Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – 2021 Civic Awards nominees are all winners

Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge

Civic awards nominees are all winners

While Covid19 has kicked the crap out of most of our regular lifestyle there are those among us who’ve continued to make the world a better place. They have made extra effort to help out.

While donating money to events, needy organizations, individuals or causes is necessary and important – donating one’s time is probably the greatest gift of all. Time is not something you get back.

Giving of your time is truly giving of yourself. There is no better way to say you care or value something.

It’s quite simply also the right thing to do. While I am far from perfect or without flaws, the mantra I try to live by when pondering a decision is  to simply ‘do the right thing’.

I suppose that’s why I’ve always felt so akin to our Kelowna Civic Awards.

The awards recognize volunteer work done by others in our community in combination with their skills and outreach. For a number of years during previous City Council terms I served as chairperson of the Civic Awards and admit it was one of my favourite assignments as an elected official.

As a member of that committee I had the pleasure of sitting with numerous caring community members promoting the nomination of candidates, viewing compiled nominations, and organizing the actual evening event handing out the awards. Those organizational meetings were always an honour and usually a lot of fun because of the caring characters gathered around the table. A few of them have served so long they are darn near fossils including (and a tip of the hat to) Wayne Moore.

Over the years the format for selecting nominees, categories, sponsors, and the awards night itself have adapted and changed – always with the goal of improving the end result. In looking back I am very impressed with the creative resilience various committees have shown in maintaining the event and helping it become a highlight of the year for the City.

It’s apropos to suggest the volunteers sitting on the committee are winners themselves. Regardless – I tip my hat to them.

Covid19 has tasked the current awards committee like no other hiccup or challenge. The fact the awards are even continuing shows the tenacity and determination that is the true backbone of volunteerism. So this year the 46th annual Civic and Community Awards will see 2020 winners in each of the eight categories announced virtually during City Council meetings throughout the month of April.

Despite that recognition I feel it appropriate this year’s nominated volunteers see their name in print. So here are the 24 finalists as announced Monday by Mariko Siggers, Community and Neighbourhood Services Manager:

Honour in the Arts: David Doody, Dustyn Baulkham, Karma Lacoff Nieoczym.

Teen Honour in the Arts: Allie Sieben, Julius Brooker, Scotty Berg.

Bob Giordano Memorial Award (Coach/Sport Administrator of the Year): Christine Hank, Jenni Duff, Meghan Faust.

Champion for the Environment: UBC Okanagan, Columbia Bottle Depots, Anna Warwick Sears.

Corporate Community of the Year Award: RBC Kelowna, Total Restoration, Peter’s Independent Grocer.

Central Okanagan Foundation (Volunteer Organization of the Year): Kiwanis Clubs of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Region Nutrition Society, Elizabeth Fry Society.

Young Citizen of the Year: Survinder Momi, Tian Whitehead, Toni Willoughby.

Fred Macklin & Sarah Donalda-Treadgold Memorial Award – (Citizen of the Year): Craig Siemens, Elaine McMurray, Shannon Gall.

Anita Tozer Memorial Award is chosen by Council and must be a unanimous decision).

Siggers also told council Monday that athletes and team of the year awards for 2020 are not being presented at this time due to the stoppage or delay of many sports during most the year. Any outstanding achievements during the various abbreviated season will be included within the 2021 award season.

So there you are folks, a list of real winners in our community going above and beyond in providing some brightness to our darker days!

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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