Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch celebrates their 35th Anniversary

ABOVE: Cake cutting with the first SRCW President Bernie Prefontaine. Prefontaine was President from 1983- 1984.

by Lucie Roy

Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch Association (SRCWA) celebrated their 35th anniversary on Monday night at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre with close to 100 people in attendance.

The event celebrated the presidents and volunteers for the last 35 years, Fred Scharmann award recipients, Poster contest winners and a presentation from the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Office on Cannabis.

ABOVE: Sheila Scharmann holding the Fred Scharmann award in recognition of all Past Presidents and volunteers in SRCW for the past 35 years. Past Presidents Putnam, Cloutier, Kremer, de Champlain, Belsiuk, and Prefontaine.

Presidents-1983 to the present

The 35th anniversary celebrated the Presidents and all current and past members of SRCW for the past 35 years of volunteerism. Of the fifteen Presidents from 1983 to the present eight were in attendance to be acknowledged with the Fred Scharmann award and received a Certificate and souvenir anniversary coffee cup. Four of the past-presidents were unable to attend, one being Francoise Meunier. In a message, Meunier said, “On behalf of all past presidents I would like to thank all the many volunteers that we have worked with during our terms. I can tell you from experience – a president is nothing without great people to work with – I may be a bit partial, but I think my group was the best.”

Past- presidents include Bernie Prefontaine, William Mitchell, Raymond Kremer, Cal Putnam, Henry Bergstreiser (deceased), Pat Pelsma, Jim Eddleston (deceased), Emile Cloutier, Jerry Belziuk, Shawn Viney, Ricky de Champlain, Margaret Romanowski, Roger Nykipilo (deceased) and Francoise Meunier.

Above: Sheila Scharmann and family on stage to present the Fred Scharmann award.

Fred Scharmann Award

Sheila Scharmann and family presented the Fred Scharmann award to acknowledge all presidents and volunteers of SRCW.

Sheila’s husband, Fred, volunteered in a variety of activities within Sturgeon County. He assisted Bjorg Carlson to build the Morinville and District Ambulance. He was a leader for Scouts Canada and coached minor soccer. He had joined the Citizens on Patrol (COP) which led in participating with the RCMP Auxiliary Policing Program. He became involved with SRCW and was happy to help where he could, which included the community parades by pulling the float.

He also became the support truck driver for the Roger Champagne memorial Bike Trip which was sponsored by the Morinville Community High School. He also volunteered in St. Albert doing Kindergarten Tours with the Orthopedic Department as well as driving bus for seniors.

President Bonnie Swart-Attwood said, “I would very much like to say on behalf of myself and our members here with SRCWA we will always continue the Fred Scharmann Legacy. It was an honour to share his biography with everyone here, Sheila, thank you.”

The first presentation of the Fred Scharmann award was made at the 30th anniversary in 2013, and it was posthumously presented to Fred. Fred passed away in Dec. 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer. The plaque is on display in the cabinet in the lobby at the Sturgeon County office.

Above: MCHS student Conan Bolen received first in the Computer Generated category at SRCW and first at APRCWA. Presentation by Carol Okerman and RCMP Sgt Chris Palfy.

Above: MCHS student Doveina Bolen received second place for Grade 9 at SRCW level.

Poster Contest

The 2018 Poster Contest winners were announced by the Contest Coordinator and judge Dolly Bolen.

Covering ten categories; from Grades 1 to 9 and the computer category. There were five Provincial winners from SRCW. This included one from Namao School, Gibbons, Ecole Citadelle in Legal, Lillian Schick in Bon Accord and one from MCHS. A total of 27 local winners from SRCW were presented with certificates and cheques.

Above: Ecole Notre Dame student Adrian Meade received first place for her Grade Level from SRCW.

Notre Dame student Antonio Ricioppo received first place at SRCW for Grade 1.


Alberta’s System for Legalized Cannabis was the topic covered by Ethan Bayne, Executive Director, Strategy and Planning of the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, Cannabis Secretariat.

The presentation covered the milestones, Federal Legislation, public use, possession limits, growing plants at home, and drug-impaired driving. Oversight and distribution, online sales and pitfalls, private cannabis retail stores, minimum age, policy priorities, the future of cannabis in Alberta, and Federal packaging requirements were also covered.

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