Youngsters honoured with Peace and Respect awards

Andrew
Andrew Schopp
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60 youngsters from across Prince Albert, including this young girl, received the Badge of Peace and Respect award during a ceremony in the Ches Leach Lounge of the Art Hauser Centre on Tuesday. Herald photo by Andrew Schopp 

The job of a Prince Albert police officer is to keep the peace, but they couldn’t do it without a strong contingent of young citizens dedicated to upholding the same principles. 

A banquet was held for 60 youngsters from across Prince Albert who received Badge of Peace and Respect awards at the Art Hauser Centre on Tuesday.

Nominated by family, friends, teachers and other community leaders, the award was handed out to students demonstrating qualities of respect and peacekeeping in their community.   

“It’s comparable to how children and youth get sports or academic awards,” explained event organizer Sandy Pitzel. “They’ve been nominated for respectful and peaceful things that they’ve done.”   

After speeches by Pitzel and Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne, students were called to the stage to receive the honour from Prince Albert Police Service Chief Troy Cooper.

Attending the event for the sixth time, Cooper said the work of his police force couldn’t be done without the help of  young model citizens like the ones honoured on Tuesday. 

“The primary purpose of the police is to keep the peace,” Cooper said. “It makes me feel good to know that we are not alone at our job, that there are a ton of great students out there doing the same work.”

While many of Tuesday’s honorees remarked how it was humbling to receive the award, their nominations told the story of youngsters with good hearts who are dedicated to building a positive environment around them. 

Pitzel explained how the students were nominated for showing leadership qualities in a variety of ways whether it was having the courage to put a stop to bullying or reaching out to a new student to make them feel welcome at a new school.

“This student’s a ‘Gentle Giant’,” reads one nomination for a recipient in the 12-14 age category. “Works hard and is always peaceful in both their words and actions.”

Another nomination of a student in the 15-18 age category, told the story of a student who is not afraid to stand up to bullying at his/her school.

“This student understands the pain of being bullied and has voice their concerns for others through their work in school,” reads the nomination.

Founded in 1996, the Badge of Respect and Peace award is the brainchild of Pitzel with sponsorship by the Community Against Family Violence program and the Cooperative Health Centre.

The vision of the CHC is to “engage people in building a healthy community through teamwork and partnership.”

For more information on the Badge of Respect and Peace award, visit the CHC’s website at coophealth.com. 

andrew.schopp@paherald.sk.ca 

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