Yorkton Council unveiled the recipients of the 2019 Civic Recognition Awards, at its regular meeting Monday.
The recipients are;
*Adult Category: Mark Schendel
*Youth Category: Connor Watrych
*Group Category: The Soup Haven Lunch Program Inc.
The announcement marks the second annual Civic Recognition Awards.
The Civic Recognition Awards Committee adjudicated submissions in November and made recommendations for Council on award recipients.
“As of the submission deadline, there were five Adult, two Youth, and three Group category submissions received. The Committee carefully considered all the submissions and narrowed down the candidates they felt were most deserving of the 2019 Civic Recognition Awards,” explained Jessica Matsalla (City Clerk) with the City.
In unveiling the recipients Matsalla gave brief backgrounds on the three award winners.
Mark Schendel’s, “involvement in the community is multi-faceted. When he sees a need in the community, he searches for a solution. This often means finding sponsorships to support great causes with a focus on youth, sport and culture.
“With a very strong coaching background, he offers his time and involvement in many levels and disciplines of sport in the community, and even organized the first “Yorkton Minor Hockey Outdoor Classic” game; a new spin on an old game.
“He also spear-headed a fundraiser for a wheelchair accessible swing at a playground in Yorkton, and organized toy drives for children in need. Mark was also behind the black seat at the Farrell Agencies Arena, which is left empty at all arena events to signify and honour those who serve and have served in the Canadian Armed Forces.”
Connor Watrych “is a grade 12 student at the Yorkton Regional High School. He is the student body president and captain of the football and basketball teams,” said Matsalla.
“Connor has championed the Touchdown for Kids organization raising money for less fortunate kids that cannot afford to play football. With each touchdown scored by the Raider Gridders, money was donated by Connor and matched by other sponsors. This year the foundation raised $4000 which will be divided into scholarships.
“Connor keeps busy working as a lifeguard, refereeing and coaching youth football, organizing many events such as the YRHS Thanksgiving Feast, Telemiracle fundraising, Terry Fox Walk, Soup Haven meals, and more.”
Soup Haven is the first group recognized as the category is new.
“The Soup Haven Lunch Program was launched in April 1998 in response to an apparent need for school age kids not having enough nutritious food,” said Matsalla.
“Today the Soup Haven is a nondenominational, non-profit, charitable organization that delivers nourishing lunches to some 250 local school children every day. Without this service, these children would go hungry as for many, it is their only daily meal.
“The Soup Haven Lunch Program is overseen by a Board of volunteer community members, a small part time management team as well as a large group of caring volunteers from all around the City of Yorkton. Over the years the Soup Haven has received generous financial support from many local businesses, organizations and citizens along with grants from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education.”
Matsalla said the recipients are certainly worthy.
“It is with pride that these recommendations are made to Council. We see the remarkable accomplishments of these people, and how they so positively affect this community. It cannot go unmentioned that the pool of candidates was strong, and there are many individuals and groups out there every day who selflessly work towards the betterment of Yorkton,” she said.
As established in the policy, the presentation of the awards is set to occur at the first meeting held January 6, 2020, with award recipients in attendance prior for a reception and appreciation.