If you know a special someone or a special group that gives tirelessly to the community and expects nothing in return, then a 60-year local tradition might be just the recognition that volunteer or volunteers, deserve.
Nominations for the Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year officially launch on Tuesday. Packages can be picked up at several locations, including the municipal offices in Trail and Warfield, the public library, Kootenay Savings Credit Union on Cedar Avenue and churches throughout the city.
Brian Volpatti, a member of the Citizen of the Year Committee, says that annual accolade is important to the community because it recognizes those who give hours of their time without receiving anything in return.
“It is all about volunteers,” he said. “There are so many volunteers in Trail and Warfield and some of them are visible, but many stay behind-the-scenes and do just as much work. They spend a lot of time helping others.”
Since 1957 the Fraternal Order of the Knights of Columbus have recognized ongoing community service and presented the award as a kick off to Silver City Days.
This year’s festivities are on the books from May 10 to May 14, with the public ceremony for the 2016 Citizen of the Year slated for May 9 in the St. Michael’s Elementary School gym.
“We try to cover all of our bases,” said Volpatti, adding that the Citizen of the Year designation isn’t just open to retirement age residents. “They don’t have to be retirees or older people. It can be a young person as well. There are lots of young people who do a lot of good work in the area.”
A look at the list of past recipients stirs memories of salt-of-the-earth locals. Domenic Daloise was the first Citizen of the Year, his contributions were lengthy and integral in bringing music to town back in the 1920s. Daloise and his friend Peter Lauriente, who was Citizen of the Year in 1965, were two in a group of Italian immigrants who encouraged young boys to learn a musical instrument. Those young musicians went on to play in the Maple Leaf Band, which was named Citizen of the Year in 1991, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Other past recipients include Mrs D.H. Bayley in 1958, Dr. C.H. Wright (posthumous) the following year, Andy Bilseky in 1968, Willie Krause in 1979, Dr. V. Fanderlik (posthumous) in 1984, the Trail Maple Leaf band in 1991, Grace and Marc Marcolin in 2005, and in 2007, the Trail Pipe Band.
Longtime volunteer Keith Smyth was awarded 2015 Citizen of the Year at the ceremony last year. The recognition was particularly fitting because Smyth had been working behind-the-scenes for months as volunteer operations manager for a renewed Silver City Days, called “A Homecoming Celebration.” Smyth is once again filling the position for the May event that celebrates the city’s heritage, culture, and traditions.
The deadline for nominations is April 14 at 12 p.m. and packages can be dropped off at Trail City Hall. For more information on the nomination process, call Volpatti at 250.364.1445.