Volunteers honoured at 12th annual awards ceremony
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2014 10:48 am
Hardware was handed out to honour Airdrie’s finest philanthropists at the 12th annual Airdrie Volunteer Awards on May 6 at the Town and Country Centre.
There were 23 nominees in total for four different award categories that included Leader of Tomorrow, Volunteer Advocate, Airdrie Ambassador and Soul of Airdrie.
Mayor Peter Brown kicked off the evening’s ceremonies, expressing his gratitude for the work that all of those who were nominated have done to make Airdrie, “the best community in Alberta.”
“What a list of nominees we have this year, I really don’t know how the judges picked winners,” said Brown.
“Volunteerism is imperative for the future of our community and I want to congratulate all the nominees, no matter who wins tonight, you’re all winners.”
The first award of the night was handed out to 15-year-old Elena Mitevska, who took home the Leader of Tomorrow award.
Mitevska has actively volunteered with Community Links and has also been an active member of her school community, helping to organize events like Pink Shirt Day and Ride of the Mustangs.
“It’s a great honour to win this award, I want to thank my family and friends who have supported me,” said Mitevska. “It’s so important to get involved in your community and to just try to give something back to a place that has given us so much.”
The Airdrie Chamber of Commerce scooped the award for Volunteer Advocate for all of their work to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interests of Airdrie. They have been involved in the community and run by volunteer directors for 40 years.
Mike Acheson of the Cooperators was named this year’s Airdrie Ambassador. Acheson has organized events like Buckle up Bears and provided corporate volunteers for the RCMP Bike Festival. He has been a major sponsor for events such as Tour de Airdrie, Chicken and Chuckles and the Astoria golf tournament which raises money for the Airdrie Food Bank.
“It’s an honour just to be nominated and an even bigger honour to win,” said Acheson, who shared the credit with his organization. “The Cooperators has always encouraged us to get involved in our community and we’ve found it to be a great source of pride.”
The Soul of Airdrie award was bestowed on Karin Simpson, who has given continuous support to an array of community interests for nearly 30 years.
Simpson has taken on a number of roles on community boards as well as council appointed and community volunteer positions.
Simpson was not in attendance to accept the award, but her friend and the person who nominated her, Linda Bruce accepted the award, singing Simpson’s praises.
“When I first moved to Airdrie 20 years ago, Karin was the first person that I really met and got to know,” said Bruce.
“She’s always been involved with so much, but she’s always been a more quiet person who works behind the scenes and doesn’t look to take credit. I think it’s great to give her this recognition for 30 years of continuous service to the community.”