My 2014 In Review

Pipestone Flyer

For me, 2014 has been a year of positive changes, learning opportunities, Canadian travels, great outdoor adventures and of course precious times with family and friends. After two and a half years of reporting and writing a column for the Pipestone Flyer, I left the Editorial Team in July of 2013 to take a one-year sabbatical.

I was happy to return this past August to a friendly and dedicated team that made me feel like I was re-joining its dynamic family. Once again, I am grateful to have a voice to herald the great causes in our region, the fantastic individuals who, ‘make a difference’ in our world and the impressive accomplishments that are worthy of sharing.

Calling myself a patriot, I have enjoyed my trips across Canada this past year, discovering the amazing Niagara Falls region and re-visiting my childhood ‘stomping grounds’ of Montreal and Quebec City was a delight and a bittersweet trip down memory lane. Although I have proudly and fondly called Alberta home since 1980, I think the province of Quebec is beautiful and rich in culture and I would encourage my Western Canadians friends to go visit the East Coast! Southern Alberta, the West side of the province and the North all have memorable charms and I never tire of traveling throughout Alberta.

Winter sports, fun summer treks to visit friends, recycling and municipal affair conferences have caused me to travel across the province. I have enjoyed meeting many interesting people and photographed some fascinating landmarks! I must admit I am a loyal Facebook fan, as this social media has contributed to precious friendships – and new ones – being nurtured over the years and has also helped keep me in touch with my neighbours’ milestones and opinions.

There are so many topics I am interested in and willing to write about, however there is not enough time, or space, to give them all justice. the challenges of seniors in our society, youth accomplishing so much in arts and sports, impressive venues being planned and completed in our region.

One of the venues I was impressed with and happy to report on was the Manluk Centre in Wetaskiwin, now a shiny jewel in that thriving city’s crown.

As a lifelong fan of the Canadian Forces, I thoroughly enjoyed attending and covering Remembrance Day ceremonies, in no less than four municipalities. A special note of gratitude to the three Project Heroes artists who showcased the brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the Afghanistan War, and to Al Cameron and Veteran Voices of Canada who organized the impressive Flags of Remembrance in Sylvan Lake. I am always fascinated to hear of the connections my friends and regional neighbours have with military heroes.

Since I moved from Leduc County to the City of Leduc in 1997 with my family, I have enjoyed the city’s constant and interesting growth. Its arts, sports and culture scene, the Leduc Rec Center and its fascinating lineup of activity, the Chamber of Commerce’s tireless mission and the business people who support non-profit groups, the list is long of the reasons I am totally entrenched in this community. Of course, if the opportunity presented itself to own a villa in Italy, well… I would have to spend a lot of time there.

There are many projects in the City of Leduc that I intend to follow up on in the new year: the awesome expansion of our Municipal Library, exciting events at the International Airport, the completion of the Splash Park this summer (Bravo to the tireless Splash Park Moms on their fundraising, “Cooking with a Splash” cookbook!) and the construction of our beloved multiway through new Leduc neighbourhoods.

As my five children have grown and gone to school in Calmar and Leduc, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them. France and hubby Christoff Lang have proudly rebuilt their basement after the High River floods, Riley and Ryan are now 13 and 10, busy with sports and artistic pursuits. Troy has done a great job raising his daughter Hailie in Devon, she is a little song bird, now 13. Chris, a global engineer, and wife Gailynne (formerly a Dakin of Leduc) are quite busy raising their three adorable little girls. Michelle (Salt) is continuing her triumphant journey since her accident of June 2011, busy as a ReMax Calgary realtor, she is also a motivational speaker and a member of Champions in the Classroom and training for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. Claire my youngest and Derek Lewicki are now proud homeowners in Sylvan Lake and loving their lakeside living.

As for my winter plans, well …… planning some antique reno projects, a few more trips across Canada and snowshoeing happily in my neighbourhood of South Telford and wherever I can. Happy 2015, Friends!

Pictured: The extended Vrolyk family. Photo contributed by Dominique Vrolyk

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