Nom­i­nate your hero

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Streetwatch -

CHANTEL James un­der­stands the im­por­tance of vol­un­teers and the value of recog­nis­ing the price­less con­tri­bu­tion made by so many in our com­mu­nity.

The Hen­ley Brook res­i­dent is pres­i­dent of Camp Autism, which or­gan­ises camps and day ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren on the autism spec­trum to at­tend with their fam­i­lies.

Like most peo­ple at the top of a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, Ms James has a hand in pretty much ev­ery­thing, from camp plan­ning and fundrais­ing to at­tend­ing camps, run­ning the ac­tiv­i­ties and han­dling mem­ber in­quiries.

Last year Ms James was ac­knowl­edged for her de­vo­tion, en­thu­si­asm and tire­less ef­forts for Camp Autism by be­ing named the Sea­sons Com­mu­nity Cham­pion.

The award is a joint ini­tia­tive of Sea­sons Fu­ner­als and the Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group.

It also earned Ms James a new vol­un­tary re­spon­si­bil­ity, as a judge for this year’s award.

“It is a re­ally nice hon­our to be nom­i­nated by your peers be­cause what you are do­ing is be­ing seen and no­ticed by the peo­ple you are work­ing with,” she said. “Im­por­tantly, it can also bring promi­nence to your or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Sea­sons Di­rec­tor Erin Erceg said peo­ple in the fu­neral in­dus­try bore wit­ness to amaz­ing life sto­ries ev­ery day, but be­lieved they should be shared ear­lier.

She urged peo­ple to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their un­sung he­roes when the Com­mu­nity Cham­pion award opens for nom­i­na­tions on Mon­day. “What so of­ten strikes a chord for us at Sea­sons is just how many peo­ple there are out there ac­tively giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, and yet they are of­ten not ac­knowl­edged,” she said.

“Nom­i­nat­ing some­one who gives so will­ingly of their time and en­ergy to oth­ers is re­ally the ul­ti­mate way to say thank you.”

Camp Autism pres­i­dent Chantel James.

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