Nominations sought for provincial Volunteer of Year award

The deadline to nominate worthy Sylvan Lakers for a prestigious provincial award is nearing.

The deadline to nominate worthy Sylvan Lakers for a prestigious provincial award is nearing.

Sylvan Lake News, in partnership with other Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association members and Direct Energy, invites Albertans to help recognize Alberta’s tremendous volunteer spirit with the tenth annual Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award.

Nominations are being accepted until next Friday (Apr. 11).

First introduced in Alberta in 2005, the Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award program is designed to recognize the significant efforts of individuals whose contributions make their communities a better place to live. The program is part of Direct Energy’s North American community involvement initiative that donated $75,000 to individuals and organizations in 2013.

“Volunteerism is alive and well in Alberta and we see this year after year when the nominations pour in,” said Tanis Kozak, vice-president and general manager, Direct Energy. “Last year just over 100 nominations were received and we are proud to be supporting this program and bringing attention to the work these wonderful Albertan’s do in their communities.”

“Alberta community newspapers have been telling the stories of exceptional volunteers for decades and we are well aware of the significant positive impact these individuals can have on our neighbours and towns,” said AWNA president Fred Gorman.

The Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award is open to all residents of communities in the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association area. Individuals can either nominate themselves or be nominated by another individual or group. Nominations should be no longer than 750 words and must detail the specific contributions the individual or group has made to improve the community through volunteer service. The nomination must also profile the designated organization and how the organization would use the $5,000 donation from Direct Energy.

Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award rules and nomination details may be found online at www.awna.com or www.directenergy.com/vcoy or can be picked up at Sylvan Lake News.

Nominations must be submitted to the AWNA by April 11, 2014. A selection committee, formed of two representatives from the AWNA and two appointed by Direct Energy, will review award applications and select the finalists and winning individual or group.

The award consists of: a $1,000 cash prize to the winner; $5,000 cash grant to the winner’s organization/cause of choice in their community; recognition of the winner’s achievement through a commemorative award, article and photo in AWNA newspapers across Alberta; $1,000 cash grant to the four semi-finalists’ organization/cause of choice in their communities; and recognition of the four semi-finalists through a commemorative award, article and photo in their respective AWNA community papers.