My Habit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Star #25

Star #25 of Wood Buffalo is someone who enjoys making a difference.  She has spent a lot of time and energy helping those in need and encouraging people who are struggling.  Whether it has been through her time at the local Soup Kitchen, raising funds for Orphans in Honduras or at the Centre of Hope, Kathy Dewar has been a great example of making a big difference while trying to remain in the background.  It always encourages me to know people who volunteer so much of their time and energy and have such a big heart to give and help.

Kathy, thank you so much for all you do!  You are one of the stars of our community.  Please keep up the great work, it is so very appreciated.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Star #24

Star #24 is someone who I have known for a couple of years.  He has a great heart to help others and serve people and our community quietly behind the scenes.  He always seems open to help out others and even if he is the only person who shows up to take on a task, he will press forward to accomplish it.  Yet inside this quiet and service oriented guy is the heart of a leader and the mind of someone who desires to make a difference here.

Whether Warren Steckley is helping someone move to their new house, doing what he can to make sure the VBS in Anzac has what they need for the kids, gathering people and support for orphans in Honduras, or taking time to pray for his co-workers and work place safety, Warren always has a relaxed and friendly attitude.  Warren has reminded me of the importance of connecting with people because everyone needs friends, our "old friends" need to know we still care and the new people we meet are just waiting to become some of those "old friends".

Warren you are not always a man of many words, but your life and the words you do use mean a lot to me and are a great example of how everyday people can help make our community great!  Thanks Warren for all you do and for being a part of our community, you are Star #24!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Star #23

Star #23 is someone who always has a warm welcome and a big smile.  Friendly, encouraging and full of the "can do" attitude that expresses our community.  Maybe you crossed his path at a community event?  Maybe you met him at Campbell's Music where he is the Manager?  Yes, Scott Meller is Star #23.

Scott, thanks for your great attitude and community spirit.  You are a wonderful example of how the everyday people here in our community make it such a great place to live.  3 Cheers for Scott as Star #23!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Star #22

Star #22 is another young person in our community.  She is a great young lady that has a heart to make a difference.  I always see her volunteering her time and serving others without complaining.  She seems to always have a smile and a laugh that brightens up other people's day.  Whether she is helping people learn how to skate or helping with children's day camps, she seems to always be busy.  Breanna is a great example for her peers as to how to get involved and be a part of making a difference in the lives of others and our community.

Breanna Ward-Pollock, thank you for all that you do here in Fort McMurray, you are one of the stars in our community.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Star #21

Star #21 is a young man who spends a lot of his time beneath the radar.  He is not on a bunch of committees or a leader of many organizations.  Instead he is a high school student who serves others with a willing heart.  He has been known to speak up when he sees that something is not right and I really like those qualities in a young man.

Ryan Hlushak is Star #21 for His dedication to being a part of things that help others be effective.  Things like our Church multimedia team, where he has given a lot of his time not only for regular Sundays but also for special events, weddings, funerals, childrens events etc...  I see the qualities in him that are much needed in the younger generation in our community.  Qualities like - a willingness to volunteer, a good work ethic, a respectful attitude, steady dedication to a cause and tasks.  Thanks Ryan for all you do and the example you are even at your young age.  You are a Star here in our community.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Star #20

Star #20 is someone I really appreciate.  I have known him for a few years and have seen him do quite a few things to make a difference.  I have seen how he runs his business life with good character and efficiency.  I have seen him volunteer in a variety of roles with different organizations.  He has often been active in assisting many community groups in their fund raising efforts.  You may know him from his time at Wal-Mart or McMurray Coin or even Marks Work Wearhouse, Derek Esabrooks is a good friend and great member of our community.

I could probably take way too much time here to talk about how I have seen Derek make a difference.  He has a heart to make sure that young people and children are growing and healthy.  He has sacrificed literally MONTHS of His life volunteering.  A real leader, yet often happy to quietly be in the background, Derek is always someone you can count on.  He is someone who always encourages me.

