After more than a month, Ron and Shelley Horn have finally adjusted to being named Prince Albert Citizens of the Year.
In December, the couple became the first co-award winners since 1979, but it wasn’t until Saturday night that reality finally hit home.
“It’s so, so special,” Ron said during the 2017 Citizen of the Year ceremony at the Prince Albert Inn. “It wasn’t even until (we were) sitting here and listening to other people talk about us that it really sunk in.”
“It’s overwhelming to see all of our friends and family here, and all of the kind words that they’ve said,” Shelley added. “I’m speechless.”
The common themes throughout Saturday’s ceremony were giving and positivity. Speakers like former Citizen of the Year Lyle Karasiuk, who was the driving force behind the couple’s nomination, said Ron and Shelley embody the kind of can-do spirit that illustrates the best Prince Albert has to offer. Whether they were organizing or volunteering, the Horn’s left their mark.
“I’m sure that, like many of us, there were days where they said, ‘is it really worth the effort?’” Karasiuk said in his speech. “But somehow through the struggles the found traction and that very positive attitude, and Shelley’s infectious smile, made things happen. The Horns make things happen.”
It didn’t take as long for reality to sink in with Ron and Shelley’s family, although it was still a little surreal. Their son Mike Horn said he considers himself fortunate to grow up in a community where his parents were so invested in what was going on. However, even he was a bit over overwhelmed at the moment.
“You look at the list of recipients for this award, and to have mom and dad a part of that list, it’s just, wow,” Mike said.
After moving to Prince Albert decades ago to start a business, Ron and Shelley wasted little time getting involved in the community. Ron became a member of the Kinsmen Club, while Shelley volunteered many hours for numerous Prince Albert charities and organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society.
Those contributions did not go unnoticed by other members of the community.
“I would just like to thank Ron and Shelley for all the things they’ve done and for all the things my kids have been involved in, because they go to a lot of the stuff where (the Horns) have volunteered, the skate parks, the biking trails and the skiing,” Prince Albert Daily Herald publisher Donna Pfeil said. “Unknowingly, they have contributed to my children growing up in this community, and it’s all behind the scenes.”
“We see every day the benefits of people working together and volunteerism and people working together to make our community better. It’s that sense of developing our community that makes Prince Albert what it is, people coming together and donating their time and effort and skills, as Ron and Shelley have so many times.” Prince Albert Kinsmen Club president Brad Amy added.
Although the Horns gave a lot, the benefits didn’t flow just one way. Both said they were grateful to find a community like Prince Albert, and had no regrets about settling down and raising their family here. The community, they explained, gave just as much back to them.
“We’ve given of ourselves, but we’ve received 10 times more,” Ron said. “This community has been so, so good for our souls.”
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