Chestermere student wins money for fundraiser
Chestermere Town council has announced this year’s recipient of the annual Dave Mikkelson award, June 8.
Hannah Papke, a 12-year-old student at St. Gabriel the Archangel was awarded $1,000 for her plan to make the annual Loop Around the Lake September fundraiser more inclusive for children.
“I was really surprised when I won, and super thankful,” Hannah said. “My mom told me about the award, and I thought it would be cool to see if I could make a big change in Chestermere and help out with something.”
The Dave Mikkelson program, a 12-year initiative, was established in 2010 by Chestermere council and the recipient receives money to give to the cause of his or her choice. The program was initiated in recognition of Mikkelsen, the former mayor of Chestermere.
Papke was motivated to support the Loop Around the Lake fundraiser, which provides money to the Chestermere Public Library, after participating for two years in the event and noticing a gap in options for youth in the race.
“The race currently provides a kids one-kilometre race as well as a five kilometre for all ages. However, I feel that by the age of 12 one is able to run further than one kilometre but should not have to compete against adults in the five-kilometre race,” Papke stated in her application. “I would also like to see age appropriate prizes for the youth category such as sporting goods, toys or electronics instead of massage kits and diet shakes.”
Papke’s mom, Sarah, said her daughter wanted to boost the amount of participation in the event by getting youth involved.
“She thought if she could establish a race category for youth, that maybe it would get more kids excited about the event, because in past years there haven’t been that many young participants,” said Sarah. “It’s a good event, we really enjoy it, and it’s great for kids to take part in because it’s for the library, which kids use and can benefit from for many years.”
Papke’s request for grant dollars highlighted how she would spend it on the event. She explained her budget and how she was going to establish a youth category at the run and offer prizes, as well as organize a clinic for any kids who are interested in learning more about running.
Papke said that the organizer of the race, Bernard Maillet, was one of the main reasons she chose to give back to the event.
“Bernie does so many great things for Chestermere so I thought I should help him out,” she said.
The Dave Mikkelson award is given to one youth between the ages of 12 and 17, or one organization that serves youth between those ages, whose purpose is to support or enhance the social, educational, spiritual or recreational development of youth and/or the community.
Mikkelsen is especially known for his support and commitment to giving the youth of Chestermere a voice in council and community endeavours.