UFA Small Town Hero rally

Jennifer Chernishenko
ECA Review Reporter

Mandeja Sargent of Alix was nominated by Darlene Tucker to be considered for the 3rd Annual UFA’s Small Town Heroes of 2012 contest “which seeks out and rewards individuals in rural Alberta who go above and beyond for their communities.” As she made it to the top 10, a rally for Sargent was held on August 22 at the Heritage Park in Alix.
For the rally, people were encouraged to wear orange – the UFA colour – and flags were given out to the crowd. Mayor of Alix, Curt Peterson and Lacombe county councillors Rod McDermand and Brenda Knight were among the dignitaries at the event. Tucker liked the local support for the rally. When everyone was there, the announcement was made about Sargent’s success in the contest so far and the dedication that got her there.

People were invited to enter into a draw for $250 to spend at UFA and there were also little giveaways for children. Additionally, the crowd had the opportunity to sign the small town hero flag.
Tucker nominated Sargent because of the immense time she puts in to help local communities. Some of the activities Sargent is involved in include the playground society, the parent council, children’s sports teams and she also is an early childhood facilitator which includes giving cooking lessons to children.
Furthermore, Sargent runs bootcamps in several rural towns that are “kid-friendly” to help mothers with children to get out and exercise. Tucker said Sargent “is always around to give a hand” and that she is “a role model for…how we can take care of ourselves, she’s very informative.”
Following the official ceremony, there was a free hotdog barbecue put on by the local UFA, with cake and pop supplied by the playground society. Also during that time, the judges had a chance to interview Sargent.
Tucker said there “was a good turn out for Alix” and that overall the day went “really well.”
The top two winners will win $10,000 for a community project and a Paul Brandt concert for their town. The other eight finalists will receive $2,500 to be put towards a community project of their own choosing. Since Sargent is in the top 10, it is confirmed that she will receive the $2,500, if not the $10,000, as she may yet be selected as one of the top two after voting closes on August 31.

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