The Calgary Stampede’s 6th Annual Western Legacy Awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Stampede Park on October 13th.   These awards recognize the contributions of members of our community based on the four core values of the Calgary Stampede; Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community and Pride of Place.

This year the Western Legacy Awards Committee was delighted by the number of exceptional nominations.  Leading up to the Awards, I will be posting some of the stories of our finalists from this year’s roster of nominees. 

Finalist: Child and Youth Friendly Calgary

Category: Group – Innovation

Child and Youth Friendly Calgary (soon to be called Youth Central) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1992 and currently runs 10 programs for youth.  Their mission is to engage youth in community participation and philanthropy and to involve youth in the planning and execution of these projects and programs. Last year 2,400 youth donated an astounding 32,000 hours of volunteer work through the CYFC.

In addition to many school satellite programs which organize volunteerism and projects at the community level, the CYFC is committed to removing barriers to public service that youth face.  They have programs to enable young single mothers to contribute to their community.  They have engaged immigrant and ESL youth, whether by providing translators or additional supervision like teaching them to use public transit. They set these newcomers on the path of social involvement and help them take ownership of their communities.

The group has taken part in the development of many City and community building initiatives like the construction of Millennium Skate Park, building community playgrounds and cleaning parks.  CYFC also runs the Mayor’s Youth Council, which engages youth in our municipal political system.  They research issues concerning youth in Calgary and make presentations to staff and Council with their findings.  They offer youth-designated funding through the Calgary Youth Foundation to projects focused on or led by youth in the community.  They empower youth to have an impact on decisions in this city that will ultimately impact them. 

At every level and every step, youth are empowered, employed and engaged in CYFC’s activities.  The Western Legacy Awards Committee is honoured to present Child and Youth Friendly Calgary (Youth Central) as one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards Finalists.

If you know of someone in the community who is demonstrating Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community and Pride of Place, please nominate them for the 2011 Western Legacy Awards.