Past recipients of the Pelham Citizen of the Year award join 2018 recipient Frank Adamson, centre, following last year's dinner and ceremony. DEREK SWARTZ PHOTO

Submission deadline for Kinsmen award is Jan. 31, awards dinner in March

As the Golden Globes and Oscars remind us every winter, awards season is here, and the Fonthill and District Kinsmen are accepting submissions for their Pelham Citizen of the Year for 2019. Club president Brian Iggulden is encouraging people to nominate behind-the-scenes volunteers for the annual award.

“We tell people it doesn’t have to be somebody that is in the news,” Iggulden said. “It could be somebody behind the scenes. In November, we attended the Volunteer Recognition Night for the Town of Pelham, and look how many groups were there. So many people work tirelessly behind the scenes. We encourage those groups to nominate somebody.”

The Kinsmen are handing out the award for the 22nd consecutive year. The first winner, back in 1998, was former Voice editor Carolyn Mullin. Last year, longtime Rotarian, volunteer and businessman Frank Adamson took home the hardware. Iggulden says on average that the Kinsmen receive about a dozen nominations each year, making for a difficult decision in selecting a winner.

“It’s a very tough decision,” he said. “The people that get nominated, they all could be winners. It’s really, really thorough.”

For that reason, criteria specifies that the nominee should still be active in the community or volunteering. It’s not a lifetime achievement award. Nominees may also not be a politician currently holding elected office.

Having said that, the Kinsmen aren’t averse to awarding former winners, although they try and avoid having repeat winners in back-to-back years.

“You can nominate the same person five or six times,” Iggulden said. “We’ve had some incredible winners over the past 22 years, and some of them are no longer with us. There are a lot of good people working for the community.”

Iggulden asks that nominations contain as much information about the person as possible. “It has to be writing, we don’t just want a name,” he said. “We need to know what they’re doing and what they’re affiliated with.”

The deadline for nominations is January 31, and can be sent by mail to P.O. Box 906, Fonthill, or via email at fonthillkinsmen@hotmail.com. The winner will be announced in February, with the awards dinner scheduled for March 3 at the Old Town Hall.