The long wait finally ended when Volunteer Calgary announced the recipients of the 14th Annual Leadership Awards on the evening of April 19.
The Leadership Awards, the premier volunteer recognition event in Calgary, marked the culmination of the year-round nomination process. Twelve award recipients were selected out of a total of 124 nominations received across eight award categories. The nominees represent the broad range of volunteers who work toward a common vision of a healthier and stronger community.
The award recipients are as follows: Robert (Bob) Lang for the Heart of Calgary Award; Azmin Poonja of the Calgary Public Library for the Leader in Volunteer Management Award; Leaders in Employee Volunteering Award: Brookfield Properties (Large Business), Hopewell Residential Communities (Medium Business), Eligeo IT(Small Business); Margaret, Brock, Mitchell, Reid, and Lydia Cameron for the Volunteer Family Award; Leaders of Tomorrow Award: Omar Bainto for the Senior High Category, Tony Ducharme for the Junior High Category, Zafir Nagji for the Elementary Category; YWCA of Calgary for the Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award; John Labun for the Volunteer in Profile Award; and finally, Logan the English Retriever for the Volunteer Animal Award.
The gala was held at the Stampede Park’s BMO Centre with approximately 500 people in attendance, displaying the community’s strong support for volunteerism. The guests were comprised of individuals from the non-profit sector, corporate sector, local government and, of course, countless volunteers. The growing support from Calgary’s corporate sector was also seen through the continuous patronage of sponsors both longstanding and new.
“Suncor Energy is proud to participate in the recognition of the volunteer leaders who invest their time and expertise in a variety of roles and organizations that contribute to the well-being of society,” says Sue Lee, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Communications from Suncor Energy who has been the presenting sponsor for the awards since 2003.
The evening was an opportunity to get-together with members of the community to simply celebrate volunteerism. The night’s celebratory mood was set off with a powerful piece on the value of volunteers delivered by a local slam poet, followed by compelling videos of volunteerism in Calgary. Mayor Bronconnier also gave an address, recognizing the importance of volunteers in the city. The highlight of the event was the awards ceremony during which the winners each received an award and addressed the audience.
“These stories show just how much of a difference volunteers make in our city,” says Laurel Benson, President and CEO of Volunteer Calgary. “Calgary wouldn’t be the city that it is without them.”
The Leadership Awards also launched National Volunteer Week (NVW) celebrations in Calgary which runs from April 18 to 24. NVW is a nationwide effort held yearly to honour all volunteers across Canada.
Volunteer Calgary has played a key role in the development of volunteerism in Calgary for over 50 years. Its mission is leading, promoting, connecting and strengthening volunteerism. Through its services and programs, it enhances the ability of approximately 400 non-profit member organizations to manage volunteers and links thousands of Calgarians with unique volunteer opportunities.
For more information on the awards or for videos of the event and award recipients go to www.volunteercalgary.ab.ca.