It was a night of memories and recognition as the Heartland Youth Centre (HYC) hosted its annual general meeting and volunteer awards night on Monday, March 21.
“The HYC Volunteer Recognition and Awards night is one of my favourite events of the year,” said Winnie Bissett, executive director of HYC. “Although we present six awards to volunteers, there are many other volunteers that contribute to HYC’s success throughout the year.”
Looking back, Bissett said, “One moment that really stands out for me last night was the huge smile on Merle’s Little Brother’s face when Merle’s name was announced to receive the Marg Forrester Memorial Award.”
“He was so proud and happy for his friend Merle,” added Bissett.
All the memorial awards – Marg Forrester, Nicole Blumhagen, Benny Green and Lloyd Smith – bring back fond memories for Bissett as she had the pleasure of knowing them all.
“These awards are given in memory of some very special people that have been part of the HYC either as a youth member or a volunteer,” said Bissett. “I believe the HYC receives tremendous support from the community, and as I addressed last night, one of the strengths of HYC is having past members return to the centre as volunteers, donors and supporters.”
According to Bissett, the HYC is always seeking program feedback from members and parents.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada often provide grants for local clubs to expand or try out new program ideas.
“We have received a Get Busy grant which we will incorporate into our summer teen programming – we are looking at some crazy fun activities like sumo wrestling and a human Velcro wall,” said Bissett.
Among the award winners were Sean Nolls of Sean’s No Frills, who was awarded the Corporate Cares award; Merle Hutchinson received the Marg Forrester Memorial; Cass Docherty and Kenya Erickson-Barca were awarded the Nicole Blumhagen Memorial; Brandy Tyhy received Lloyd’s Leaders; Bernie Schofer was recognized for her outstanding effort and support by youth, volunteers, or community groups being awarded the HYC Hall of Fame; and April Nelson received the Benny Green Memorial ‘Whistle While You Work’ for embracing community service with a positive attitude and smile.