UFA heroes initiative honours Albertans

UFA made donations to more than a dozen non-profit and community-based organizations as a result of the 2012 Small Town Heroes contest.

UFA made donations to more than a dozen non-profit and community-based organizations as a result of the 2012 Small Town Heroes contest.

The UFA Small Town Heroes initiative honours rural Albertans who see a need in their community and act on it, making a long-lasting, positive impact with no desire for accolades or compensation.

This year’s grand prize recipients were Ed Boychuk from Smoky Lake, Alberta, and Mack Erno, from Teepee Creek. They each received $10,000 from UFA along with a UFA-sponsored concert by country music superstar, Paul Brandt. Proceeds from the concerts also benefited their local community initiatives.

Eight finalists each received a $2,500 prize to contribute to their respective causes, along with a $3,500 share of the proceeds from a third Paul Brandt concert held in Ponoka totalling $6,000 each.

“In total, the 2012 Small Town Heroes contest generated $160,000 that has been distributed among thirteen organizations,” said Bob Nelson, president and CEO, UFA Co-operative Limited.

“We are exceptionally proud of the outcome and humbled by the unselfish efforts of our local heroes. We are thrilled that UFA has been able to recognize these special Albertans in such a public way and continue our mission to enable rural success.”

In conjunction with the UFA Small Town Heroes Tour, two other sweepstakes took place. First, participants could enter a draw at any of the tour locations for a $1,000 in fuel. This year’s winner was Ed Hessler, a grain farmer and long-time UFA member from Spirit River.

For the second sweepstakes, fans could enter the UFA Small Town Heroes Photo Contest on Facebook by submitting a photo of Paul Brandt or his tour bus to win a Paul Brandt autographed Epiphone Guitar. Wendy Ellefson’s photo at the High Prairie UFA Petroleum agency was chosen at random to win the guitar.

The 2012 Small Town Heroes, and the causes they donated to, are as follows:

Recipient: Ed Boychuk (Grand Prize Winner) Smoky Lake, AB – Community Initiative: $62,000 total prize and concert proceeds to the Smoky Lake Ag Society

Recipient: Mack Erno (Grand Prize Winner) Teepee Creek, AB – Community Initiative: $50,000 total prize and concert proceeds split between the Huntington Society of Canada – Peace County Chapter and Teepee Creek community initiatives

Recipient: Abe Crawford, Olds, AB – Community Initiative: $3,000 to Boys & Girls Club of Olds and Area, $3,000 to Special Olympics Olds and District

Recipient: Alex Halat, Chestermere, AB – Community Initiative: $3,000 to Christmas With Dignity, $3,000 to Summits for Seniors

Recipient: Angela Henley, Fahler, AB – Community Initiative: $6,000 to Town of Fahler – Fahler Ball Diamonds

Recipient: Erin Steeves, Rimbey, AB – Community Initiative: $6,000 to Town of Rimbey Library Board

Recipient: Nathan Hardy, Devon, AB – Community Initiative: $6,000 to Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta

Recipient: Nick Ruigrok, Okotoks, AB – Community Initiative: $6,000 to KidSport Okotoks

Recipient: Mandeja Sargent, Alix, AB – Community Initiative: $6,000 to Alix Agricultural Society- Alix Community Playgrounds Project

Recipient: Marilyn Wolfe, Champion, AB – Community Initiative: $6,000 to Champion Communities in Bloom

Total donations: $160,000