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October 28, 2017 2:42 am

Changes to Citizen of the Year Program

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 @ 1:59 PM

Prince George, BC. –   In  about 9 days, the Prince George Community Foundation  will  unveil  who  will be honoured as a Citizen of the Year  in Prince George,  and there won’t be  any competition.

In the past,   names were put forward,  a committee   whittled it down to  the 5 best candidates,  there was a vote,  and the  successful candidate’s name was revealed at a gala event with all proceeds going to the Prince George Community Foundation.

Well,  the competition factor has been  eliminated.

Teresa Saunders, Chair of the Citizen of the Year Committee for the Prince George Community Foundation says the focus will shift  to celebrating five people ( or couples) “We have had many fabulous nominations over the year of  people who have given back to our community in many, many ways.  Over  time, it has become more difficult to find people who are willing to  be in a competition with other wonderful citizens  in our community.” Saunders says  the Foundation has been “struggling” with the  number of  nominees coming forward and  that is why they  changed the format.

She  says it isn’t a case of  the same people always  stepping up to  do  things for the community “I  find there are many more  individuals than we have honoured who very well could be Citizens of the Year.” She says many who were nominated in the past “Continue to do fine work in our community.”

The new format means some who were nominated in the past, but who  didn’t “win” the competition  will be eligible for this new honour program. “This gives us the opportunity to  perhaps honour them as one of the Citizens of the Year.”

The process now  also  eliminates the need for those making a nomination to  complete a full nomination package, a task which some  felt cumbersome. The new process will see suggestions made,  and the  Foundation will do the leg work to find out more about the  person and their contributions. “The committee will be probably  9 – 15  people who will be  tasked  with going to find people who  should be considered  for selection.”  The same criteria will be used to select the  five honourees as would have been  used to select the  five “finalists” in  the past.  Difference this year, is that there will be no voting,  as the five selected as honourees will each  be named a “Citizen of the Year”.

The  five will be  named  on September 10th, and the gala celebration is set for October 16th at the Coast Inn of the North.



Everyone gets a ribbon!

It’s rarely the people that give a lot of $$$$ and support to the numerous groups in town… who win this award. It’s as if you are ruled out of nomination, if you gave 100k to the hospice house, or 10k to the salvation army etc…

The people that really deserve it just hide in the background, without recognition, and I think they are the ones who deserve it. People just don’t realize how much money some of the wealthier families in PG donate to this city, or the time they dedicate to projects.

ITS not always about the money. Yes it would be nice to contribute this way but sometimes this isn’t the case. A small gesture or act of kindness to your fellow human being goes a long way. THEREhas to be a million ways to do some random act of kindness. Just one act of compassion a day, and ya’ll will sleep better at night.

Money is easy and fast to give…giving your time means more as far as I am concerned. The money is definitely appreciated but needs people to do something with it.

I know full well I am gonna get slammed with the big thumbs down on this but I don’t care, it’s my opinion.

Suppose there was a race held, a pie baking competition, or even a run for Mayor, well hell anything that should result in a win will work.

So the results should be 1st (winner) 2nd, 3rd etc.

This is as it should be, the ONE who works hardest or smartest should WIN or in odd contest TIE.

Nowadays everyone gets a prize it’s just sooooo PC to do this. We really don’t want anyone feeling anything other than that they won. Nobody has to excel, good enough is the word of the day, everyone is a winner. It’s been taught in the school system for a number of years now and it’s going to come back to bite us.

Whatever happened to “may the best person win”, when did that disappear? Why do we need five winners in this case, why not ten?

When you look at it critically it’s actually pretty demeaning, “Well I didn’t really win I was in a group of winners”.

This new normal is saddening, I hate to even think of what the it’s going to look like twenty years from now.

The key comment made in the article, based on my knowledge of several well known people who have been deserving of recognition, is this: “Over time, it has become more difficult to find people who are willing to be in a competition with other wonderful citizens in our community.”

In other words, people volunteer for many reasons. Real volunteers do not do so in order to get any recognition other than the appreciation they get from people around them whose lives they affect and those co-volunteers who know the details and appreciate the assistance that is given. I know of several who are well deserving of public recognition but, as it states, did not wish to be part of a public appreciation ceremony.

Volunteering is not a race to select a winner. It is not a race for the benefit of onlookers in the peanut gallery. It is not a hockey game; it is not an application for a grant; it is not a hot dog eating contest. It is applying your skills for the benefit of the community. It is immeasurable and priceless and does not address the needs of the onlookers but the recipients of the services and co-volunteers.

This change has been a long time in the making. From the looks of it may take some time for some in the community to comprehend it.

If you are a volunteer, sit down with yourself sometime in a quiet moment to figure out why you are doing what you are doing; are you in it for the right reasons. If you are not a volunteer, try it sometime and go into it with an open mind.

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