The Maple Ridge Community Foundation is again recognizing outstanding citizens with its annual awards, and Saturday announced the second annual youth citizen of the year.
In a ceremony at Thomas Haney secondary, Victoria Gardner was recognized as this year’s winner.
Gardner stood out for her contributions at her school, Garibaldi secondary, over the past five years. She has been a leading member of the Link Crew, Key Club, student government, Model UN, Garibaldi Student Action Team and Rebels for a Cause.
She also offers her time at Ridge Meadows Hospital, the Child Development Centre and with Special Olympics.
“Victoria inspires her peers to be resourceful, active and kind,” says her nomination.
Three finalists were honoured on the weekend.
Elijah Wootton was nominated as a key member of the Greg Moore Youth Centre Youth Council. He also got involved in the development of the Thomas Haney Action (skate) Park.
“Elijah also volunteers his time as a youth mentor to ensure the skate park is safe, free of drugs and alcohol and accessible to everyone,” says the nomination. “He is a role model that children and youth look up to.”
Vienna Zivin is a leader with the First Albion Scouts. She has held numerous volunteer roles in school, including fitness leadership, mural committee and the Grade 7 leaving ceremony committee. She also encourages others to volunteer with her.
“Vienna is described as a philanthropic, kind youth who regularly donates her gently used items to charitable organizations or friends and other youth who she knows have little.”
On stage to present Gardner with her award was nine-year-old Ryder Moore, last year’s youth award winner for his Ryder’s Rainboots charitable initiative.
The foundation’s citizen of the year youth committee was co-chaired by Phil Bourque and Roger Cummings.
“We had six really strong candidates this year,” said Bourque, noting that the three finalists all receive a certificate.
As the winner, Gardner receives a $750 donation in her name toward a local charity of her choice. Gardner chose the Family Education Support Centre.
On May 11, the Citizen of the Year awards for Lifetime Achievement and Under-40 categories will take place at foundation’s annual fundraising dinner at the Meadow Gardens Golf Club.