Thanks Derek for who you are and all you do, you are one of the stars of our community!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Star #19

Star #19 is someone you may know as a teacher, principle, friend, neighbor or just as someone who has made a significant difference in the lives of the youth of our community.  Roxanne Fudge has been an inspirational leader in her role as Principal at Frank Spragins Outreach High School.  She has taken seriously the task of helping students that have struggled to fit the main stream school system.  The result is showing up in a huge growth of graduates from the program that had only 3 graduates in 2010 to 32 graduates in 2011.  What a great achievement by Roxanne and her team at Frank Spragins.

It is this example and dedication to leadership that makes Roxanne one of the Stars of our community.  We need more people like her who are willing to take the road less traveled and seek to make a difference in creative ways.  I am glad that we have Principal Fudge as a part of our community.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Star #18

Star #18 is someone who has made an impact on me.  He has inspired me with his attitude about life.  For as long as I have known him he was always happy to help people out.  If someone needed advice on a construction project or home reno, he was happy to do what he could to make sure they did not head in the wrong direction. He has been known as a great example of a consistent work ethic, friendly smile and enjoying a coffee at Tims with people.  He is also known as a fighter, yep a fighter.  Dave Black has been fighting cancer for a couple of years.  Over the time of his fight, he has lived out a deep faith and commitment to life, such a great example for us all.

At times Dave has had victories over cancer, but even in the hard and dark times of his battle, he loves to smile and laugh with his family and friends.  Lately I don't get much chance to visit with Dave because of the strong medications he is on.  Often if I stop by he is sleeping soundly in the hospital.  The times when I get a few moments with him are always special.

Dave is Star #18 and has been someone who I believe has made a difference here.  His example and attitude I believe will continue to have an impact even after his battle with cancer is over.  Dave is a reminder to me of the regular people who live in our community and even in the midst of great struggle and hardship they teach us to smile and to cherish the moments of life we have been given.

Dave, thanks for being you, thanks for being my friend, I will always appreciate you!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Star #17

Star #17 - I know that I am committed to showing the regular people here who make a difference.  But today's star is also an elected official.  But it is not the long term of service on council that has made him a star in our community.  Rather it is his huge heart and commitment to so many areas of our community.  Whether he is referee for a minor hockey game, teaching grade 2 Sunday School, helping with fundraising auctions like the Soup Kitchen or leading fitness and fellowship groups like his FIT trekkers that do hikes, canoeing, and curling just to name a few things.  Phil Meagher is someone who inspires a lot of people about giving back and making a difference.

Phil, you are appreciated for all that you do here to make our community a better place.  Thank you for being one of our stars.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Star #16

Star #16 is someone who is quite quiet and behind the scenes, maybe that is like a lot of the stars in our community.  They are seeking to do their part and help make a difference and most people have no idea just how much of a difference maker they are.  Star #16 is my friend Wayne McDonald.  Some people will know Wayne from the work he does at Suncor, but this engineer does a lot more than just work.  Wayne has spent a lot of time giving back to our community.  Whether it is the time he has spent helping with the youth of our community through Church youth groups and Young Life, or his strong support for the Centre of Hope.  Wayne has no fear of getting behind something he believes in.

Yet even further off the grid, it is common for me to hear little bits about how Wayne has gone out of his way to help people out.  Just on a personal level, not as some program or with an organization.  Wayne has a BIG HEART and I see him as a real star here in our community.

Thanks Wayne for all you do and who you are for our community!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Star #15

Star #15 is really special, so very special that we give them a day on the calendar each year .... yep it is Dads!  Make sure you appreciate your dad on fathers day.  I know that even though he no longer lives here I consider my dad, Wayne Taylor, a Star of our community.  I still see the results of his influence as I spend time in our community.  Dad was always looking for ways to make the community better and to help others live with a smile.  Whether he was at a charity fund raiser or organizing the shootout at Keyano for the United Way, he always seemed to have fun and to encourage others to do the same.

In honor of all the dads here in our community, I am naming Wayne Taylor as star #15, because I see my dad as  such a great example of community spirit and he has left quite a legacy here.  Thanks Dad, for making a difference here!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Star #14

Star #14 is none other than "Roger" the new maintenance guy at the Morrison Center.  In a building that has some issues, his plate is very full.  Yet on the days when the Air Conditioning is not working he takes frozen treats to the staff in the offices.  During the rain yesterday water began to leak into the building and Roger came right away with buckets to catch the water and was up in the ceiling with caulking and other things to try and get everything fixed up fast.

