Seeking nominees for Citizen of the Year

Red Deerians encouraged to nominate eligible candidates for honour

It’s time once again to nominate people as Red Deer’s Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year, said Graham Schofield, chair of the Citizen of the Year spring gala.

“Red Deer is a better place for having them (past citizens of the year) in our community and we are all indebted to them.”

The annual award goes to people with a longstanding record of volunteerism and leadership in community involvement; people who make a contribution and impact on the City.

Nominees for young citizen must be under the age of 26 years.

Schofield said choosing the final recipients from all the nominations is never easy.

“I know that in past years they’ve been flooded with a lot of very, very worthy nominees and the nominating committee puts in a lot of hard work to go through them and make sure the right person ends up at the top. (When it comes to the young citizen award) these people are our future and they contribute so much and I’m always amazed at what they’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time. I’m always very inspired. It’s very important to recognize those people and keep them in our community.”

Nomination forms are available on the City’s or the Rotary Club of Red Deer’s web site. Applications must be signed by two City residents and no one can be named to the honour more than once. The deadline for nominations is March 31.

Citizen of the Year dates back to 1969 when it was started by the City and the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, but was later taken over by Rotary Clubs of Red Deer. Past recipients include Hazel and Morris Flewwelling, Joan and Jack Donald as well as Dennis Moffat, Don Hepburn and Lynn Radford.

2010’s Citizen of the Year was Phil Neufeld, recognized for his longstanding involvement with groups like the Women’s Shelter, the Youth and Volunteer Centre, Festival of Trees and many others. Meagan McLavish was Young Citizen of the Year.

The Citizen of the Year Spring Gala is tentatively planned for May 4 at the Red Deer Lodge, but that may change because of structural damage to the Lodge over the weekend.

Tickets are $100 per person and some reserved tables are available for $1,000. Guest speaker for the event will be demographic expert David Foot, author of Boom, Bust and Echo and a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Toronto.