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De Goojier selected as Melfort's citizen of the year

Kerrie de Gooijer has been selected as the citizen of the year for 2024.
Kerrie de Gooijer is Melfort's citizen of the year for 2024.

MELFORT — An active force in Melfort's curling community will be the community's citizen of the year

On March 13, the Melfort Trade Alliance Chamber of Commerce (MTACC) announced that Kerrie de Gooijer was selected as 2024 citizen of the year and Josephina Hovedestad as junior citizen of the year.

Citizen of the Year

De Goojier is a dedicated volunteer and agronomy operations manager, has played a pivotal role in elevating the Melfort Curling Club in Saskatchewan. Leading a successful fundraising campaign that secured over $800,000, de Gooijer’s practical approach and strategic thinking has revitalized the local curling scene. The Melfort Curling Club was named as host for Curling Day in Canada this year and had a live TSN broadcast and a wealth of activities, curling clinics and professional curlers to take in the day.

"Volunteering has always been a part of my life growing up and it's something that brings me joy," she said. "I'm aware that it often takes a group effort to make things happen, and so if I can play some sort of small role in 'making something happen', that is a good thing.

"With the curling rink specifically, hopefully we have kickstarted something that ensures the sport is here to stay. Through the process, it's been great to be able to meet so many great people and learn a lot of new things."

Junior Citizen

Josephina (Josey) Hovdestad has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to Melfort through community service, volunteerism, plus involvement in various organizations, leaving a significant positive impact on our community, according to documents from the chamber. Despite only residing in our community for a mere 2.5 years, Josey has already left an indelible mark through her dedication to service and involvement in various organizations.

Her rapid integration and profound contributions serve as a testament to her exceptional character and her commitment to making a difference. She has been a member of the girl guides of Canada for 11 years and earned the award the Canada Cord.

Hovdestad is also a proud Métis youth and who engages in her cultural community through Métis Local 22. In 2023, she was also involved in advocating at a provincial level for youth health issues through youth4change with other members of Melfort Youth Evolution.

Josey and Kerrie will be presented their awards at the Mel-Bex Awards Gala on March 23 in the CJVR Performing Arts Theater.