Community builder honoured at banquet

By Geoff Smith
January 31, 2016 - 11:09am Updated: February 1, 2016 - 8:37pm

The 2015 Battlefords Citizen of the Year sees a lot of potential in the young woman seated next to him at Friday's banquet. 

Kiley Elmer, the Junior Citizen of the Year, is likewise inspired by her counterpart Floyd Anderson. 

"I think it's, how you can build a life around really getting involved in your community," Elmer said when asked what she can learn from Andersen. "He's a great role model about how you can take something that you're interested in and involve the community."

The difference made to the quality of life in the Battlefords by such involved citizens was definitely a theme of the evening, as friends and loved ones packed the Dekker Centre to honour Andersen and Elmer. Several past recipients were among the guests.

While those who nominated Andersen noted his disinterest in getting recognition, Andersen said it's gratifying to see how his efforts impact the lives of others.

"Like, in scouting, I see the youth getting special awards," he said. "It just makes you feel good that they got that, and what they've accomplished."

Scouts Canada has been a big part of Andersen's life for 23 years. He's also been involved with the Historic Battleford Lions club, the Fred Light Museum, and the Battleford Parks and Recreation Board.

Elmer has been on the Honour Roll, with Distinction the last two years. Yet she finds a lot of time for extracurricular activities, including involvement as Senior Pin on the Student Representative Council at North Battleford Comprehensive High School.

The Grade 12 student plays multiple sports, takes part in drama, several clubs and helped start a chapter of Students Against Drinking and Driving.

That's just what she does within her school. Beyond that, she's been a Girl Guide leader, helps raise money and food, volunteers at Fort Battleford National Historic Site, and takes part in programs that teach leadership.

"Anything I think is a good cause, that motivates me, that's making a difference and impact," she said when asked how she chooses what to put her energy into. "Sometimes people are forgotten. They're not thought about. And I think it's really important to reach out to them, talk to them, and help them in any way possible."

Elmer has one semester left in high school. Then it's off to the next chapter in her education, while remaining active in the community.

As for Andersen, one of the most visible signs of his devotion to the community is a new addition to the Fred Light Museum in Battleford, where he is a member of the board. Floyd and other family members got together to put up a building to house a donated collection of antique tools used by his father and grandfather.

Andersen plans to continue improving the profile of the museum, which he feels is too often overlooked.

"I've got plans for different things coming up there. We hope to expand," he said. "We're rated as one of the top ten museums in Western Canada.

"It's just great, but nobody knows about it."

 

gsmith@jpbg.ca

Twitter: @smithco

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