By Rob Vogt
Local Press Writer
Long before she was elected mayor of Claresholm, Chelsae Petrovic was giving back to her community.
For those efforts, she was named Claresholm’s 2020 Citizen of the Year at the Old Fashioned Christmas in downtown Claresholm on Friday night, Nov. 26.
“I am only capable of the things I do because of the people I surround myself with,” she said on accepting the award from Shannon Clay, last year’s citizen of the year.
Petrovic was selected by an independent committee early in the year and was initially to be presented the award at the community’s Volunteer Appreciation on April 22, but those plans changed when the event was cancelled to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
It was re-scheduled for Sept. 22, but again the Volunteer Appreciation was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Petrovic’s nomination, by an anonymous nominator, details her contributions to the community.
“Let me introduce you to Chelsae Petrovic, our beautiful community hero volunteer,” it stated. “She is a married mother of two children and employed as an LPN (licensed practical nurse).
She served on the boards of the Claresholm Child Care Society, as a director of fundraising, and on the board of the Learn-A-Lot Playschool.
Petrovic remains a member of the Claresholm Welcoming Committee helping immigrants adjust to the community.
She is also the team leader and community coordinator for MyCityCare.
“Through this program, she initiated ‘Farm to Table’. She applied for a grant through the government, enabling her and other volunteers to package and deliver locally sourced food for seven to 10 days of well-rounded meals to those in need. To date they were able to supply 191 families in our community,” the nomination read, adding she oversees a back-to-school program providing school supplies for those in need.
“She has spent countless hours setting up the Shop of Wonders. This program supports families with their needs at Christmas, bringing hope and joy to over 130 children this past year with donations from our wonderful community members.
“The Cinderella Project which she introduced last year through MyCityCare, provides gowns and tuxes, as well as hair and make-up to our community grads.”
This summer, she introduced the Summer Lunch Box Program through MyCityCare. When school was closed until fall, there was a need to supply food to young students. These were simple breakfast and lunch options that students could prepare themselves.
“Chels is a person that is always seeking to identify needs in our community and then does everything she can to make sure those needs are met,” the nomination concluded.
“Chels is our hero volunteer!”
By Rob Vogt