Central Albertans have just over a month to nominate candidates for Red Deer’s 2011 Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year.
Organizers are seeking nominations until March 31 for the coveted awards.
Nomination forms are available online at www.reddeer.ca.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, nominating committee chair Elaine McFadden said the award winners will be known for their “outstanding commitment” to the community in the way of volunteerism and leadership.
The awards are sponsored by Servus Credit Union and presented by the Rotary Clubs of Red Deer.
The criteria for the Citizen of the Year Award will include information on length of service and breadth of impact.
The Young Citizen of the Year must be under 26 years old.
McFadden said they often have no trouble drawing nominations for the Citizen of the Year, but it’s been tougher getting names for the Young Citizen of the Year.
A total of 34 people have been honoured as Citizens of the Year since 1969.
There was a gap when the award wasn’t handed out from 1994 to 2001.
The Young Citizen of the Year has been honoured for six years. All citizens of Red Deer and area are eligible for these awards.
Graham Schofield, chair of the Citizen of the Year Spring Gala, said it’s critical to recognize young people who are making a difference because they “are our future.”
It’s inspiring to see how the youth may be going to school or to work and yet are still donating their time to various causes, he added.
“And hopefully we can keep those people in our community,” Schofield said.
Red Deer homebuilder Phil Neufeld won the Citizen of the Year last year.
“I don’t think the award changed my life,” Neufeld said.
“I think it just made me realize that people really appreciated what I have done.”
And he said it further reinforced his belief to keep moving ahead with ways to contribute.
The awards will be handed out during the Spring Gala on May 4 from 6 to 11 p.m. Organizers will set up contingency plans should the Red Deer Lodge, which had part of its roof collapse on the weekend, not be ready.
Tickets are $100 per person or $1,000 per table.
To book individual tickets, call the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626 or 1-800-661-8793 or for group tickets, call 403-357-5255.
Up to 550 tickets are available.
“This year, we’re continuing with more of a business focus to our event,” said Schofield.
Keynote speaker is David Foot, author of best-selling book Boom Bust & Echo: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift, and an updated paperback, Boom Bust & Echo: Profiting from the Demographic Shift in the 21st Century.
He’s been dubbed one of Canada’s most outspoken and controversial demographic experts.
Last year, the gala featured speaker Don Bell, one of the co-founders of WestJet.