Born into a family of 13 in Cremona and only completing the 8th grade, Andrea Hawiuk is a successful hair stylist, business owner and a passionate volunteer. Over her years of owning salons, The Hair Academy in Red Deer and a restaurant in Olds, Andrea has touched many people with her heart. Always wanting to help others, Andrea started Moonbeams and Miracles, an annual concert event in 1984 to raise money for local charities. In 2016, after learning of a family who lost their mother to suicide, Andrea became aware of the need for more Mental Health education. It ignited a fire in her and she began a one-day conference held every September called the Conversation Has To Happen. Since its inception over 1000 people have attended the conference, which has increased knowledge of Mental Health illnesses, including how and where to get help, decreasing stigma, isolation and loneliness for people struggling and their family and friends. In October 2016, Andrea Hawiuk was highlighted on CTV’s Inspiring Albertans for her philanthropic work in Olds. Over the last 44 years Andrea has raised thousands of dollars for the local Hospice Society, Olds and District Special Olympics and programs that address mental health. The Olds Mayor in 2016, Judy Dahl, was quoted as saying “She’s a strong woman, courageous woman to take these projects on her own.” For all her work to make Olds a better place, is why Andrea was that week’s inspired Albertan.