Weekend banquet recognizes six youngsters who act from the heart
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Delta Optimist reporter Dave Willis writes:

Delta's Rotary clubs honoured local youth with a special awards ceremony last Saturday.

Over 170 were in attendance at the inaugural Rotary Youth Awards at the Delta Town & Country Inn, said Tsawwassen Rotary Club member Leslie Abramson.

Awards were handed out in six categories.

"They're all winners. We just chose the best story in each category," said Abramson, who chaired the committee behind the event.

The looks on the recipients and their parents' faces "made it all worthwhile," she said.

"They should be proud of their kids for what they've achieved, and they showed that. There were lots of smiles and proud looks from the parents," Abramson said.

There were nearly 30 nominees in total.

The awards, billed as a way give kudos to those who don't usually receive it and to recognize youth who do things from the heart, will be an annual event, she said.

"The Rotary clubs of Delta are going to make sure this carries on yearly," said Abramson.

Rotary Youth Awards recipients and finalists:

- Compassion and Empathy Award (demonstrating compassion and empathy for others)

Winner: Jonathan Yang

Finalists: The Crafters (Spiros Zygouras, Fatima Zaidi, Brandon Wong, Ira Saini, Shoolin Saini and Anurag Bitton), Jessie Harper, The Kids 4 Success Kamp Jr. Leadership Team (Chris Cassell, Reid Neilson, Alex Lehmann, Clint Kjar, Matteo Marra, Steven Friis-Jensen and Kevin Lomas), Samantha Maleszewski, Amanda Neil

- Lemonade Award (showing hope, courage or optimism in overcoming difficulty)

Winner: Brighid Phillips

Finalists: Morgan Leung, Emalean En-Dal

- Helping Hand Award (helping out without seeking personal reward or accolades)

Winner: Justin Jack

Finalists: Amna Awan, Michael Barnes, Amanda Bradshaw, Giovanni D'Agostino, Timothy Lasher, Annabel Millington, Danielle Madore, Ian Stewart, Ali Virji, Katie Wanamaker-Briggs

- Inner Strength Award (achieving victory over adversity)

Winner: Sarita Ponce

Finalists: Amber Boyd, Taylor Blanchard, Colin Burke, Ravia Khanguva

- Global Award (recognizing an act or project that is international in nature)

Winner: Tineke Cuthbert

Finalists: Boundary Bay Montessori, Lauren Joyce

- Service above Self Award (youth whose story best describes the Rotary motto of service above self)

Winner: Amanda Neil, a Delta Secondary student who has shown compassion and empathy by fundraising for close to 75 headstones for the graves of veterans.

© The Delta Optimist 2009