Undertaking small acts to help others may not seem like much, but can go a long way towards doing a lot.
That was the theme of the Battlefords and District Citizen of the Year banquet and ceremony at the Western Development Museum, Friday.
Topping the list was Cathy Richardson, honoured as Citizen of the Year, while youth Emily Simon received the Junior Citizen of the Year award.
"I think doing all these things energizes one," Richardson said. "The things I do fill my soul. That keeps you going and energizes you, and helps energize others."
The North Battleford resident received the award for her significant volunteer work in the community. Her involvement with the Habitat for Humanity Battlefords Chapter as well as the upcoming Saskatchewan Winter Games, are among her contributions to the community.
"I love people. I love the whole service and being able to talk and trying to inspire people," Richardson said.
The Third Avenue United Church choir member broke into song when she gave her acceptance speech and roused others in the room to sing along.
Richardson previously received the Best Citizen title in the Best of the Best Awards in 2017, making this another feather in her cap.
A speech pathologist with Living Sky School Division, Richardson works with several area schools. She is also a former city councillor.
Richardson thanked her children for inspiring her, as well as her parents whom she said were excellent role models.
Battleford resident Simon was all smiles when she received the Junior award.
The John Paul II Collegiate Grade 11 student said she felt “very privileged" to be honoured.
“I'm overwhelmed by how much support I've had in the community,” Simon said.
The 17-year-old said having the award will also be helpful to her as she completes application forms for post-secondary education.
Usually, students in Grade 12 are considered for the award, but Simon was acknowledged a year earlier for her efforts, who said she gets quite a thrill out of volunteering.
"It's just something I do and who I am," said the enthusiastic youth following the ceremony. "I have a bunch of great role models who have shown me it is kind of fun to help people."
The teen said many people have inspired her through the years - from coaches and teachers to Craig Kielburger of Me to We.
Simon manages to squeeze in volunteer efforts on numerous projects, while also making the honour roll.
Some of her efforts include starting a small business with a group of fellow students to provide spring clean ups. She has donated the profits from this project to the Me to We education fund in Ecuador and to KidSport Saskatchewan. Simon has also travelled to Ecuador to help build a school through her involvement in Me to We.
The hard-working teen also meets with the City of North Battleford once a month to give a youth perspective on current issues affecting the community.
On Twitter: @battlefordsnow
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