2014 Alberta Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award Nomination Period Opens

Program to award $10,000 to volunteerism across Alberta

CALGARY, Alberta, March 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Direct Energy and the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA) invite Albertans to help recognize Alberta's tremendous volunteer spirit with the tenth annual Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award. The nomination period is now open and nominations will be accepted until Friday, April 11, 2014.

First introduced in Alberta in 2005, the Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award program is designed to recognize the significant efforts of individuals whose contributions make their communities a better place to live. The program is part of Direct Energy's North American community involvement initiative that donated $75,000 to individuals and organizations in 2013.

"Direct Energy is excited to announce our partnership with the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association that recognizes the outstanding volunteers across communities in Alberta" said Tanis Kozak, vice-president and general manager, Direct Energy. "Volunteerism is alive and well in Alberta and we see this year after year when the nominations pour in. Last year just over 100 nominations were received and we are proud to be supporting this program and bringing attention to the work these wonderful Albertans do in their communities."

The award consists of:

  • $1,000 cash prize to the winner;
  • $5,000 cash grant to the winner's organization/cause of choice in their community;
  • Recognition of the winner's achievement through a commemorative award, article and photo to be published in AWNA newspapers across Alberta;
  • $1,000 cash grant to the four semi-finalists' organization/cause of choice in their communities;
  • Recognition of the four semi-finalists through a commemorative award, article and photo to be published in their respective AWNA community papers.

"Alberta community newspapers have been telling the stories of exceptional volunteers for decades and we are well aware of the significant positive impact these individuals can have on our neighbours and towns. We are very pleased to help recognize their efforts with the Volunteer Citizen of the Year award. I encourage all publishers, editors and community leaders to nominate individuals to celebrate their efforts and accomplishments," said AWNA president Fred Gorman.

The Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award is open to all residents of communities in the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association area. Individuals can either nominate themselves or be nominated by another individual or group. Nominations should be no longer than 750 words and must detail the specific contributions the individual or group has made to improve the community through volunteer service. The nomination must also profile the designated organization and how the organization would use the $5,000 donation from Direct Energy.

Nominations must be submitted to the AWNA by April 11, 2014. A selection committee, formed of two representatives from the AWNA and two appointed by Direct Energy, will review award applications and select the finalists and winning individual or group.

Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award rules and nomination details can be found online at www.awna.com or www.directenergy.com/vcoy or can be picked up at AWNA member newspaper offices.

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is North America's largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with over six million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit www.directenergy.com.

About the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association
Alberta's community newspapers reflect the images, thoughts and everyday happenings of the communities they serve. While these communities may vary in size; from tiny, isolated locations to bustling suburban centres, they share one important feature - a strong weekly newspaper. Today there are 118 member newspapers throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories. They boast a combined circulation of 900,460. The smallest newspaper circulates 443 copies each week; the largest - 127,593. We are part of a Canada-wide network of community newspapers through the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA). Together with six other provincial associations, we represent nearly 650 newspapers.

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SOURCE: Direct Energy

For further information:

Jeff Lanthier, Direct Energy, 905-943-6260 - Office, 647-221-4763 - Mobile, jeff.lanthier@directenergy.com



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