Citizen of the Year nomination deadline nears

Nominations close at noon on Friday, April 8

Last minute nominations are expected to trickle in this week before nominations close for the Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year Award.

Residents have until Friday to put forward a name of a deserving volunteer before a panel of judges decides who will be honoured next month at the event that traditionally kicks off Silver City Days.

“Volunteerism is the backbone of it, and we’re not looking for superhuman volunteers, we’re just looking for people who just do a little bit extra,” said Brian Volpatti, chair of the awards committee.

Two individuals have already been recommended, but Volpatti expects an onslaught of submissions at the end of this week.

The Fraternal Order of the Knights of Columbus has recognized community service of a Trail or Warfield resident since 1957, awarding him or her as the Citizen of the Year at a public ceremony. It’s a tradition Volpatti is passionate about and intends to see through (unless of course there is someone out there who wants to take over the reigns).

“I feel that we should keep it going because there are people out there who should be recognized and that others should emulate,” he said.

By Monday, a panel of judges will decide the 2105 recipient.

“Usually, the individual is overwhelmed that they were even thought of because they do these things because it’s in their heart to do it,” Volpatti explained. “They don’t do it for recognition but because they want to.”

Some people who are selected don’t accept the accolade because they rather continue their efforts quietly. Others who are nominated but not chosen, are not forgotten and are considered the following year.

Volpatti is encouraging residents to think about their neighbours, friends, and family and put forward a name. He is hopeful there will be more interest from the younger generation, not only in the annual award but also in volunteering.

“All organizations have a hard time getting new blood, whether you’re the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis or Lions,” he said.

“Young people don’t seem to want to join organizations because they say they’re too busy; Nobody is that busy,” he adds. “You may feel you’re busy and you may be in your mind but if you just think, ‘What can I do outside of my own job to help?’”

The public award ceremony is scheduled for May 3 at 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s School. Volpatti said the special occasion brings together past recipients and family, who gather in honour of the newly selected Citizen of the Year but also to socialize and catch up with community members who share a passion for volunteering and carry a vested interest in making a difference in their community.

Residents have until noon Friday to make a submission. Nomination packages can be picked up at several locations around Trail and Warfield, including Kootenay Savings Credit Union, the Trail and District Public Library, Trail’s city hall, Warfield’s village office and various churches throughout the community. For information, contact Volpatti at 364-1445.