2017 CKE Community Builder Award: Wendy Kennelly

Posted by admin

Each year the community association recognizes an individual or group who consistently participates in making our community a great place to live.

This year’s recipient is Wendy Kennelly!

Wendy has lived in Chinook Park for the last 10 years with her husband Dan, and their children Sarah and Joey.

Wendy first joined the community association board in 2010 and was a director for 6 years, serving as President from 2011-2014. When Wendy joined, the CA was in difficult financial shape and a facility lifecycle study identified our hall as requiring over $450,000 in near term lifecycle costs. Under Wendy’s guidance, with significant contributions from other community members, the board conducted a strategic review in order to identify the best course of action to address this liability.

Out of the review it was determined the best course of action was to build a new facility in place of our existing one. Spending the $450,000 on lifecycle costs, even if we could raise it, would still not address many of the other deficiencies with our current hall in terms of accessibility and the ability to host the wide range of programing and events identified in our community needs study. A Capital Campaign Committee was formed and an exhaustive fundraising effort initiated, that after 5 years is quickly approaching its conclusion with the great news we were receiving a CFEP grant from the Alberta government.

The list of events, and fundraisers in this campaign is too long to mention here. But last year’s Hot Wheels Raffle alone amounted to close to a full-time job for Wendy (and Dawn!) for the better part of a year.

This whole process was an ambitious undertaking, and at no point was the success of the new hall project a guarantee. Fundraising was much more challenging than expected as we ramped up efforts heading into a very difficult time for the Alberta economy. Wendy remained undeterred and displayed incredible determination to seeing this project through. Wendy’s commitment to community extends beyond CKE, and at least twice during our campaign Wendy supported re-committed fundraising events to support more urgent causes that arose. This occurred during the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines, and last year during the Fort McMurray fires. In both cases the community turned to help in the aftermath of those disasters through the Red Cross.

Wendy has, through her career, also committed herself to the non-profit sector, most recently for the Provincial Director for the Terry Fox Foundation.

With construction to begin in the new year on our new hall, Wendy’s efforts are unmatched in creating a legacy that will add a tremendous amount of value to our community and be enjoyed by generations to come. I am so happy to present this award on behalf of the community to Wendy!