This presentation was submitted by Amanda Zimmer, General Manager of the Claresholm Local Press and Rob Vogt, Editor and presented at the online AGM October 1, 2020

For almost 35 years, Roxanne Thompson has been a leader in industry, business, and her community, leaving a deep mark on the place she calls home.

As a member of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association, she was elected to the board in 2007 and served until 2011. Roxanne chaired the Better Newspaper Competition committee from 2008 to 2011; chaired the Industry Education Committee from 2009 to 2011; and in December of 2014 she joined the C. A. MacLean Bursary Foundation committee.

In her community, she has been a tireless advocate for newspapers and the vital role they play, opening the doors of the Local Press for youth tours and having staff make presentations to school classes, 4-H clubs, and other organizations.

Through her role as publisher of the Claresholm Local Press, she has been a supporter of the Claresholm Food Bank. The office of the Local Press acts as a year-round drop-off point for food bank donations. During Claresholm’s annual Fair Days parade in August, the Local Press has hosted a “food drive on wheels” the past 12 years, where food bank donations are picked up by volunteers pushing shopping carts.

At Christmas time, the Local Press, lead by Roxanne, has coordinated applications and donations for the Christmas Hamper program for more than 25 years, helping those in need. On average, 140 families a year have benefitted from the program.

Roxanne has organized Old Fashioned Christmas for the past 17 years. This event kicks off the shopping season with late-night shopping; horse-drawn wagon rides; music; carollers walking around the downtown; the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree; and beef on a bun, which is a fundraiser for the food bank.

Moonlight Madness was another late-night shopping event Roxanne organized each February for more than 15 years, encouraging people to shop local and support local businesses.

Her latest fundraising event is a Zombie Walk held in the fall the past four years, with all proceeds going to KidSport Claresholm. This event is co-ordinated through the Local Press with help from three other community partners.

When you weave everything together, you get a vivid picture of Roxanne Thompson’s commitment to her industry and her community.

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