“Be that little seed that started it all. You may not see the results but there will be results, I guarantee it.”
Those were just some of the words of encouragement by keynote speaker and local author/poet Ronnie Pelletier at the 12th annual Fort St. John Community Awards Night at the Lido Theatre Thursday, April 11.
Pelletier, better known by her pen name Ronnie Roberts, asked the audience to consider their talents and how that might help “to build a better, stronger, and more compassionate, thriving community.”
“Don't hide your excellence, don't hide your passions, your creativity. Share it, even with one person," Pelletier said. "You don't need to know where it might lead, but it's important that you share it.”
Pelletier was one of two speakers on the night; business manager Chad Chapple spoke during the second half of the evening.
While Pelletier spoke to the individual volunteer, Chapple's message urged whole families to become involved in their community, sharing personal stories about his own family.
The Chapples have recently become part of a small group instrumental in bringing back the annual Fort St. John Rodeo.
Mayor Lori Ackerman summed it up best.
“I want to offer a huge congratulations to absolutely everybody in this room, because if you weren't a winner or nominated, you're supporting someone, so good for you.”
As for the awards, there were 33 nominations submitted to the three-member judging panel of councillors Trevor Bolin and Becky Grimsrud, and Director of Recreation & Leisure Services Karin Carlson.
The winners are as follow:
Citizen of the Year: Paul van Nostrand
Lifetime Achievement: Gail Weber
Recreation Award: Annika Hedican
Youth Award: Ally Peever
Cultural Award: Sandy Troudt
Humanitarian Award: Sherri Mytopher
Literacy Award: Connie Greyeyes-Dick