AgeCare Columbia Celebrates the Seniors of Distinction Awards!

24 October 2023

Seniors are mentors, volunteers and role models, but they’re rarely acknowledged for all they do. On October 5th, we celebrated some of the stand-out seniors in Lethbridge and area at the AgeCare Columbia Seniors of Distinction awards! Since they began in 2014, these awards have provided an opportunity to celebrate seniors who make significant contributions to select communities across Alberta and BC. Thanks to all the community members, dignitaries, local politicians, and friends and family members of the nominees that joined us.

Through the nomination process, we heard so many inspiring stories of amazing achievements and valuable community contributions. It was hard to pick just one winner in each category! Congratulations and thank you to all our nominees for everything you to do make Lethbridge a better place to live.

With all of that said, we are excited to introduce our AgeCare Columbia Seniors of Distinction Awards winners!

Shirley Marlatt – Arts

Shirley Marlatt is a beloved resident at AgeCare Columbia whose vibrant personality and artistic talent have left an indelible mark on the community. With her captivating artwork, Shirley has illuminated our surroundings during various holidays, bringing joy to all who view her creations. Not content with keeping her artistic talents to herself, she has collaborated with the recreation team to organize painting groups and encourages fellow residents to explore their creative sides. Shirley’s passion for art and her warm and welcoming spirit ensures that there’s always room for someone else to join in the artistic journey.

Norm Lepard – Leadership

Norm Lepard exemplifies leadership and compassion. He has always had a special place in his heart for the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association (LTRA), recognizing their vital need for financial support during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic when fundraising seemed impossible. With unwavering determination, Norm rallied a committee to breathe new life into the Drive for Dreams golf tournament. Over the past three years, this dedicated team, under Norm’s visionary guidance, has raised nearly $200,000 in much-needed funds for LTRA. Not only did Norm’s leadership shine through in his efforts for the LTRA, but he also extended a warm and caring hand to lonely shut-ins during the pandemic, brightening their days with his heartfelt calls. Norm’s dedication, resilience, and commitment to both the community and those in need make him a true leader and a deserving recipient of this award.

Stephen Peers – Community Service

Stephen’s commitment to volunteerism began in 1998 when he joined the board of directors for Kids Help Phone charity events in Calgary, and has continued for over 25 years across a variety of causes. A pivotal role as President of the board of directors of the Okotoks Agricultural Society was one of his earliest volunteer positions, where he oversaw budgets and spearheaded numerous successful fundraising events. He has served on the board of the Schomberg Agricultural Society in Ontario, the Mayne Island Food Bank, and Salish Sea Inter-Island Transportation Board, and also generously donated his time as the President of the Island Water Works Society and the Vice President of the Vancouver Island Porsche Club. Following his relocation to Lethbridge in 2022, he wasted no time in immersing himself in the local community, contributing to AgeCare Columbia’s Christmas to Remember program and later volunteering for the Kidney Foundation. Regardless of his location or career status, Stephen has remained deeply committed to not-for-profit causes and is consistently searching for opportunities to give back to his community.

Rae Ann Wipf – Healthy Living

Rae Ann is an inspiring example of lifelong learning and a passionate advocate for senior well-being. At the age of 56, Rae Ann achieved the impressive feat of earning a university degree in Therapeutic Recreation, demonstrating her commitment to the health and happiness of seniors in her own age group and beyond. Her dedication goes beyond her academic achievement – Rae Ann is now on a mission to establish a private therapeutic recreation company, which will enable her to support people who have faced the challenges of stroke, brain injuries, surgeries, and more. Through her work, she aims to enhance her patients’ quality of life and help them achieve their rehabilitation goals. Her remarkable journey shows that it’s never too late to pursue higher education and follow one’s dreams while making a profound impact on the lives of others.


While this ceremony was all about our winners, we couldn’t have made it happen without our amazing sponsors. Thank you to all of these local business for supporting our event and making it possible for us to recognize these deserving folks.

Our goal is to double the number of Seniors of Distinction Awards nominations we receive next year, so start thinking about an inspiring senior in your life that you could help us recognize. It could be a friend, a neighbour, a family member, or a community member who you’ve noticed making a positive impact. We can’t wait to hear their stories and celebrate their love and dedication for our communities!

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