2018 marks 20th anniversary of community involvement award
BY VOICE STAFF
The Fonthill and District Kinsmen have opened nominations for their 2018 Pelham Citizen of the Year award, with the submission period to close next Friday, January 26.
“This is a benchmark year for the award,” said Kinsmen president and award chair Brian Iggulden.
“We first started it back in 1998 because it seems as though every other community had such an award, and Pelham didn’t.”
The prize’s rules are simple: the recipient must either live or work in Pelham, and devote substantial time to volunteering in the community. (Sitting politicians are ineligible.)
“Other than that, we’re really just looking for someone outstanding,” said Iggulden. “It could be someone who volunteers with many different things, or just coaches a lot.”
Iggulden praised last year’s winner, Fonthill Sobeys owner Ron Kore, as one to whom everyone in the community can approach.
“We always hear that if you need something, go to Ron. But nominees can be behind the scenes too,” said Iggulden.
Over the award’s 20 years of existence, Iggulden called the winners incredible, and pointed to the diversity in people honoured. The award’s first recipient, former Voice editor Carolyn Mullin, was relatively young when she received the prize, whereas some other winners have been retirees.
“We’ve even had joint winners,” said Iggulden, referring to “Mayor of Fenwick” Gary Chambers and his wife, Rosemary, who shared the 2014 award.
“It was suggested to give it to a couple, and we thought, ‘sure!’ We’re willing to look at anything.”
The Kinsmen prefer to receive the nominees in written form, and encourage residents to re-submit unsuccessful nominees from past years. “People shouldn’t be afraid to re-nominate,” said Iggulden. “It doesn’t mean that they weren’t a good choice—it just means that it wasn’t their year.”
According to Iggulden, who has been chair of the award for the past 12 years, the Kinsmen are occasionally worried that few nominations will come in, but then a whole number arrive during the last week. The Kinsmen’s main goal, in any case, is to encourage community involvement.
“It seems harder and harder to get people to volunteer,” said Iggulden. “We’re all so busy, and life has a way of overpowering things. But community involvement is still so important.”
For details on how and where to send a nomination, see the Kinsmen’s advertisement on page 5 of this week’s print edition, or in last week’s print edition archived here.