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Program recognizes top volunteer citizens

Direct Energy and the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association invite Albertans to help recognize the province’s remarkable volunteer spirit with the seventh annual Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award.
Nominations will close Friday, April 1.
According to The Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, Canadians volunteered 2.1-billion hours or the equivalent of 1.1-million individuals working full time in 2007.
The Alberta Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award program is designed to recognize the significant efforts of these individuals whose contributions make their communities a better place to live.
“Year after year, we continue to be humbled and inspired by the heart-warming stories of Albertans and their spirit of generosity,” Direct Energy vice-president and general manager Tanis Kozak said. “We all know someone in our local community who goes out of his or her way to improve the life of fellow citizens; it’s this contribution, often unrecognized, we hope to highlight with this award.”
The Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award is an extension of Direct Energy’s Community Investment philosophy that encourages employees to volunteer their time and energy to causes or organizations in their local communities.
The award consists of:

  • A $1,000 cash prize to the winner.
  • A $5,000 cash grant to the winner’s organization or cause of choice in their respective community.
  • A $1,000 cash grant to four semi-finalists’ organization or cause of choice in their respective communities.

Last year’s winner, Tammy Sather, chose the Hughenden Firefighters Association as the beneficiary of her $5,000. The money was used to buy a portable electric suction unit and a set of rescue struts to give better and safer support of vehicles when they flip on their side.
“We’re looking forward to once again recognizing individuals who work hard to make our communities great places to live,” AWNA President Ossie Sheddy said. “The selfless actions of past winners like Tammy and many of the other nominees often go unrewarded. This program is designed to showcase appreciation for their efforts.
The Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award is open to residents who reside within a community served by an AWNA member newspaper such as The Macleod Gazette.
Applicants can either self-nominate or be nominated by another individual or group.
Nominations should be no longer than 750 words in length and detail the specific contribution the individual or group has made to the local community through improving the quality of life for fellow citizens.
The nominations also need to profile the designated organization and how that organization would use the $5,000 donation.
Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award rules and details can be found online at or, or can be picked up at The Macleod Gazette office.