Citizen and Junior Citizen of the Year


The annual Citizen and Junior Citizen of the Year event provides the opportunity to celebrate and honour our local citizens. In partnership with our sponsors, Grasslands Regional FCSS is proud to announce that the 2017 recipients are Kathy Irwin (Citizen of the Year) and Radet Girma (Junior Citizen of the Year).

Kathy Irwin

Kathy Irwin has always been known for her generosity and thinking of the well-being of others. "She sees a light in every situation and her goal is to find the small lights and make them shine even brighter" (a quote from one of her nomination letters). Kathy is the founder and a current director for the Feed the Future Foundation which ensures students in need a nutritious breakfast, recess snack and lunch. She has volunteered on different Board of Directors, such as Ashton's Place Youth Centre, the Food Bank and the Patricia Hall. Kathy joined the Brooks Chapter of the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Program in 2008. She helped arrange a partnership with the Brooks Bandits to raise funds through the "Chuck a Puck." With the Brooks Bandits, Kathy is known as the "education granny." She helps make the next stage of the player's athletic and academic development easier. One nominator had this to say about Kathy, "Kathy is one of those special people who has clear thought and vision. When it comes to kid's needs, she steps up like no other, like a very proud mother. Her devotion for helping and caring is second to none. Kathy's organizational thought processes and skills are remarkable. Even with the most complicated issues, she is able to keep things simple and effective." Kathy's desire to help people and give back to the community makes her a very deserving recipient of the 2017 Citizen of the Year Award.

Radet Girma

Radet Girma is a Grade 12 student at St. Joseph's Collegiate. Radet is described as a passionate young woman who desires the betterment of the world. Her contributions to the community reflect leadership and generosity in selflessly devoting time and energy to help many organizations and events, having a positive impact on the many residents she has served. Radet has been helping the Ethiopian community here in Brooks, as well as Calgary and Edmonton, since the 8th grade. She offers her time by showing newcomers to Brooks the places they will need to know such as the hospital and grocery stores and helping with immigration documentation. After returning from a trip to Ethiopia in 2015, Radet started a project called 'The Beginning' which helps poverty stricken families and individuals in Ethiopia. Radet has spent numerous hours helping and tutoring students at Eastbrook Elementary. She has volunteered at Orchard Manor, Newbrook Lodge, Sunrise Gardens, the Mustard Seed, the SJC library, soccer, offering free babysitting and giving free rides to people to and from Brooks. Radet also spends time as an interpreter and has helped raise money for the Draw4Dance Foundation and started a Black Lives Matter club. Radet and her parents sponsored and brought a family of 6 from Djibouti to live in Brooks. She spent many hours driving them around, making sure that they had what they needed to settle in and feel a sense of belonging in Brooks. One nominator had this to say about Radet, "Radet is a compassionate, loyal, and respectful young woman. Radet is always there to lend a helping hand, she never judges and she is a strong advocate for equality, brotherhood, and always tries to see the best in every situation." Radet Girma is a young woman with a bright future who demonstrates tremendous community spirit and citizenship through community involvement and is a very deserving recipient of the 2017 Junior Citizen Award.

Kathy and Radet were honoured at the Citizen and Junior Citizen of the Year Award Night on Friday, April 21st at 6:00 p.m. at the Heritage Inn in Brooks. The evening featured the awards, dinner and opportunity to socialize.

Many thanks to all those who submitted a nomination.

Grasslands FCSS also thanks Sponsors: The Royal Canadian Legion, Gay Bildersheim and the Heritage Inn.