Airdrie names tops volunteers for 2012
The 2012 Volunteer of the Year Awards was held May 2 at the Airdrie Town and Country Centre, recognizing four new longtime volunteers for their service to the city.
The event featured speeches from Community Services Advisory Board Chair Kelly Hegg, as well as the Chair of Volunteer Airdrie Tim Elliot.
Before the award recipients were announced, Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown talked about the volunteers in Airdrie.
“I spent a few minutes at McHappy Day today, and I saw all these same volunteers come out of the woodwork for another great cause,” said Brown.
“I am thrilled this event continues to grow. Hopefully, it gets bigger and bigger and people realize how important it is to recognize them.
“We have the most magical community when it comes to volunteering. There is a spirit in Airdrie that lives in the people that live here.”
The first award that was handed out was the Leader of Tomorrow Award, which recognizes a youth in Airdrie who has shown leadership in the city through volunteering.
Seventeen-year-old David Lindsay was given the award for the three years he spent volunteering with the Community Links Donation Program.
The Airdrie Food Bank took home the Volunteer Advocate Award, which is given to a not-for-profit organization compromised of volunteers that demonstrates community leadership through volunteerism.
The Airdrie Food Bank was chosen from five other nominees, including the Airdrie Lioness Club and the Airdrie Regional Air Show Society.
“I am not here for anything I have done, I am representing the volunteers of the food bank,” said Carolyn Geertsen, volunteer manager of the Airdrie Food Bank. “I couldn’t just find one person, so I nominated us as a group. It doesn’t matter how big or small the time commitment, everyone makes a difference.
“I work side by side with amazing people. The volunteers at the Airdrie Food Bank make my life easy and it is so heartwarming to see how hard they work to make someone else’s life easier.”
Linda and Laurence Ray, who oversee the Airdrie Faith Build organization that is currently building a duplex in Bayside as a Habitat for Humanity project, were given the Airdrie Ambassador Award.
“None of this happens without a whole lot of people involved,” said Ray.
“We get to house two families and there is no greater thrill than that. Thank you for your support.”
Lastly, the Soul of Airdrie Award was handed out to a longtime volunteer in the City of Airdrie. Rob Van Biezen was chosen for the award from a group of nine volunteers including Lioness Crystal Adamo and longtime Boys and Girls Club supporters, the Hvidsten Family.
“I am truly humbled to be selected for this award,” said Van Biezen.
“This city is the only place in Canada that you would want to live, and the only place that has people do what they do to make us all so proud of our community.
“Volunteers are the heart and soul of any community. I am very proud to live in Airdrie. Thank you, Airdrie.”