Morinville opens nominations for volunteer of the year

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Editor’s note: The Morinville News has once again set up a Volunteer Award Nominations page to assist our readers in putting forth worthy recipients. Qualifications and nomination e-mail links can be found by clicking here.

volunteer night 1

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Volunteers will once again be recognized this year for their efforts in doing their part to build a better Morinville. Nominations are currently open for several categories of volunteer recognition and residents have until Apr. 12 to put forth the names of those they deem worthy of that recognition.

“It’s important to acknowledge, recognize and appreciate in a tangible way the efforts that all the volunteers and all the people who make this town such a great town and such a great community,” said Allen Jacobson, Morinville’s Community Development Coordinator / Event and Volunteer Specialist. “As we all know, in any town, in any city, any effort – volunteerism is a big important part of life.”
A Volunteer Appreciation Night will be held at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Apr. 26.

Multiple categories

This year’s award ceremony recognizes eight categories of award – five from the community and three from community groups or businesses. The Town will present awards for Volunteer of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year, Volunteer Family, Unsung Hero, and Coach or Mentor of the Year. Additional awards include the Morinville Lions Club’s Citizen of the Year, the Seniors’ Rendez-Vous Club’s Heritage Award, and the Morinville News’ Community Spirit Award.

Volunteer of the Year recognizes an active volunteer for their generosity of spirit, leadership and enthusiasm in one or more community projects during 2012, while Youth Volunteer of the Year recognizes those same attributes among volunteers under the age of 18. New this year is the Volunteer Family Award, given to a family who is actively passing the spirit of volunteerism on to the next generation.
The Town will also once again present the Unsung Hero Award, an award recognizing a local person, club or business that demonstrates true commitment to making a difference in the community by working to build a sense of community.

Recognizing the outstanding qualities of inspiration is the Town’s Coach or Mentor of the Year, an award that rewards commitment, attitude and leadership in the community.

The Morinville Seniors’ Rendez-Vous Club is also accepting nominations for the Heritage Award, which recognizes a community member’s long-standing service with any volunteer organization within the town of Morinville. Nominations are not accepted posthumously and nominees must not have been recognized in any fashion previously.

The Morinville News Community Spirit Award will once again be presented to an individual who unites the community together through their participation, involvement and promotion of the community. The award seeks to recognize the member of the community who may otherwise escape the recognition they deserve.

Citizen of the Year is an annual award presented by the Lions Club and recognizes the nominee’s volunteerism as far back as the preceding decade. Nominations for this award may be mailed or emailed to the Lions Club (see story page XX.) or dropped off at the Community Services Department at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. Nomination letters should include the nominee’s community group involvement, length of residency in Morinville, accomplishments in the past year with a volunteer organization, previous accomplishments over the past decade, and individual and family achievements.

Annual gala

Jacobson said the annual Volunteer Appreciation Night event will be somewhat pared down from last year; a number of awards have been removed because the committee felt there was some overlap between awards. What has not changed is the Town of Morinville’s commitment to making the evening’s focus that of thanking the community’s many volunteers.

Added to the mix this year will be a standalone plaque that will carry the names of all award winners, to be added to in subsequent years. Jacobson said a location to display the plaque has not been chosen but Town Hall or the library might be two possibilities.

Also new this year is spreading volunteer appreciation out through Volunteer Appreciation Week (Apr. 22 – 27). Following on the national theme of Volunteers Cast a Beautiful Shadow, Jacobson said the Town will make use of the abundant light at the cultural centre to symbolically cast the shadow of volunteerism.

“We’re taking that as our theme and running with it,” he said, adding the light and shadows that come naturally through the cultural centre’s large front windows will be used as a point of reference. “We’re going to have shadow cutouts or artwork that represent [the theme] in the windows,” Jacobson said all the schools have been contacted to provide artwork for the effort. “My plan is to fill much of the foyer and the mezzanine with local art,” he said.

Local entertainers will also form a part of the open house Jacobson is planning for each night of Volunteer Appreciation Week leading up to the Friday night gala.

Nomination packages for all categories are available at the cultural centre. Nomination letters may also be e-mailed to ajacobson@morinville.ca – however, nominations for Citizen of the Year should be emailed to coylions@gmail.com. Deadline for all nominations is 4:30 p.m. Apr. 12.

Editor’s note: The Morinville News has once again set up a Volunteer Award Nominations page to assist our readers in putting forth worthy recipients. Qualifications and nomination e-mail links can be found by clicking here.

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