An Alberta couple has chosen a woman who volunteers with cancer patients as “the most loving person in Alberta” and rewarded her with a free trip to Hawaii.
Madena Reimer, transportation coordinator for a charity that helps cancer patients in rural Alberta get to appointments and treatments, was selected Friday as the winner of the competition.
Reimer, herself a breast cancer survivor, had her name drawn from a pool of 10 finalists selected by Cody and Eva Borek.
“I’m just elated. I’m overwhelmed. My mom passed away nine weeks ago so my mom’s going to go to Hawaii with me in spirit,” Reimer told CTV Edmonton after receiving the prize.
The Stettler, Alta. couple came up with the idea for the contest a month ago when they purchased a new car from a dealer and received the trip to Hawaii as a bonus.
They decided to give away the vacation and held a contest to pick the most-deserving traveller, setting up a Facebook page and asking for nominations.
By Jan. 16, the couple wrote a post saying they had received more than 15,000 names. They narrowed it down to 10 finalists, then left it to chance, drawing one name from a hat.
Cody Borek said Reimer was deserving of the award.
“Everyone who is going through cancer in her area, she takes them to their appointments and drives them back. But it’s not just that about her, it’s how much she touches all of these people’s lives, who are going through the biggest battle of their life,” Borek said.
The five-day prize trip is scheduled for March and includes flights and accommodation at a five-star hotel. An anonymous donor from Saskatchewan has kicked in $500 for spending money.
On the page description, the couple say they want to give the trip away “to somebody who lives like Christ in Central Alberta. This does not mean they have to be a Christian, this only means they must be Loving, Forgiving, Caring, and Compassionate.”
Organizing the contest was an inspiring experience, Cody told CTV Edmonton.
“You have no idea what some people do to help out their community, but it is really amazing,” he said.
Though the contest is now closed, the Boreks’ initiative has inspired other good deeds.
According to the contest’s page, the couple is teaming up with a local high school to write a book about the nominations, and a number of local Alberta resorts have stepped up and donated free getaways for the contest’s runner-ups