Safe Communities Canada

Safe Communities Canada

October 03, 2007 12:00 ET

Inaugural National Ambassador for Safety Volunteer Award Presented to Stephanie Hecker, Safe Communities Central Alberta

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2007) - At a ceremony at John Fisher Junior Public School to celebrate the first Safe Communities Canada Day, Paul Kells, Safe Communities Canada Founder, presented the inaugural Safe Communities Canada National Ambassador for Safety Volunteer Award to Stephanie Hecker, Chair, Safe Communities Central Alberta.

"We have known for a long time that it is due to the involvement of individuals that change occurs, communities thrive and lives are saved." Paul Kells said in presenting the award. "The Safe Communities Canada model is based on the participation and support of a wide-range of volunteers from many sectors of our communities including local government, public health, police, fire, business, emergency medical services, provincial employer compensation boards and health and safety training agencies. It is due to the ongoing commitment of time, talent, expertise and financial resources by our volunteers and business partners that our movement to reduce avoidable injury has been so successful. The long-term demonstrated commitment of Stephanie Hecker is only one example of those involved across Canada who have gone beyond the call to make a difference and make our communities safer places to work, learn live and play" Kells added.

Ms Hecker has been involved in Safe Communities Central Alberta since its inception in 2003 as a member of the original steering committee. In 2004 she became Vice Chair, Co-Chair in 2005 and now serves as Chair. Her current term ends in 2008. Her quiet leadership style allows for her efficient planning, organization and evaluation skills to speak for itself. As an injury prevention specialist for David Thompson Health Region, Stephanie's motto is all about collaboration. Through her extensive network she continuously promotes Safe Communities Central Alberta, identifies potential partners and has been instrumental in securing grant funding from community partners. She is credited with the success of the Playground Roundtable, Young Farm Workers Safety Training Workshops and several safety day camps for rural children.

"This is a great honour for all of the volunteers, community and business partners associated with Safe Communities Central Alberta." Ms Hecker said in accepting the award. "To my volunteer colleagues across the country involved with injury reduction and making our communities safer places, we at Safe Communities Central Alberta applaud you and are proud to be among your company. Our commitment to increased safety in our community will not waiver. We have much more to do and we look forward to expanding our network and continuing to make a difference in the future" Hecker added.

"Stephanie is truly a champion among champions. Our first National Report Card told us that ninety-seven per cent of the designated safe communities can demonstrate their efforts in mobilizing their community to be come directly involved in programme and service delivery to promote safety and reduce injury." Kells stated. "In the past year, volunteers contributed over 26,000 hours to the cause of injury prevention and safety promotion in Canada. The leadership demonstrated by thousands of individuals in neighbourhoods and communities right across Canada is a strong statement that the country should not only celebrate but reach out and say thank you." he added.

Safe Communities Canada is a national charitable organization dedicated to helping communities build the capacity and resources they will need as they commit to coordinated, thoughtful and strategic programmes to reduce the pain of injury and death and promote a culture of safety in every community in the country.

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