South Peace News
High Prairie town council has added two more citizens to its Citizens Monument to recognize outstanding service to the community.
Cori Burgar and Barry Sharkawi were added during a brief ceremony July 19.
Mayor Brian Panasiuk thanked both recipients for their service and dedication before posing in front of the monument with their nameplates.
Burgar was selected for 2020, Sharkawi for 2021.
Burgar was nominated by Chris Clegg, who cited Burgar’s outstanding record of volunteering and community involvement including:
- 2000-current: member of High Prairie Royal Purple [now Royal Purple Elks] including past service as Honoured Royal Lady.
- 2008-2018: High Prairie Dolphins Swim Club executive.
- 2008-Current: Ukrainian Cultural Society of High Prairie executive.
- High Prairie Community Beautification Association [20+ years].
- High Prairie St. Andrew’s School Parent Council.
“While Cori is not front and centre of these organizations, she works tirelessly behind the scenes doing organizational and secretarial duties. She does the ‘dirty work’ of taking minutes and organizing agendas. I cannot begin to tell you how many hours she spends preparing minutes and agendas in addition to her job. Her service is invaluable,” wrote Clegg.
“I know first-hand her involvement in Beautification,” wrote Clegg, who chairs the organization.
“Preparing agenda minutes, sending out correspondence, now acting as treasurer, we would be lost without her. As a Beautification member and Royal Purple Elks, she is one of many running around behind the scenes at HP Light-Up at the Fire Hall making sure everything runs smoothly.”
He also noted that Burgar, with the help of her husband, Tony Gomes, also broadcasts the Santa Claus Parade, High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Parade, and annual Nov. 11 Remembrance Day service on South Peace News’ website ensuring shut-ins can watch when they otherwise could not.
Burgar has also worked bingos and casinos for many local charitable organizations.
Sharkawi also has a long history of involvement and dedication to High Prairie. He was nominated by Denise Willier because of his 15 years of involvement with the High Prairie and District Children’s Resource Council and because he helped lobby for the new High Prairie Health Complex.
“He is a very caring and compassionate person who will go above and beyond for his family and friends,” wrote Willier in her nomination.
Sharkawi moved to High Prairie in 1973 and has operated many businesses. He has always had a deep passion for politics and community service, having served on countless provincial and federal boards including the Conservative party provincial constituency association and town council.
Locally, he was also involved with the former Lesser Slave Lake Economic Alliance [chair] as well as the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce [current chair], and former High Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce. By building contacts through the provincial government, Sharkawi played an important role in the Tolko plant start-up and the installation of the renal dialysis unit at the hospital.
Through the current chamber, he was involved in the petition for the old hospital demolition which is nearing completion. Regarding the construction of the new hospital, Sharkawi was recognized by Alberta Health Services for his efforts.
As chair of the CRC, Sharkawi supported and worked toward High Prairie being the hub for children’s services in the region despite bids from other communities.
Sharkawi was named as chair of the Northern Lakes College board of governors April 6. He plans to work toward expanding programs and services.
Sharkawi also has a deep passion for sports and recreation He has served on the executive of the High Prairie Regals including president, and supports all sports including the High Prairie Red Wings, High Prairie Minor Hockey, and the Treaty 8 First Nations Cup.