In Honour of Darlene Predham
On June 16, 2020, amidst the spring flood recovery efforts and the re-opening to the local economy, the Wood Buffalo region was looking forward to better days ahead. But then, a heartbreaking pause followed when the community learned of the loss of their most valued volunteer and community friend; Darlene Predham had passed away.
Two days following, the Northern Lights Health Foundation (NLHF) released a community statement titled: “Extraordinary Volunteer Darlene Predham Passes Away.”
Messages poured in of heartfelt reflections on the impacts Darlene had made to their lives with her caring character and always-welcoming demeanour. They recalled the times they had seen her at numerous community events throughout the years, sharing her contagious, enthusiastic smile.
When the social profit sector needed help, Darlene was there in a heartbeat. This included involvement with organizations like Keyano Theatre and the Wood Buffalo Food Bank. She participated in the RMWB’s WinterPLAY festivals, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, past Easter Egg Hunts at Dunvegan Gardens and hundreds of other community events.
Darlene was also a community ambassador for the NLHF by volunteering on many levels for their initiatives. The NLHF shared her level of commitment in their announcement by stating how the Foundation was “very fortunate that she chose to spend her healthy time between recurring bouts of cancer in support of our mission. She often told us she was ever grateful for the cancer treatment and follow-up she received at the hospital and truly felt that great healthcare should always be available locally.”
Darlene helped pave the way for others on the road to community involvement by her continued passion for selflessly contributing her time, no matter her barriers.
Your McMurray Magazine’s Selection Committee for the Top 50 Under 50 recognizes this year’s Class of 2020 in Darlene Predham’s honour as she was a one-of-a-kind light in the community who will continue to shine through our volunteer efforts for decades to come.
Darlene Predham’s mother Genny Pilgrim shared with Your McMurray Magazine why her daughter was so passionate about helping others in the Wood Buffalo region.
“Darlene wanted to give thanks for the life she had and the community she loved. The hospital was what she liked the most because she wanted to give back. She was thanking them for the way she was treated every time she was admitted. I thank God every day that her suffering is over, and I thank all her friends for being in her life. She was the rock of our family.”
A Celebration of Life for Darlene is planned to be held on June 16, 2021, pending COVID-19 restrictions. The Northern Lights Health Foundation (NLHF) also has a memorial fund to honour Darlene on the Honour & Remember Wall. Donations can be made by contacting NLHF at 780-791-6041.