We all know that things happen and need fixing, but in our community we often hear stories of how hard it is to get people to come to fix things.  Roger, thanks for your hard work and great attitude.  It is appreciated and a great example for others.  Roger you are one of our community's stars!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Star #13

Star #13 - Sometimes it can be frustrating around here.  We know that we have traffic problems, it is so true.  But Star #13 is that person who was so nice and polite in traffic.  They were driving according to the rules of the road and also with courtesy and respect.  Thank you for letting my wife into traffic, it was a good thing to do.  I appreciate it when such drivers are around our community.  The people who are patient and who allow people to merge properly and who properly use the merge lane.

It is easy to get negative about others.  It is easy to complain about things, but it is far more beneficial to appreciate the positives.  So a big thank you to all you polite drivers out there, it really does help to change people's attitudes on our roads.


Star #12

Star #12 - As I was driving through our community yesterday I took notice of a yard that was really well kept.  the lawn was green and the flower beds planted.  The trees were well pruned and kept.  It was really nice to see and actually motivated me about how we keep our yard.  Actually there are many yards around our community like that.  Maybe that yard is yours?  I do not know the name of the person but really appreciate that way that some members of our community go the extra mile to keep their yards up.

We all live here together, it is nice to see people make an effort to beautify our community.  I know that it is not an easy thing to make your yard look nice, ours is not an outstanding yard but we are working on it and try our best.  To those of you who are so gifted in this way, thank you for your example and the beauty you add to our community.  Keep up the good work!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Star #11

So as I was out and about today I was motivated to do Star #11.  Star #11 is that person who was walking around picking up garbage and putting it into a bag.  Cleaning up our community is such a great thing to see happening.  Star #11 could be you?  I have seen young and old alike taking part in cleaning up the garbage.  It is a great showing of community spirit and service.  I know that there is a problem, too many people are not taking enough care with their trash.  But to see so many people willing to clean things up is great.

Thanks to all the people who have given of their time and energy to make our community clean and tidy.  You have encouraged me and you are making a difference.  Our community is a better place with people like you!


Star #10

Star #10 again could really be "stars" plural because there are a lot of them.  When people take a lot of their time and energy to raise funds to fight a disease like cancer it is noteworthy.  But those who are taking part in the relay for life are so much more than just fund raisers.  So many are "survivors" who have fought cancer and won.  Others are those who have lost people to this disease and they walk in their memory.  Still others are there to support these and to bring awareness and funding to help us have a larger number of "survivors".

To all of you who are taking part in the relay, you are stars and you brighten up our community.  To everyone who volunteers their time to make this even happen, you are also stars and your efforts and energy are shining bright tonight as well.  It is so good to live in a community where people understand giving back and making a difference in so many different ways. Thank you all for your example and great community spirit!

A late addition to this is that over $400,000.00 was raised this year through the relay, Great Job everyone!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Star #9

Star #9 has been a long time member of our community and has shown a great deal of character, both personally and in his business life.  A trusted mechanic and businessman with a reputation for helping others.  He has been involved in raising funds for a lot of different causes and programs to help others.  One of the initiatives he started is the "Ride for Hope", a quad ride from Fort McMurray to Fort Smith to raise funds for the Centre of Hope.  Yes Ken Krahn always seems ready for a new challenge to make a difference.

If you are looking for someone who is always friendly and full of jokes, then you need to know Ken.  I have so enjoyed Ken over the years more than once he has had me in stitches with laughter.  Thanks Ken for being who you are and making the difference that you do.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Star #8

Star #8 has had a real variety of community involvement with organizations like the Centre of Hope, the Soup Kitchen, Supportive Transitional housing, KAOS Radio and the Food Bank, just to name a few.  She has always had a big heart for helping others and a dedication and vision to see people move forward in their lives.

Kathy Flett has been a dedicated member of the community for a number of years.  Always happy to help out and with a warm welcome for people, she is an asset to our city.  Thanks Kathy for all that you do, you are appreciated.

