Wetaskiwin woman earns Florence Riske Caregiver Award

Pigeon Lake Child and Family Society presents award Sept. 22

The Pigeon Lake Child and Family Society recently presented its Florence Riske Caregiver Award to Corene Bernier.

The Pigeon Lake Child and Family Society (PLCFS) is comprised of seven board members who are centrally located around Pigeon Lake. Our society was incorporated in 2001 by a group of committed community members who wanted to make some positive changes in our region. Our society believes that strong families build strong communities. In defining family, we strive to strengthen the value of children, youth, parents and our elders as vital members of a healthy and vibrant community. Our three major projects each year consist of:

Cultural programs – four of our resident elementary schools are provided with an Albert Opera Performance as well as attendance at the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in Edmonton for a performance during the school year. The society provides the funding for these cultural events.

Santa’s Elves – for the 2018 holiday season, 219 children received Christmas gifts and 85 families received food hampers to brighten up this special time of year.

Florence Riske caregiver award – established in 2007, our first recipient, Florence Riske, cared for her disabled son, Melvin, in their home until her passing at age 92 and Melvin at age 71. Each year, we seek a new recipient for the award as we feel that in our busy lives and with the hustle and bustle of daily living, society as a whole has not given the deserved recognition to these caregivers.

This year, our 12th recipient, Corene Bernier of Wetaskiwin, was recognized at Mitchell’s Café on September 22. Corene was born in Edmonton and raised in Wetaskiwin. Her father Norris was transferred to Wetaskiwin with Home Hardware.

After Darlene was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Norris built their current home in Wetaskiwin in 1994. He built it totally wheelchair accessible so that he could care for her in their own home. Almost eight years ago, Norris passed away suddenly. That is when everything changed.

Corene was working at the time in Camrose. She gave up her career there to return to Wetaskiwin to look after her mother. Corene has a sister Christa who lives with her family in Wetaskiwin and a brother Colin who is living with his family in Beaumont. Corene loves gardening and especially enjoys time spent with her nieces and nephews. Corene currently works at the Boy and Girls club in Wetaskiwin so that she is only moments away from her Mom if needed. Corene’s commitment has given Darlene the luxury of being able to live in her own home.

The board members of the PLCFS feel that Corene truly deserves this award and the recognition for the dedication, commitment and love that Corene so selflessly provides.

– Cindy Labrie, board member Pigeon Lake Child and Family Society

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