting.”
Buwalda said she plans to continue working as a pharmacist in Rimbey and volunteering whenever she can.