The Semiahmoo Rotary Club will be honouring youth in White Rock and Surrey at the first-ever Service Above Self Surrey Youth awards on Oct. 14.
The awards will be honouring youth between the ages of 16 and 21 who have done exceptional work in the community.
“It’s apparent there are some very, very talented youth in the community,” said Valerie Giles, who is helping to organize the event.
The idea for the awards sprung from a club meeting where members were envisioning their five-year plan. The common consensus was to work more closely with youth.
“Our club really understands that the future is our youth and that they need focus, challenges and incentives to reach their full potential,” Giles said.
More than 75 nominees were submitted for the award, which has seven categories including youth leadership, community service, humanitarian, succeeding against the odds, cultural diversity, athletic/sportsmanship and performing and visual arts.
“We weren’t sure what the outcome would be like in our first year and then boom, they all came in,” Giles said.
Roughly 22 community members, including Rotarians, sat on different panels and picked the winners, who will receive $500 bursaries and $500 to go to a charity of their choice.
The awards will also include performances from entertainers in the community, including the Semiahmoo Secondary Senior School jazz band.
The evening will also include a key note speech from Craig Kielburger, co-founder of the Me to We Foundation and Free the Children – the world’s largest network of children helping children through education.
“We were so fortunate to get him to come, it’s going to be a superb evening,” Giles said.
The money raised from the event will be going to various youth projects as well as into next year’s event.
“It’s all about the youth – we are rewarding them with the awards and then putting the money back into youth and the community,” said Giles.
The rotary club plans to make this an annual event and plan on getting more communities and rotary clubs involved in the future, said Giles.
The event will be held at the Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey, located at 6250 144 St. Opening reception is set for 7 p.m., with ceremony beginning at 8 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.bellperformingartscentre.com and at the Coast Capital Savings Box Office, or by calling 604-507-6355.
Tickets cost $50 for adults and $25 for students.