Star #7

Star #7 is another guy that always seems to encourage and inspire me.  He has such a desire to help people find freedom from their addictions and the things that would bind them, so he has volunteered a lot of his time to help others.  Also being that he is such a gifted musician, he takes time to share music and some words of Hope to people who are in the extended care ward at the hospital.

As a long time resident many of you will have crossed paths with Brian Howe.  I really value him as a friend and as a great member of our community.  I love his attitude and his wisdom.

Thanks Brian for all you do and who you are here in our community, you are adding value here!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Star #6

Star #6 is a guy that I really appreciate.  He has a huge smile and a huge heart for people and making a difference.  Whenever he gets involved with a cause or a community organization, he is there 200%.  Such an example of helping out, community spirit and a desire to see others move forward in life.  I am talking about Lawrence Moman.

Maybe you know Lawrence, he is a "regular guy", a heavy duty mechanic, he works at site and has made his home here in our community for a number of years now.  I really believe that our community charities and social agencies would never be in need of volunteers if we were all a little more like Lawrence, he just knows how to serve, selflessly.

Thanks Lawrence for your example of serving and being a part of our community, you are loved.


Star #5

Well Star #5 could just as easily be Stars #5, because #5 is our local RCMP.  Today I was so impressed and encouraged by the 3 officers I met that I just had to use that excuse to make the local members my star #5.  It really is good to encounter such nice, community minded officers.  They were not only concerned about the potential of crime in our community, but were also concerned about improving our community and helping the less fortunate.

I am glad that we have officers who are here to protect us, and keep the peace.  But I am so very glad that they are also such good members of our community, helping us to make it the wonderful place that it is.

So a BIG Wood Buffalo thank you to all our members of the local RCMP, you are a great part of us.


Star #4

Star #4 is none other than Norma Shaw.  Sure a lot of people know Norma through her work with our municipality. But Norma is an active member of our community in so many ways.  Whether she is helping with the United Way, fighting for solutions to youth issues or working to solve homelessness, Norma always seems ready to get involved to make a difference.

Norma is known for being an encourager and always has a big smile and happy greeting for others.  Currently she is preparing for the relay for life to raise funds to fight cancer.  Norma and others like her are vital members of our community, helping to bring a spirit of friendship, fun and helping others.

One more reason that we live in such a great place.  Thanks Norma for all you do!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Star #3

Star #3 is Rick Kirshner.  Some of you may know Rick in his role with Municipal by-law, others will know Rick from his involvement with KAOS 91.1 radio.  But I know Rick as a member of the community who loves to give and to serve.  Rick is always seeking to connect with people and wants to hear their story.  With a background in working with youth, I have seen Rick leading groups of young adults in a variety of community oriented tasks like getting rid of graffiti and supporting great events like Interplay.  Rick always has a smile and a friendly hello for you, if you are down he will do his best to encourage you, he is a true friend.

Rick is another great member of our community that makes it such a great place to be.  Thanks Rick for being a part of our great community!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Star #2

Star #2 of Wood Buffalo is someone that I have known for quite a few years.  His name is Reuben Carpenter.  Reuben is a regular guy, retired and still here though which is good but not the norm for our area.  Most days he can be seen serving and helping out at the soup kitchen @ Fellowship Baptist Church.  I really appreciate Reuben, he is a solid and committed volunteer, caring for needs in our community.  He doesn't serve at the soup kitchen because he attends FBC, because he doesn't.  Rather he serves because his heart is to help those in need.

If you know Reuben, then you know he has had a lot of his own challenges, hurts and difficulties.  Yet he continues on to help others and seek to make a difference.  What a great example of the serving spirit of our community.  Thanks Reuben for your great example of serving others.


The beginning Star #1

Wood Buffalo Star #1 today is a lady that I do not know and have never really met.  In fact I do not know her name at all.  She is the lady who gave me her shopping cart outside the grocery store and refused the loonie I was trying to hand her to replace the one she had in the cart.  She just smiled put her hands in the air and walked away saying not to worry about it.  

This may have been you or may have happened to you.  I have seen it a lot here and I think it is part of the strong community spirit we have here in Wood Buffalo.  People with giving hearts doing simple things to make your day.

Just one more reason that we are one of the greatest communities in the world!