I had a hard time deciding on the 2019 President’s Award for Service. There are more than a few members I could have recognized. All of them work to keep our centre what it is. While I have noted he has recently started flirting with the dark side, astrophotography, this member is known mostly for visual astronomy and the art of star-hopping . He has been a volunteer at the RASCO, promoted sidewalk astronomy, come out at many many outreach events and ran the observers group for as long as I can remember. After years as head of that group he’s stepping down. For long time service to RASC Edmonton the 2019 President’s Award goes to Larry Wood.
Alister has an incredible attitude: he is always quick to volunteer his time and knowledge to help out on many RASC projects, as well as initiating his own projects. It would be difficult to run Edmonton RASC the way we do without Alister’s participation. He is presently our National Council Representative; he has led the monthly astroimaging corner in the past; recently he has started offering introductions to the observer’s handbook at observers’ meetings; he is always quick to offer help and advice to new members and the public. Last year I commented that he was a close contender for the Service award, and I am happy to honour him with this award this year!
Luca Vanzella has been a driving force behind some of the Centre’s major projects: the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium; Astro Café; the Black Nugget Lake Observatory; as well as volunteering at most of our events both through organizing details and sharing the sky to the public through his telescopes. This is someone who always lends a helping hand and provides advice whenever asked.
This member has conducted a tremendous amount of astronomy outreach over the years, helping the Centre deliver on its outreach mission. Sidewalk astronomy, school visits, major events like the Beaver Hills DSP Star Party and the Jasper Dark Sky Festival – this person has volunteered for just about everything. Thanks to this member’s hard work, we have stepped up our outreach game so we now can have a more professional appearance and a solid backup program in case of inclement weather.
This member pitches in whenever and wherever help is required. From delivering refreshments for our meetings, to signing up for a talk for to help the fledgling Astro Café series, to playing devil’s advocate when needed in Executive meetings, to last year when the Centre needed someone to step in and coordinate one of our biggest outreach events, stepping up immediately and doing a great job (along with his wife of course).
This member has also kept a watchful eye on the Centre’s books for the past four years, ensuring that we spend money wisely and within the arcane rules of the AGLC. And he has signed up for another term as Treasurer, continuing to run a tight ship on financial matters.
I have always been able to bounce ideas on and get second, and sometimes third, opinions from this member. This has helped me immensely in my term as President. For all of these things and many others that I have not mentioned, it is with gratitude that I give the President’s Award for Service to the Centre for 2016 to Jay Lavender.
Some of our members provide service to the Centre over long periods of time and this person is no exception. For a good decade, this member worked both as a regular Friday Observatory volunteer and as the volunteer scheduling coordinator. Over the years, she acted as den mother for the volunteers crews and worked to improve observatory procedures for things like sign-in logs and inventory of RASC equipment at the deck. She was instrumental in organizing the annual volunteer party. She also volunteered at the annual Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve celebrations and our annual Northern Prairie Start Party, always helping out with gusto. She was on the volunteer team that help stage the very successful RASC General Assembly in Edmonton in 2012. She stepped down last year as volunteer scheduling coordinator after providing exemplary service for many years, so it is with gratitude that I give the President’s Award for Service to the Centre for 2015 to Cornelia Blunck.
I’m not sure I can say anything we don’t already know about this guy…he’s always around, seemingly at every meeting, every event, everywhere…every time and all of the time…and has been for a very LONG time. Franklin has done everything for the Centre…a multitude of positions, 2 times President, National President, and I think most lengthy and recently, the Fundraising Coordinator since the early 1990s. Franklin has decided to ‘retire’ from Council after many decades effective this month. His knowledge and experience will be missed but hey…I know all 5 of his email addresses and at least 2 different phone numbers…and he’s never far from that damn iphone, so he’s really just a phone call away! He will be around on the QEP committee still, so I’ll still get the chance to rib him about being overly conservative! That said…I have the pleasure of presenting the President’s award for Service to the Centre for 2014 and a hell of a long time prior to that!
This guy does so many things for the Centre. From helping keep the observatory running, coming out to many events, and making the MZT available to us for meetings for many years along with running the show behind the scenes. His efforts and dedication are endless and help make our Centre stand out that much more.
This award goes to a large group of individuals that have greatly contributed to the Centre over many years. Some of these people have moved on to other projects, many are still on the committee and are still making contributions today. Without their hard work and dedication and literally hundreds of hours of volunteer time, our observatory would not be the fine example of public outreach that it is today. This year the President’s award for Service to the Centre goes to the Observatory Planning Committee. I would ask Massimo Torri to come up to accept this plaque on behalf of everyone that has ever served on the Observatory Planning Committee. All those in the audience that served on this committee in the past and still serve on it today, please stand up so that our club can recognize your contributions.