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Community Gratitude Award


In a show of appreciation and community support, representatives of Edmonton’s first line responders, business and the public were honoured at the Woodvale Community League centre during the first ever Community Facemask Gratitude Awards.

Csts. Mischa Semler and Amanda Trenchard of the Edmonton Police Service Community Engagement Team were among those recognized at the event held Sept. 28. Joining EPS were reps from the Edmonton Fire and Rescue Service and the Grey Nuns and Misericordia hospitals. Also honoured were Darryl Dahl of Certified Radio and Edmonton volunteer, Jean Henderson. The award recognizes the ongoing contributions of individuals and organizations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was such an honour to attend the Gratitude award event,” Cst. Semler said. “It is humbling to be recognized as a representative for EPS, among other front line workers and citizens who have made such positive contributions for the people of Edmonton in the face of COVID-19.

“For front line workers, it is always so encouraging to be included in a gesture of gratitude from the citizens we serve, I appreciate the work and thought Terry (Ferguson) and the others put in to this event.”

The Community Gratitude Award was spearheaded by Millwoods community resident Terry Ferguson. Working with local artist, David Montpetit, the duo created the design for a stylized glass facemask. Several local businesses stepped forward to contribute to the production of the sculptures which were handed out during the ceremony.

“Our intention was to present this award to a number of agencies as well as private citizens who are working so hard to keep all of us safe and looked after,” Terry said in introducing the award. “You have been invited here this afternoon as a private citizen or representative of your organization so that we, the community can say thank you and to show our gratitude.”

While the award was created as a way of saying “thank you” to those at the forefront of the fight against the COVID virus, Terry notes the process of creating and establishing the award has come with its own rewards.

“There’s been a lot of sad stuff happening,” she said, “but instead of being upset about this, what can we do that’s positive.

“I just find that by giving back, I get so much back in return.”