Wendy Stevens (left)

Wendy Stevens (left)

Local leaders nominated

Organizers have been blown away by the number of nominations for the inaugural Community Leader Awards.

The Morning Star and its community partners have been blown away by the number, and quality, of nominations for the inaugural Community Leader Awards.

“I’m overwhelmed, it’s unbelievable,” said Morning Star publisher Ian Jensen.

A total of 105 submissions were made for the 10 categories which are: Coach, Mentor, Courage, Above and Beyond, Emergency Service, Service Organization Volunteer, Volunteer, Youth Volunteer, Environmental Leader and Community Builder.

Now the tough job of choosing the winners has been initiated.

“It’s a good problem to have. It just shows how great this community is,” said Jensen.

The more than 20 community partners, ranging from local charity heads to the police chief, will determine a top honour and two honourable mentions in each category.

The top three nominees will be notified over the next couple of weeks, but the decision of top honour will not be revealed until the awards gala June 8 at Durali Villa in Vernon.

Going through the nominations, Jensen is amazed at all the stories of courage, commitment and dedication.

“What they do for this community is outstanding.”

Which is why The Morning Star brought the awards to life.

“These people don’t get the recognition they deserve,” said Jensen/

While there are various business-type awards in the community, these awards set out to honour those going above and beyond who aren’t in the spotlight.

“It’s long overdue,” said one of the community judges, Garry Molitwenik of the North Okanagan Community Life Society.

“This is so needed in our community. There’s only one Citizen of the Year and there’s so much goodness.”