Richmond Cares Richmond Gives, a charity that encourages local philanthropy and volunteering, held its annual Volunteers are Stars gala celebrating the city's volunteers on April 9.
There, some dedicated volunteers were honoured with special awards.
Usually two winners are picked for this award, but due to a tie in judging this year, three winners were named. Richmond's volunteer drivers, its RCMP Community Police Office volunteers and the Children's Committee volunteers were all honoured.
Nova Star Award
Howard Smythe picked up this award for his committment to events in Richmond. He was instrumental during the 2010 Olympics, and has kept it up since by helping organize the Ship to Shore Festival, the Maritime Festival, Winterfest and the Richmond World Festival. He also donates countless hours to his Parent Advisory Committee and volunteers for Richmond's Sister City Committee.
Steward Siy was also a Nova winner. He's a volunteer basketball coach at MacNeill where he's made a huge impact on the kids. In addition to teaching them core values, the team was undefeated this season.
Shooting Star Award
This award honours volunteers under 25. Jason Pang was chosen for his committment to green initiatives in Richmond. He co-founded Plastic Connection, was a team leader with City of Richmond's Green Ambassadors, founded an environmental club at Richmond Secondary School an was recently recognized by the Recycling Council of BC for his environmental preservation efforts.
Amy Ho picked up a Shooting Star Award for her work as a crisis line volunteer with Chimo Community Services. She responds to calls from people in distress who are experiencing a personal crisis. In 2017 she was recognized by Chimo her communication skills and ability to create space for clients to talk freely. She now supports new crisis line volunteers, and is also involved with Chimo's Coldest Night of the Year.
Star of Richmond Award
These awards go to people who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the non-profit sector.
This year's winner was John Watson. He worked as an engineer, and during his 50 years living in Richmond, has been instrumental in establishing the Richmond Cultural Centre, getting upgrades to YVR as chair of the Airport Authority Capital Projects Committee and transferring the airport from federal control to become a local organization.
Most recently he's served as chair of the Gateway Theatre Society, helping the organization grow and develop programming that's meaningful to the community.