The Leaders of Tomorrow Awards Program held its Kick Off and major sponsors recognition in preparation for its 20th Awards Program. Individuals and groups are invited to nominate for an award young people who are making a difference in their community through their volunteer efforts and leadership. The program recognizes nominees in four categories by age: 6 to 11 years, 12 to 14 years, 15 to 17 years, and 18 to 21 years. Nomination forms are available from the City of Wetaskiwin FCSS office, the county of Wetaskiwin office, the Town of Millet office, the Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools Administration office, Sacred Heart School, or in a printable form at www.wetaskiwin.ca/leaders. Nominations must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 26th.
The 20th Leaders of Tomorrow Awards Program will be held on Monday, April 13th, 2015 at Reynolds-Alberta Museum. For further information, contact Lynn Croft at 780-352-6018.
The 11 major sponsors of the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards Program each contribute $1000 or more in cash or in kind. Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools provide the salary for the executive director and some maintenance staff assistance while 4-H provides the overnight Leadership Workshop at the Alberta 4-H Centre at Battle Lake for all nominees from Wetaskiwin as well as from Ponoka and Lacombe, and Reynolds-Alberta Museum provides the facilities and other assistance for the program. Along with RAM, the Wetaskiwin Credit Union has continued as a major sponsor since the program began in 1996. The other major sponsors are Wetaskiwin Royal Canadian Legion #86, Rotary Club of Wetaskiwin, City of Wetaskiwin FCSS, County of Wetaskiwin, Manluk Industries, Town of Millet, and the Saint Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division, some of whom contributed from the beginning before officially becoming major sponsors. A number of other individuals, groups, and businesses also contribute to the program.
At the Kick Off, the members of the Leaders of Tomorrow Board, and the Executive Director meet at RAM with the major sponsors who express their appreciation for the program and present their cheques, if that is their contribution. It was noted this year that some of the first nominees are still living in the community and are still contributing. One of the school trustees, Robbyn Erickson, had been a nominee. The nominees volunteer because they want to help others and make their communities better, but they do feel good about the recognition the program awards them.
As every nominee receives individual recognition at the Awards Ceremony, they are given a bag that contains a certificate of recognition, a copy of their nomination biography, a Leaders of Tomorrow T-shirt, a group photo taken that evening, and the opportunity to attend the overnight Leadership Workshop at the Alberta 4-H Centre at Battle Lake. A representative is chosen for each age category, and these young volunteers also receive a 5”x7” photo, a $100 cheque to give to the charity of their choice, an engraved trophy, and a certificate of award. The Awards Ceremony is a very special evening centred around these young people who have already committed themselves to being actively involved because they understand that one is never too young to make a difference and that it is the number and quality of volunteers who determine the real quality of life in a community.