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Good deeds don't go unnoticed
Good deeds do not pass unnoticed, and in the case of the community-wide Langley Good Deeds, they do not go without reward.
On May 26, Dr. Aly Kanani of Langley Orthodontics, Township Councillor Grant Ward, and Jim McGregor, former Langley City fire chief and Times columnist, handed out a number of awards, plaques, and gift cards to the finalists in this year’s Langley Good Deeds event.
Among the awards was an Apple iPad2 computer.
The participants qualified by raising money for B.C. Children’s Hospital, school carnivals, a Hope for Haiti Talent Show participant, organizing school spirit days, Children’s Festival, volunteering in annual Vaisakhi Parade, raising money for people suffering in Japan, and ºallowing children and seniors to shower ahead of the youth after swimming at the community centre.
One boy, who retrieved an errant ball at a professional baseball game, gave it to a young child, making friends with the happy Downs Syndrome youngster.
Another spent time with senior citizen neighbours, went through the school classroom garbage cans looking for items that should be recycled and put them in the recycling bins, handing in found money to the school principal instead of keeping it.
The awards encourage all Langley and surrounding area youth up to 18 years of age to do good deeds and then write an essay detailing what they did, what motivated them to do it, and what they got out of the process. The essays were submitted to Kanani, reviewed by a committee compromised of community members, who then make a blind vote on the finalists. Then a top winner and several other winners were chosen out of the several hundred award applications.
The finalists for the Langley Good Deed Awards were Kaitlynn Ladwig and Nicolas Festing of R.C. Garnett, Andi Jones of Pacific Heights Elementary, Karlee Lebedynski of Ecole Kwantlen Park, Nicholas Exelby of A.J. McLellan, Keaton Farmer of Pacific Heights Elemenrary, Ty Kelly of H.D. Stafford, Vanshika Joshi of Diamond Elementary and Sabrina Bergeron-Bailey of Ecole Gabrielle Roy.
The grand prize winner was Chris Taylor of Langley Fundamental, who was presented the award by Kanani and the 2010 Langley Good Deed award winner, Kristi Rolston of Clayton Heights Secondary.
Applying the ideal that “doctors heal people, but people heal the world,” Kanani launched the awards in order to help motivate young people to become active in their communities and in turn, instill in them positive qualities, like innovativeness, self-motivation, self-esteem and a desire to help others.
“The response has been very humbling,” Kanani commented.
“As our committee reviewed the award entries over the past several months, there were numerous entries that brought tears to the eyes of several of us,” he said.
“We strongly believe in the great potential of the Langley and surrounding area youth. Numerous schools participated and several hundred entries were received, even from children as young as five years old,” he added.
Kanani, a Langley orthodontist, founded and personally funds the entire administration and giving of these awards. They are presented twice a year to young people in Langley and area.
“In today’s world, it is important to acknowledge young people’s good deeds,” Kanani said.
“It is not true as portrayed frequently in some media that only bad things are happening. Langley is an amazing culturally rich and diverse city with so many talented young people. By focusing on what is good, we can get a different perspective on our society and encourage ourselves and the younger generation to do more good deeds.”
The next Langley Good Deed Awards will be held in October.
Youth interested in participating in future awards can visit www.SurreyGoodDeedAwards.com for award updates and future enrolment information.