The city has announced the name of the newest winner of its Philanthropy Award. It’s the last name Gallant, as in Robert and Marla Gallant. The couple is being honoured for their substantial community service and charity. He is the owner and operator of Meadow Construction while she is a consultant with Expedia Cruise Ship Centers.
The award recognizes a St. Albert individual or family whose donation of time, expertise and resources significantly contribute to the success of non-profit agencies operating in St. Albert, setting an example that encourages others to be philanthropic leaders in the community. It is administered through the mayor’s office.
“It’s not something we were expecting,” Robert admitted. “We don’t do this for honours. We’re humble to be thanked. I know the other names that are attached to that list are some pretty big contributors back to St. Albert. For us to be considered with those guys is a big honour, but that’s not why we give. We keep out of the public eye and thankful that they considered us for this.”
The Gallants have a long history of giving back to the community. First and foremost, he noted, they’re members with a local Rotary Club.
“That’s where a lot of our charity work starts,” he said. “Rotary causes are mostly community causes plus international causes. Sometimes it’s tough to weed out the good and the bad so it’s nice to have an organization like that to give to.”
That’s just the start though. He went on to list other causes and organizations that they get behind including St. Albert Stop Abuse in Families (SAIF), Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society. Marla sits on the gala committee with the Sturgeon Community Hospital Foundation. Robert sits on a food bank board and has been a volunteer firefighter for almost 15 years. He’s been the chief with the Namao Volunteer Fire Department for the last few years. There, he manages a crew of approximately 25 volunteers. His department keeps hopping with more than 100 calls every year.
If that didn’t keep them busy enough, the Gallants’ social calendar is also filled with weekends at charity fundraisers.
“We want to think it gives a little bit back, I guess.”
The 2017 Philanthropy Award celebration dinner honouring the Gallants will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Sorrentino’s Restaurant. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased through the St. Albert Community Foundation. Call 780-458-8351 or visit www.sacf.ca for details.