What it Takes to Raise a Village

Posted: January 19, 2017 Category: Media Releases, Our Team, Vendor,

Born and raised in the small town of Mundare, Alberta, Edward E. Stawnichy grew up learning how to connect with people. He held a wide definition of community building, and his vision of bringing our world famous sausage to all of Alberta was more than just business. It also included looking forward and building a foundation for future Albertans as well. He knew that a potential key to provincial prosperity was to give back to his community-at-large, and Stawnichy Meat Processing (SMP) has done plenty of that over the decades. The family has donated countless dollars to fundraisers, community events, and even sponsored athletes and academic programs. Additionally, since 2001, SMP has contributed to athletic scholarships for female student athletes on the University of Alberta Ringette team. Two of the recent recipients, Cateline Joly, a third-year History major, and Christine Chauvet, a fourth-year student in the Nursing Honours program, have both been playing competitive ringette for more than eight years now. They say that the Stawnichy scholarships help play a significant role in allowing them to concentrate on both their academic careers and their time on the ice.

“As students, we already have tough academic schedules. Add in a student athlete schedule, and your days are that much longer. I normally have six hours of straight classes, practices during the weekdays, and games during the weekends. The scholarships give us an added advantage over those busy schedules.”Cateline Joly

Chauvet nods and agrees with Joly. “Our schedules are so busy that we have very limited time, especially to work, so the scholarships help immeasurably,” she states. “It would be very hectic to fit in all the studying, playing, and coaching without a scholarship. We are very thankful to the Stawnichy family for continuing to support us over the years.”

Paul Hotke, a team coach for more than 14 years, enforces education as a primary focus for his players. He says that all of the girls on the team are very aware of a limited future in professional ringette, and they understand that to achieve success in life, they also must do well in school. He says that you can coach skills, but you cannot coach determination and drive, and he is very proud that several graduates have gone on to successful careers, and some are now even community leaders. He also states that SMP has helped play a role in shaping those careers at the same time through contributing to the scholarship foundation.

Dr. Robert Bailey, the man responsible for encouraging Ed to contribute to the team, and who also happened to be his physician, remembers Ed as if they had only spoken yesterday. “He was very adamant in helping out with the scholarship foundation,” says Bailey and pauses with a wistful smile. “Ed always looked to the future, for his business, his community, and his family.

“He always went out of his way to make a difference in his community above and beyond his business sense, and for this fact alone, he touched so many of our lives. And that, still to this day, is part of his legacy: always giving back and always wanting to make a difference. If there was ever a community leader, he was it.”

Many people knew Ed, and many more know of him, but it might surprise most to know that he was extremely multi-faceted, from a business man, to a community leader, a philanthropist, even a successful traveling musician. However, family was first and foremost for Ed, and he spread that principle to his immediate family as well as all of his customers across the province. Over the next months, we will be introducing you to some of those facets, and we hope you come along with us for the trip down memory lane.

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