I wish I could be everywhere at everything all the time. I wish I could delve deep into all the things I am passionate about, raising funds and awareness and championing all the causes in this community, because there are so very many. But I cannot be everywhere and do everything, and that is okay, because in this community there are so very many people who are passionate and committed to making this a better place to live, work and play. There are so many here who are community champions, which is what last night at the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor and Council Toast of Champions was all about.
I missed the event last night due to the Intrepid Junior Blogger's schedule, which includes the weekly torture of piano lessons on Thursday evenings. And so I could not attend the Toast of Champions, but I followed it on Twitter as the evening went on, and as we celebrated our champions.
Some of them I have the tremendous honour to know, like Nathalie Reid, a teacher at Holy Trinity High School and someone I admire for her passionate advocacy for social justice, and her ability to get students excited and involved in making the world a better place. Lynn Hannah is someone I have the honour to call a friend, and her advocacy and commitment to the SPCA has seen them become an incredibly active and respected social profit organization with a strong community profile. There are others I have watched with admiration, like young Keisha Gendron who has been putting in hard work and long hours through bottle drives and other initiatives to raise funds to restore Heritage Park after it was badly damaged in the flooding we experienced this spring, and like Mattea Adair, a young woman with a passion for volunteering and one of the most beautiful and infectious smiles I have ever seen, and like Trevor Boe, an advocate for youth sport and recreation in this community. And there are others still like Pamela Tremblay and Roxanne Marcel, who I have not had the opportunity to meet but about whom I have heard so many amazing things. And then there is someone like Barb Jewers, who will always be remembered for her contributions to this community, and who we lost last year, a tremendous loss for our community but someone who has left behind not only a legacy but inspiration.
And those names were just the recipients of the 2013 awards, as there were other nominees as well, each passionate about their individual causes and each a powerful advocate for this community and the people in it - each and every one a champion, really.
One of the greatest honours I have is the opportunity to write about this community, and the people in it. The true honour, though, is simply being part of a community of champions like the ones celebrated last night. I feel secure here, because I know that others are doing everything they can to make this a better place, to improve the lives of others and to create the kind of community where we are all proud to live.
Today in this post I would like to salute all our champions, including all recipients and nominees from last night. They are the reason this community is the place it is. They are the reason I am so very proud to call this place home.