It’s time, once again, to give back to the individuals who give so much of themselves to the community.
The Prince Albert Daily Herald and the Prince Albert Kinsmen Club are teaming up for the 61st year to honour prince Albert’s citizen of the year. The ballots are out — available on the Kinsmen Club Facebook page and on page nine of today’s paper — and are due by Dec. 15, giving people a month to nominate the person they think is deserving of the title of Citizen of the Year.
Kinsman Brian Middlebrook is chairing the event this year, his seventh in the role.
“I’m pretty happy to be involved with it again,” he said.
‘The idea is to get nominations for people involved with the community over and above what most of us try to do.”
He pointed to past recipients such as Jeanette Eddols and Ron and Shelley Horn for their work to improve Prince Albert for the community’s youth.
While the committee does take past accomplishment into account, Middlebrook stressed that the title of Citizen of the Year is focused on volunteer work conducted in the past calendar year, and 2018’s Citizen of the Year will have ideally given their time and energy in 2018.
“We really try to focus on the year they’re nominated for,” he said. “We’re really focusing on 2018.”
When the committee decides on a winner, they plan to surprise the recipient with the news. Then, work begins planning the gala, to be held sometime in January or February.
“The idea is to set up a great gala for them,” Middlebrook said.
“It’s a great night to get friends and family together to celebrate everything they’ve done in the previous year.”
For past winner and nominator Lyle Karasiuk, the importance is recognizing the work of those who dedicate their time to making Prince Albert a better place to live.
Karasiuk won the honour in 2013, and led the nomination for last year’s joint winners, Rona and Shelley Horn.
“It’s not about the recognition for the individual,” he said.
“I think if you were to ask any of our citizens of the year, it’s not that we do it for ourselves. It’s who we represent, and all the great work we’ve done to support the community. I’m very proud to represent Prince Albert. It’s home, it has been home for my entire life. I’m happy to say that this community is so vibrant with great people doing a great amount of work.”
Middlebrook also spoke to the importance of giving to those who give back.
“I think it’s so important to recognize people who are involved that much with the community,” he said. “I really enjoy doing it. The Kinsmen Club and the P.A. Herald have been involved with this for 61y years. It’s a long-time tradition in P.A., good for us, good for the Herald and good for the people we’re recognizing as well.”
Karasiuk encouraged people to start thinking about who they know who would be worthy of the award.
“Find those people who are doing really great things for your group, your community or your organization,” he said.
‘They could potentially be Prince Albert’s next Citizen of the Year.”
Nominations can be dropped off at the Prince Albert Daily Herald office or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org