Last week, on Friday, January 27, two Airdrie residents, husband and wife, Mike and Lori Reist were recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals. The couple is well known to Airdronians for their tireless volunteer work within the community. 

Mike a very familiar face within the 100 Airdrie Men Who Give a Damn community and a corrections officer, was the founding force behind the Adopt-A-Grad several years ago. That all started after a single mother reached out to him asking if he had a suit for her son. Within days, Reist, with the help of the Airdrie Dads community had amassed approximately $500. A few years later, in 2018, he and his wife co-founded the project, Jack & Jill.

"We carried that on as a team effort, to make sure young men and women are looked after for graduation," Reist said. 

The couple is also behind the #Livelocal movement on social media, which Lori said is not only about supporting local brands and businesses.

"The whole idea is that something locally made and locally created is going back to the local community. In addition to that, I also am on the board of directors for the Airdrie Food Bank as well as on the Board of Directors for the Kalix Legacy Foundation."

The couple said that by giving back to the community by volunteering their time for a myriad of local organizations, they are not only connected to their fellow residents, but to each other. But it's not just about spending time on projects that have brought the couple together. 

"We have five kids and we just wanted to make sure that we're setting a good example; a good foundation for future generations for the community, and in hopes that our kids will be able to carry that [on]," Mike said. 

Lori underlined that while there are many ways to participate in the community, including monetary donations, for her, it is the time that is valuable. When asked what the emotions were like last week when the couple received their medals, Lori said that there was an overwhelming sense of humbleness and pride as both she and Mike were among some remarkable individuals.

"[When] they were reading other people's introductions, I think is when it really hit me - the quality of human beings that we have now been counted among. It was incredibly, deeply humbling and if nothing else, this will be a core memory for life without a doubt."

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