Shannon Clay is the Claresholm Citizen of the Year for 2019.
She was honoured with the award at the Volunteer Appreciation in Amundsen Park on Sept. 10, put on by Claresholm and District Family and Community Support Services.
Brad Schlossberger, a councillor with the Town of Claresholm, presented the award, reading from the letter nominating Clay for the award.
Clay has been a member of the Kinette Club of Claresholm for more than 30 years, volunteering in a variety of ways.
She has held virtually every position within the club at least twice.
“And is a wealth of knowledge to all members,” Schlossberger read. “Her sunny disposition day in and day out is something to strive for.
“She is always there for anyone and is a great friend.”
Moreover, she and a few others literally kept the club going even when it was done to four members.
Clay has spearheaded or been involved in many projects.
She was chair of the Kinette Craft Fair for more than 10 years, including taking all the table bookings, mapping it out, dealing with vendor requests and concerns, doing set up, decorating, working at the event, and clean up. She spent more than 75 hours on this year’s event.
Clay has been a key member in planning Oktoberfest, Halloween parties and ladies night out. She sold tickets, did decorations, and is usually keeper of the keys meaning she is the first to arrive and last to leave.
She has also been involved in other Kinette functions such as executive meetings, spring district meetings, and regional meetings that have taken her to many places, usually travelling at her own expense.
“Shannon has put in countless hours promoting Kinettes in this manner,” Schlossberger read.
Cystic Fibrosis is the national charity for Kinettes. Clay has helped in fundraising for them, and been at the walks for CF the club has put on.
Every two years or so, the Kinettes work a fundraising casino and Clay can be counted on to step up, fill in the spots, and bring her friends along.
She will do anything that needs doing such as presenting scholarships and donations; digging in the dirt and picking rocks to open Kin Trail; setting up at Winterfest; selling 50/50 tickets at Agriplex events; bartending at functions; the Fair Days parade and much more.
“How many hours has Shannon given to the community through Kinettes alone – who knows, it’s in the thousands,” Schlossberger read.
Clay also volunteered with the Claresholm Skating Club, helping with decorations and design for carnivals and costumes. She helps other organizations as well, such as selling tickets for the Claresholm Arts Society.
“Everything that Shannon is a part of is to better our community – all her countless volunteer hours do not benefit her – they benefit the town and surrounding community – all the fundraising she helps with stays right here,” Schlossberger read.
While her children were growing up, she helped at playschool bringing snacks, helped with crafts and other activities throughout elementary school and into high school such as field trips, hot lunch programs, extra-curricular activities and more.
She also, through her business, donates products and gift baskets to a multitude of fundraisers.
“This is an award that is for a person who lives the life of what it means to be a Clareshomian and also gives back to the community,” Schlossberger read. “Shannon Clay embodies this through and through. Shannon truly embodies what it means to be a small town girl with a big heart – she is caring and kind. We are truly lucky to have her in our community.”
(Please see related stories on pages nine and 16 of the paper)
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