66 years old
By Sally Samuel, Wood Buffalo Regional Library
Dave Hill is a life-long community member, leader, entrepreneur, and fierce advocate for the Wood Buffalo region. In fact, he is a third-generation pharmacist in Fort McMurray! His family have owned and ran pharmacies in Fort McMurray since 1921.
Not only a successful business owner of the first robo-automated, drive-thru pharmacy in Fort McMurray, Dave is someone who has consistently put his community first. When citizens were ordered to evacuate on May 3, 2016, due to the encroaching Horse River wildfire, he stayed behind to fill life-saving prescriptions for evacuees and essential service workers. He was escorted into town by emergency crew to work in 20-minute windows, only leaving on May 7th when the air quality became too dangerous. He still returned two days later to provide services to remaining workers.
An avid skier, Dave Hill, along with friend Bob Reynolds, are two names behind Fort McMurray’s beloved ski hill, Vista Ridge, originally opened in 1982. Through the years, Dave persisted in advocating for necessary renovations and funds from city council, eventually requesting that a committee be made in 1995 to maintain the ski hill’s needs. Nearly thirty years later, Dave continues to be an active committee member, to help keep Vista Ridge Ski Hill operating and enjoyed by countless many in our region.
Another way that Dave has served our community is by keeping a vital rehabilitation centre from closing in 2007. Wood Buffalo Wellness Society, operating the Mark Amy Treatment Centre, is a non-profit organization providing residential, therapeutic treatment and housing assistance to individuals and families facing addiction and homelessness. When the centre was about to close in 2007 due to mismanagement, Dave Hill and fellow community member Christine Burton assembled a board together to get this invaluable organization back on its feet. Along with Christine, Dave remains on the board as Vice Chair to this day.
These are only a few examples of Dave’s contributions to our region. Whether through charity, business, volunteerism, or recreation, Dave has dedicated much of his life to bettering the lives of those around him in his beloved home community, Fort McMurray.