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Youth citizen of the year for 2016 believes Corner Brook's annual Achievement in Community Excellence Awards is important

Kody Gardner sees plenty of merit in Corner Brook's Achievement in Community Excellence Awards.
Kody Gardner sees plenty of merit in Corner Brook's Achievement in Community Excellence Awards. - Dave Kearsey

Just 22 years old, Kody Gardner has already had a positive impact on his hometown of Corner Brook.

The bachelor of technology student at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, may not have a tonne of free time, but he puts what he does get to good use, volunteering for Bay of Island Radio, Rogers TV, and Bay of Islands Search and Rescue.

His efforts earned him a couple of nominations at last year’s Corner Brook Achievement in Community Excellence (ACE) Awards — one for Citizen of the Year and one for Youth Citizen of the Year.

His time to take home Citizen of the Year honours would have to wait — David Smallwood accepted the honour — but he was named Youth Citizen of the Year, although he was, disappointingly, the sole nominee in the category.

When asked about the program by The Western Star this week, Gardner said he believes the annual awards have great value, as there are a lot of individuals and groups in the Corner Brook area that do tremendous work in bettering the community and adding to the quality of life here.

“It’s important their actions be recognized,” he said.

He has been involved in the annual event over the last few years with various groups, and said he has no complaints about the process overall. He did admit he was taken aback by last year’s lack of nominees for Youth Citizen of the Year, especially since he volunteers alongside many of his peers on a consistent basis.

Although he said there are definitely deserving youths out there, he’s not sure how that particular problem can be remedied.

“I was kind of surprised, actually, when I saw the list and there were no other youths listed there,” he said. “That’s a tough one and I really don’t know (how to solve it).

Whether he’s nominated again this year or not, he figures he’ll likely be at the ceremony, which typically takes place in mid-May.

Unsurprisingly, it would be in a volunteer capacity with Bay of Islands Radio or Rogers TV.

The deadline for nominations for the ACE Awards for the year of 2017 is Friday.

Hard copies of the nomination form are available at City Hall, though there is also a printable PDF version online, as well as an online form that can be quickly filled out on the web.

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