Soupateria volunteer Wendy Tarasoff working in the kitchen at the anniversary lunch honouring volunteers last year. The Penticton Western News is asking the community to nominate people for the inaugural Community Leader Awards. (Western News file photo) Soupateria volunteer Wendy Tarasoff working in the kitchen at the anniversary lunch honouring volunteers. Mark Brett/Western News

Honouring Penticton’s community leaders

Know a community leader that should be recognized?

We all know that there are a large number of people in the South Okanagan who do a great deal of important work for this beautiful community that we live and work in.

They strive to create a better community by putting in countless hours of volunteer work, sometimes having to overcome insurmountable obstacles and ask for nothing in return. The Penticton Western News wants to recognize those individuals and organizations at the inaugural Community Leader Awards.

“These people are truly community leaders and can be found in schools, on a sports field, in care centres, at the food bank and many of the local events that take place in and around our community,” said Kim Cook, publisher of the Penticton Western News. “Many of these wonderful people have families of their own but still find the time to make a difference by sharing their empathy, enthusiasm, inspiration and energy.”

By highlighting their inspirational stories, the Western News hopes others will be encouraged to contribute their time, compassion, knowledge and enthusiasm to help those around them. Keeping that spirit alive in our community by providing what we hope will be a pay-it-forward movement is what our newspaper is all about.

But we need your help to make this mission a success.

If you know someone you feel should be honoured in one of the 12 categories, we want to hear from you. All we need is the nominee’s and nominator’s name with contact information, along with a brief description of about 250 words outlining why you feel the nominee should be honoured for his or her efforts.

The few minutes of time it takes to nominate someone who puts in countless hours improving our community could make a lasting impression on another person, who in turn, may decide to give back the next time they see a call for volunteers.

So follow the link on our website http://pentictonwesternnews.secondstreetapp.com/Community-Leader-Awards-2019/. It is that simple.

The categories are:

Coach – Someone who makes a positive contribution to their sport, is exemplary in developing skills and confidence in participants or is a role model who inspires and encourages high athletic achievement.

Unsung Hero – A person who gets things done behind the scenes and might not always get the recognition they deserve.

Above and Beyond – This person makes a positive contribution to his or her community through their work. Someone who goes beyond the requirements of his or her job to support the community and make it a better place.

Community Builder – Someone who has taken the initiative to engage a variety of local residents in an innovative or new community project or event. The initiative may assist different groups to work together, address a gap in community participation or result in a more inclusive, engaged community.

Leader of the Year – This person in the past 12 months has stood above all others in their dedication and service to the community through projects, events, volunteerism, support or sponsorship.

Courage – This person has risen above adversity or formidable challenges to become a success. As a result, he or she has had a positive effect on the people around him or her.

Emergency Services – The person makes a positive contribution to the community by going that extra mile – over and above the call of duty. The person is exemplary in the area of emergency services and unselfishly shoulders enormous responsibility while accepting the potential risks and challenges of the job.

Environment Leader – This person makes a positive contribution to the community by championing environmentally friendly initiatives. Someone who inspires others to be green by being a leader in ecologically-sound practices.

Mentor – Someone who makes a positive contribution by being a true leader, an influential counsellor, teacher or educator who provides support or sponsorship. This person demonstrates a high level of ethics and professional standards, is an inspirational motivator, excellent communicator, good listener and a reliable resource to the community.

Service Organization Volunteer – This individual makes a positive contribution to the community by volunteering his or her time to at least one community service organization. This person is well thought of and is relied upon by others in the organization.

Volunteer – Someone who makes a positive contribution to the community by volunteering his or her time to a variety of causes. The person is dedicated to making a difference in several initiatives.

Youth Volunteer – A young person who makes a positive contribution to youth in the community. Someone who is depended upon and committed to providing direction, programs and/or support to ensure our youth have positive experiences.

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 17.

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Kristine Shepherd (right) and a volunteer dish up a plate of hot food for the less fortunate at her Nanaimo Square Christmas dinner last winter. The Penticton Western News is asking the community to nominate people who are volunteers, coaches and leaders for the inaugural Community Leader Awards. (Western News file photo) Kristine Shepherd (right) and a volunteer dish up a plate of hot food for the less fortunate at her Nanaimo Square Christmas dinner. Mark Brett/Western News

Volunteer Erna Hamm, 94, helps a visitor at Penticton Regional Hospital this week. (Western News file photo)

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