The Town of Rocky Mountain House recognized the achievement of residents who have contributed to the community in the Citizen of the Year Awards.  

The awards honour recipients for achievements in athletics, arts and culture, citizenship and other areas of excellence.  


Here are the 2024 Citizen of the Year Awards recipients:  


Youth Civic Award: Makenna Usselman 

The recipient of our Youth Civic Award is a shining example of the bright generation coming up. 

Between school, sports and now work (coincidentally for the Town of Rocky Mountain House, as a member of the Credit Union Co-op Aquatic Centre team), she shows excellent leadership skills, and is always eager to lend a helping hand. 

From refereeing and scorekeeping school sports, to catching the Tarzan rope for littler swimmers, this young person is a wonderful, cheerful and kind member of our community.  

She is a mentor to younger kids, and a real gem.  

To be eligible for the award, Usselman had to demonstrate leadership, care, compassion, and the ability to overcome personal challenges, while motivating others and using special skills to improve quality of life in the community.  


Special Achievement Award: Sarah Fotty 

When temperatures plunged dangerously low in January, Sarah Fotty single-handedly organized an overnight warming shelter for unhoused members of our community. She rallied volunteers, donations and businesses to ensure her vulnerable neighbours were warm and safe. 

It was this noteworthy effort that prompted her nomination for a Special Achievement Award, but her generosity is evident 12 months of the year. 

She never gives up on at-risk youth, often spending her own money, time and skills to organize events that benefit children and teens. As champion of the Rocky Skate Park Society, she keeps youth engaged through all seasons with creative, healthy and meaningful projects. 

Her nominator wrote, “Sarah works daily to humanize and support the struggling.” 

To be eligible for the award, Fotty had to show a noteworthy act that benefited the community. 


Award for Distinguished Voluntary Service: Cynthia McCaughley 

The Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service is given in recognition of a Rocky Mountain House citizen judged to best exemplify the attributes of a great volunteer in Rocky Mountain House. Someone who volunteers for the benefit of the community, and who inspires others to give their time for the same.  

Cynthia McCaughley is known for her tireless efforts in planning, rallying and executing Easter on Main Street, Halloween on Main, annual Remembrance Day fundraisers for the R.L. Zengel Legion. She’s behind the Burly Beard’s summertime fundraisers of airbrush tattoos, cotton candy and lemonade in support of the Rocky Junior Rebels. 

She has organized benefit drives for families in hard times, and is raising her kids to do the same. Her family’s fundraisers have raised over $250,000 for the community in the past 15 years. 

She puts community first in almost everything she does.  

To be eligible for the award, McCaughley had to inspire others to become volunteers in the community through her own volunteerism.  



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