Morinville prepares to celebrate citizen of the year

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The competition will be strong for this year’s Morinville Citizen of the Year Award, according to representatives from the Lions Club, the group that has been hosting the award for the last 42 years.

According to award committee chair Francis Fryters, there is no shortage of great nominees, only sometimes a shortage of nominations.

“Sometimes it is difficult,” he admitted, talking about the selection process. “We have a long list.”

Last year, there was a bit of a timing problem. A few nominations came in after the deadline and missed out on the selection process.

“They were three days late and we had the nomination already,” he said, adding that he expects to see them early this time around. “We hope so.”

Any person or family can be nominated. Nominees must have made a significant contribution to the community. Nominations must include how long the nominee has been a resident of Morinville and provide as much detail as possible about his or her involvement with community groups and accomplishments for the past year and also for the past 10 years. The nominator should also comment on the nominee’s commitment and personal involvement in the community.

Past president Jim Turner described what makes for a good candidate.

“Usually they’ve put in years before of volunteer time, either in helping parts of the community or the whole community. They’re probably recognized by people in different parts of the town for things they do. The people that get it are the people you’ve seen throughout the years.”

He added that there have been numerous members of the Lions Club itself that have won this award and for good reason. The service club has not only raised but also donated more than $6.5 million to the town through such projects as Lions Park, student scholarships, blood donor clinics, the historical centre and many others.

Nominations can be sent to the Morinville Lions Club at P.O. Box 3150 in Morinville, T8R 1S1. Call Fryters at 780-939-3741 or Matt Fleck at 780-939-7122 for more information.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 13. The award will be given out during the town’s 25th annual Volunteer Appreciation Night ceremony at the new Morinville Community Cultural Centre on Friday, May 27. The event has been moved from April to May this year in order to coincide with the opening of the cultural centre, a brand new facility.

The recipient of the award will have his or her name added to the Citizen of the Year trophy.

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Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.