They can be found in rinks, fields, and courts; on benches, in the bleachers, at the pool or the neighbourhood community meeting. They are volunteers. And although most are content to work behind the scenes for their team, club or cause, this year, during volunteer appreciation week in April, they will get the spotlight.
“We want to celebrate Volunteer Week by recognizing the contributions and achievements of sport, recreation and community volunteers of the City of Saint John,” says Councilor Gary Sullivan, who chairs the 2011 Volunteer Appreciation Committee. Sullivan, a known sports enthusiast, explains the idea came to him from witnessing the time and effort his son’s hockey coach puts into the team.
Councillor Joe Mott, who also served on the City committee for the awards when they ran in the 80’s, points out that nominees could be a league’s volunteer administrator, a team coach, a player, parent or fan. Or it could be the volunteer community gardener, the senior who organizes recreational activities for their club, or the voice behind a neighbourhood improvement initiative. “Our goal is to honour those who donate their time to improving the quality of life and well-being of citizens, says Mott, no matter what role they may serve in their organization.”
The 2011 Volunteer Appreciation Awards will recognize individual efforts in four categories as well as a company who supports a sport, recreation or community service: (1) outstanding volunteer contribution in a sport or recreation organization; (2) outstanding volunteer contribution to a community development initiative; (3) fundraiser of the year: sport & recreation; (4) fundraiser of the year – neighbourhood & community development; (5) corporate sponsor award.
Nomination forms must be submitted to the Leisure Services Department by March 16, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. to be considered. More information is available online at www.saintjohn.ca/volunteers or by calling 658-2908.