As a community service based organization, Northlands is proud to be surrounded by generous, kind and selfless individuals throughout the Capital Region. In 2015, we set out to celebrate and honour these individuals through our Local Heroes Contest in partnership with Global Edmonton.
Winners of the contest were publicly recognized in the K-Days Parade where Claire Pearson, Dan Johnstone (Can Man Dan), Kelly Micetich, Kyle Hazelhurst, Francisco Yu and Sophia Qaderi served as honourary parade marshals. In recognition of our Local Heroes’ dedication to community, Northlands also made a donation on behalf of each winner to the registered charity or not-for-profit of their choice.
This year, we continue the tradition and celebrate a new host of Local Heroes. The public has submitted its nominations, and the difficult task was undertaken to narrow the list of impressive nominees down to four winners who will serve as this year’s honourary K-Days Parade marshals:
Brenda Der – Champion of the Underdog
$2,500 donation to B’s Supporting Youth Foundation
Brenda Der is known throughout Edmonton for supporting the less fortunate, from offering food to providing room in her home. Der has maintained her generosity and compassion through difficult times. Devastated by the loss of her son in 2010, she re-committed to helping those in need. She originally supported this endeavor through her restaurant, B’s Diner, until its closure in 2014. Today, she continues to provide for her community through B’s Supporting Youth Foundation.
The foundation began in 2013 when Der collaborated with the Grade 5 students at St. Richard Elementary school. Together, they developed a bagged lunch program that ensures a healthy lunch for Edmonton area students in need. The foundation was officially registered in 2014, and students from both Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools have contributed to more than 5,000 bagged lunches.
Der has been described as a compassionate individual with an immense amount of love to give. Her passion for helping those who are less fortunate is inspiring a new generation of humanitarians. We are proud to recognize her ongoing support of those in need.
Kevin Langille – Community Builder
$2,500 donation to the Make-A-Wish® Northern Alberta
Kevin Langille was nominated as a Local Hero by his daughter. As a worker for Culligan Water, Langille had to put his personal life on hold during the wildfires in Wood Buffalo and Fort McMurray region. He tirelessly went back and forth between Edmonton and Fort McMurray carrying supplies—such as basic food and water—to first responders.
Upon hearing that Fort McMurray needed more water, he immediately dropped his vacation plans to head north to support the community. Described by those who know him as the most hardworking man they know, Langille is one of many unsung heroes of the Fort McMurray wildfire. We are pleased to recognize his noble and charitable actions.
Nicole Baker – Community Mentor
$2,500 donation to ShelterBox
Nicole Baker is an enthusiastic and involved member of Edmonton community. She offers her home and friendship to exchange students and is known amongst her peers for encouraging her family and friends to support the less fortunate through organizations such as ShelterBox. Baker leads by example by participating in many walk and runs for causes, including most recently the Edmonton MS walk.
As an enthusiastic member of the student community, she is the founder and the current international coordinator of the Paul Kane Interact Club at her school. The Interact Club provides youth-driven volunteering at organizations such as the Edmonton Food Bank and the Mustard Seed as well as contributions towards international charitable projects.
Nominated by someone who experienced her mentorship firsthand, Baker is described as putting forth an undying effort to mentor and protect those around her. We are grateful to have her develop and work with those in the community and proud to recognize her work as a mentor.
Haylen Astalos – Young Hero
$2,500 donation to Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta
Haylen Astalos is our smallest Local Hero, but his heart far surpasses his size. At just six years-old, Haylen runs a mobile stand where he sells ice cream, hot chocolate and t-shirts to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer. Additionally, he conducts bottle drives and collects donations through a Go Fund Me account.
Haylen began his journey into philanthropy at five years old by selling ice cream from a small wooden stand. He has raised over $6000 for the Ronald McDonald House and partnered with Peavey Mart in Red Deer, Boston Pizza in Blackfalds and Reverse Dealer to continue to boost his fundraising efforts.
His tenacious commitment to charity can be admired by his peers as well as those many years his senior. We are proud to recognize his generous spirit and engagement with the community.
The K-Days Parade is a celebration of summer, culture and community in the Capital Region, and Northlands is proud of the Local Heroes who will serve as honourary parade marshals in the 137th edition of K-Days. Be sure to attend on July 22 at 10 a.m. for a K-Days Parade that will make you feel proud to be a part of this community.