Please nominate for Alberta Volunteer Awards

Written by Ricardo Miranda, MLA for Calgary-Cross. First published in Slave Lake Lakeside Leader on August 3,2016.

Each day, in communities across the province, volunteers are at work; their efforts helping to build strong families and communities and making Alberta a better place to live and visit. Volunteers are shining stars in our community who make all our lives brighter. 

It is the invaluable contributions of skills, time and energy delivered with passion and compassion by dedicated volunteers that fuel the cultural, social and recreational programs that matter to Albertans. 

That same passion and compassion was also seen as Albertans welcomed Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war. 

Albertans will also long remember the vital role of volunteers who immediately stepped up in support of those impacted by the devastating Fort McMurray wildfires. 

Only through a massive volunteer effort could a city of 90,000 people be relocated, housed and provided with the necessary services to deal with the uncertainty and stress of evacuation. 

From delivering the day-to-day programs and services that we have come to expect, to responding to the immediate needs brought on by unforeseen disasters, Alberta volunteers are there when needed. Now is the time to say thank you, to show your appreciation for a volunteer in your community who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of their friends and neighbours - in the lives of people they may never meet. Now is the time to nominate that special volunteer in your community for a Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award. 

The Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards were created to honour Albertans whose outstanding volunteer contributions have made a lasting impact on their communities and the lives of their fellow citizens. Six awards are presented annually, two in each category of youth, adult and senior. 

The 2016 awards will be presented in a special ceremony in Edmonton on December 5, part of celebrations marking International Volunteer Day. 

For more information, please visit www.culturetourism.alberta.ca/stars. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, September 20. 

Thank you for your support.