Alberta's 'most loving person' contest: Madena Reimer wins Hawaii vacation
Overwhelmed by thousands of entries, Stettler couple chose winner from a hat
Madena Reimer from Athabasca has received a week-long vacation in Hawaii for being Alberta's "most loving person."
"Trip or no trip, my heart continues to beat, to love, and to try and make a difference every day," said the two-time cancer survivor. "That is my mission in life."
Cody and Eva Borek, who live in the town of Stettler roughly 80 kilometres east of Red Deer, received a voucher for the trip with the purchase of a new vehicle in December.
But instead of taking the vacation, they decided to give it away.
Over the past few weeks, they've received close to 20,000 nominations in the form of phone calls, emails and social media posts.
"I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for Cody and Eva for putting the light out there," said Reimer, who drove four hours to be present for the announcement on Friday. "It's such a dark world ... and we need to show people kindness matters."
She said her mom passed away nine weeks ago, and they will be travelling together in spirit.
Tough choice, says contest organizer
Cody Borek spoke with Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray on Friday morning. Borek talked about the difficulty of paring down the list of finalists.
"It was extremely difficult to narrow down, but what was even harder is getting to 50 people and then narrow that down to 10, because all 50 — or even more — would have been so worthy."
Reimer was picked at random out of a hat among the 10 finalists, who were all present for the announcement on Friday.
But there are other winners too, including RCMP officer Robert Hynes, after more donors came forward with prizes for the finalists since the contest began. Another trip was donated to an RCMP fundraiser and the Boreks found out they will still get a chance to relax in Hawaii.
Borek said it will be a great honeymoon for him and his wife.