The April 4 deadline may seem like it’s a long way off still but the call is already going out for nominations for the 2014 Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year.
“We probably won’t be getting any nominations until fairly close to the deadline,” said Citizen of the Year committee member, Brian Volpatti.
“It does take some time, we want a bit of a presentation or biography on the nominee. It doesn’t have to be long but it’s important to cover what the individual has done in the community.”
Like many smaller communities, the Trail-Warfield area relies heavily on the commitment of a small army of volunteers to plan, coordinate, and work on numerous projects and events around the community.
Most cultural and community-based festivals and celebrations, faith-based activities, youth groups, and recreation and sports activities would never happen if it weren’t for the many people who give of their personal time to support these events and the communities would be much poorer for the lack of them.
“A lot of people who do a lot of work in this town do it for free,” said Volpatti. “Some people work quietly and are never nominated but we’d really like to see more.”
The number of nominations for the honour was in decline for years until the committee changed the way it distributed the nomination forms.
“We have nominations forms at the City of Trail and Village of Warfield offices, the Trail Public Library and the Kootenay Savings branches in Trail and Warfield,” Volpatti said. “But last year we started distributing them at local churches; the Anglican, United, Presbyterian, Catholic, Alliance, and Gateway Christian Life Centre. We got 10 nominations last year, that was the most nominations ever. A lot of people in churches are involved in volunteer activities and it’s definitely shown up in the nominations.”
The honour of being selected Citizen of the Year is open to any resident of Trail or Warfield who has demonstrated an exceptional record of dedicated volunteer work in the community.
The nominee can be an individual or group and nominations are also open to deceased individuals who showed commitment to the community in their lives.
Permission of the nominee is not required at the time of the nomination and the name of the nominator is not divulged to the nominee by the committee.
“We’re hoping that some of the people who have won before will come forward and nominate others,” said Volpatti. “They are out there doing volunteer work with others and will know people who could be nominated and if people have been nominated before and weren’t selected they can be nominated again.”
In spite of the fact that so many of the community activities, celebrations, and recreation are built on volunteers shoulders, Volpatti says that there are volunteer groups that are under-represented in the nominations.
“In our communities we have a lot of people volunteering in sports in our area, even like volunteers with the Smoke Eaters and minor hockey, we never see a nomination from that group” he said. “If you think of all the groups in our area many don’t nominate anyone. Between Trail and Warfield there has to be close to 10,000 people, there’s gotta be more than 10 volunteers.”