July 23rd, 2024

Community foundation announces upcoming 7 Over 70 awards

By ANNA SMITH Local Journalism Initiative on March 8, 2024.

News Photo Anna Smith David Andrews addresses attendees at the Cypress Club Thursday regarding the upcoming 7 Over 70 Awards via CFSEA.

asmith@medicinehatnews.com

The Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta gathered at the Cypress Club Thursday for the launch of their Top 7 Over 70 Awards program.

This award follows in the footsteps of a Calgary program by the same name, and has been in the works for about a year, said Community Foundation ambassador Stan Sakamoto.

Top 7 Over 70 aims to recognize the accomplishments of individuals making contributions to their communities over the age of 70 in areas including science, literature, sports, agriculture, philanthropy and the arts, and demonstrating the impact of “seasoned community members” in the region.

“The Community Foundation has three pillars – we grow, we inspire, and we give – the top 7 Over 70 year awards program aligns with the ‘we inspire’ pillar by not only applauding remarkable accomplishments, but those serving as an inspiration for the generations to come. Emphasizing that age is not a barrier to innovation, creativity and positive societal impact,” said Sakamoto.

Member of the similar Calgary award, Kim McConnell was thrilled to be present at the launch event and offer unwavering support for what he called a deeply inspiring program.

“Jim Gray, the iconic businessman and Calgary community leader had an idea in 2017 and his point was that people are not just living longer. They’re doing some really amazing things and should be recognized,” said McConnell. “We should be moving forward and doing stuff with that. So his point was that seniors are doing significant things in developing their own businesses, inspiring others and making the community come to life.”

Calgary’s award has been well-received in its home community, and it is the hope of McConnell to see a similar warm welcome for them here in Southeastern Alberta, as nominations open and the foundation turns their eyes toward October for their gala.

“Our vision was that we expand this program, that we’d be able to have more communities that were involved to be able to take advantage and to recognize seniors that are doing great things and to be able to give back to the community,” said McConnell. “So we are so excited, so proud of you to be our first and to be the first one in Canada to be able to take on to do that.”

Currently, the foundation is focused on collecting nominations. Information on how to nominate a senior and on the upcoming gala is available on the CFSEA website.

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