September 22, 2011 15:40 ET

The Slave Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Drayton Valley's Jeannette Vatter Named UFA Small Town Heroes

UFA to sponsor exclusive Paul Brandt concerts in Slave Lake and Drayton Valley

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2011) -

Editor's Note: There are 2 photos associated with this release.

The Slave Lake Volunteer Firefighters and Jeannette Vatter of Drayton Valley were named the 2011 UFA Small Town Heroes in surprise announcements in their home towns yesterday.

Armed with a "big ticket" and a congratulations video featuring country music superstar Paul Brandt, UFA team members surprised the nominees by publicly declaring them the grand prize recipients of the UFA Small Town Heroes contest.

The heroes will each receive a concert in their home towns by Paul Brandt who has been an ambassador of UFA for many years. They will also each receive $2,500 from UFA to donate to a charity of their choice.

Entries were judged on impact, creativity, and the number of votes each entry received, and it was a difficult year for the judges. "All the nominations were inspiring," says Bob Nelson, President and CEO of UFA. "Almost a hundred people were nominated for the outstanding impact they've had on their communities. They represent the true spirit of small towns in Alberta and all of us at UFA are very proud to honour them."

The Slave Lake Fire Department's nomination tells of a team dedicated to preserving local businesses and neighbours' homes at great personal risk. "What defines a good leader and a hero…" said Joel Fournie, a volunteer firefighter from Priddis, "…is someone who can make decisions which others would not, or cannot."

Jeannette Vatter of Drayton Valley was nominated for her passion and dedication in helping those in her community and around the world. In addition to her advocacy with local and Alberta-based groups such as the Alberta Council on Aging, she has also helped to form the Hearts for Lushoto Society, which works to improve the lives of the citizens of Lushoto, Tanzania.

"When it comes to Jeannette and her huge contribution to mankind and especially the poor, she surpasses many," says William Kusaga, Volunteer Director of the Lushoto Community Foundation. "Jeannette has been, and continues to be, pivotal in making this arrangement work for the common good of the poor in my community. We owe much of what we are today to her."

Eight runners-up receive a $1,000 to the local community group of their choice:

  • Ashley Secord & Jessica Colban, Spruce Grove , AB
  • Darlene Maas, Pokoka, AB
  • Community of Hilda, Hilda, AB
  • Jeff Frostad, Enchant, AB
  • Quilting for Humanity, Athabasca, AB
  • Gary & Bev Flitton, Champion, AB
  • Drayton Valley Life Church, Drayton Valley, AB
  • Curtis Anderson, Innisfree, AB

Visit www.ufa.com/smalltownheroes for information on the upcoming UFA Small Town Heroes bus tour. The bus will make several stops in small Alberta towns and Paul Brandt will meet and greet members of the community. Take a photo of Paul on the bus tour and upload it to ufa.com for your chance to win one of four $1000 UFA fuel cards.

About UFA Co-operative Limited

UFA Co-operative Limited is one of Alberta's most dynamic enterprises serving rural communities throughout Alberta, B.C., and Saskatchewan with an unmatched network of retail stores and petroleum outlets. Through its Wholesale Sports division, UFA serves outdoor enthusiasts in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. With more than $1.6 billion in annual revenues and 120,000 active members, UFA is one of Canada's most successful co-operatives.

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Contact Information

  • UFA
    Amanda Bates
    Manager, Co-operative Communications
    (403) 570-4169 or Cell: (403) 819-4462
    (403) 570-4029 (FAX)

    Suite # 800, 4838 Richard Road SW
    Calgary, Alberta
    T3E 6L1