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Don Gibbon of Stephen Awards Committee frustrated with lack of Citizen of Year nominee

Don Gibbons.
Don Gibbons. - Frank Gale

Don Gibbon, a longtime member of the Stephen Awards Committee, says he’s frustrated because he’s not seeing any nominees this year for the Citizen of the Year category award.

“I know there are a lot of good people doing great volunteer work in the community that should have been nominated,” he said.

Gibbon, who is a past recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award for 2011 and a representative of the Stephenville Town Council, said he realizes there are some people that don’t want to be put in the limelight when it comes to their volunteer work.

He is also aware there are others that don’t mind being recognized and said there needs to be work done so they do get that recognition, which is exactly what the awards program is all about.

Gibbon said even the Youth of the Year category was down to three nominees this year, which has previously had an average of five nominees and up to eight some years.

He said the Senior Athlete of the Year category only had one nominee this year and he is aware of a lot of senior athletes doing well in their respective sports.

“In the future when nominations come up for these categories, organizations and groups should make a special effort to put someone forward,” Gibbon said.

He said the Stephen Awards Committee has done a magnificent job in keeping the awards program going over the years, but he said the community needs to be behind it.

Gibbon said somehow that spark has to be found to get organizations and groups putting the time into nominating representatives.

“It’s frustrating for me and all involved when you don’t get the nominations. Without volunteers in the community, what would we do?” he asked.

Some of Gibbon’s involvement with the Citizen of the Year movement in Stephenville dates back to when the Jaycees held banquets in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, Bob Byrnes, chair of the Stephenville Awards Committee, said in a prepared release the 2017 Stephen Awards highlight the tremendous amount of volunteer work, community involvement and personal accomplishments made during that particular year.

He congratulated everyone who was nominated thanked the groups and organizations who took the time to nominate these outstanding citizens and athletes.

The awards and certificates will be presented at the Stephen Awards banquet, taking place this Sunday at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 35 in Stephenville.

Tickets are available for purchase at Debbie’s Video Shoppe and Byrnes’ Shoes and Sportswear in Stephenville. The public is encouraged to purchase banquet tickets prior to the April 18 deadline.

For more information, contact Bob Byrnes by email at byrnesshoes@nf.aibn.com or at 643-2991.

Stephen Award nominees (with nominating group)

Youth of the Year

Meghan Morey - Duke of Edinburgh Steering Committee

Abigail Pinsent - Girl Guides of Canada

Faith Young - Community Youth Network

Senior Athlete

Michael Hawco - Stephenville Minor Broomball Association

Junior Male Athlete

Nick Butt - Stephenville Athletics

Ryan Parsons - Aqua Aces Swim Team

Junior Female Athlete

Shilo Chislett - Kippens Recreation Committee

Citizen of the Year

No nominations were received in this category

Volunteer Appreciation certificates:

Dawn Barrett - Stephenville Emergency Food Services

Roma Blundon - Girl Guides of Canada Stephenville District

Suzanne Cormier - Stephenville Lioness Club

Evelyn Davis - Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital Foundation

Brenda Felix - Royal Canadian Legion Branch 35

Larry Guimond - Southwestern Housing Stability Initiative

Max Hulan - Bay St. George Baseball Association

Christine and Don Kendall - Bay St. George Special Olympics

Ruth Lee - Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital Auxiliary

Carly MacIsaac - Southwest Coast SPCA

Leon O’Gorman - Stephenville High Duke of Edinburgh Awards Program

Krystal Pardy - Bay St. George Sick Children’s Foundation

Janey-Lynn Perrier - Community Youth Network

Beverly Rose - Kippens Recreation

Chris Soper - Rotary Club of Stephenville

Sydney White - Bay St. George Folk Arts Council

Donald (Larry) Wilcox - Stephenville Lions Club

Lorraine and Warren Quniton - St. Stephen’s Parish

Genny Duffenais - Stephenville Minor Hockey

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