Johnson named SCBEX Citizen of the Year
Dedicated volunteer Larry Johnson was at a loss for words after being saluted with a second major recognition this year.
On Friday night Johnson was singled out as the SCBEX Spirit of Swift Current Citizen of the Year and was given a standing ovation by the capacity audience at the Gala. His Citizen of the Year honour comes just months after his July 7 induction into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame.
“I wasn’t expecting this,” Johnson said moments after receiving his award. “It’s been a tremendous year. No words I can express right now.”
Johnson was quick to thank the entire community for the support he has received for his various endeavours.
“The community’s really supported me over the years. Whatever I did.”
Johnson is instantly recognized around Swift Current for his dedicated volunteer efforts as a hockey coach which spawned from 1974 to 2015. He was also one of the individuals responsible for launching the Swift Current Wheelchair Hockey program.
His efforts as a coach allowed him to be previously recognized with an SHA Outstanding volunteer award in 2001, and he was also given the Saskenergy Volunteer Championship Award in 2013.
“It’s been fun. I met a lot of great people in the hockey program over those years. And being installed in the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame was a real honour as well.”
Johnson’s long coaching career was memorable for more than just wins and losses, but rather the impact he had on the players he was coaching.
“I was taught when I was young to develop the individual, both as a hockey player and their character. And respect each other. If you teach them the right way, the wins will come.
“I go back the four decades, and I have great friendship with a lot of the kids that I coached then, 40 years ago. And we still have that connection.
“I love teaching the game and teaching them to make decisions. Its easy to open the door, you’ve got to let the kids make the decision. That’s how they learn to play the game right.”
Johnson has also been influential in other areas throughout the community, as he has served as the president of both the Swift Current Kiwanis Club and the Swift Current SPCA’S board of directors.
“I really love the Swift Current Kiwanis Club. We do a lot of great work for the youth of the community. We’ve got some great fundraisers. We meet once a week and have great fellowship within it.
“The SPCA, I have been involved with it and helping out. But my daughter talked me into getting onto the board, and now I’m the president of that.
“I love putting in time. I love this community. And it’s just such a great place to live and bring up my family.”
Larry Johnson was singled out as the Citizen of the Year at the SCBEX Spirit of Swift Current Awards. Chamber Board Chairman Doug Evjen was assisted by category sponsors Kara Thompson from Community Futures Southwest and Lawrence Carr from Whisky Jack Creek Construction in presenting Johnson with his award.
Olea Oil and Vinegar won the Start-up/new Business of the Year SCBEX Spirit of Swift Current Award. Chamber Board Chairman Doug Evjen and award category sponsor representative Dan Johnson from Innovation Credit Union present the award to Olea Oil and Vinegar co-owners Amanda Leibel and Brigitte Price.
The Sputtergotch Toy Company was selected as the Small Business of the Year SCBEX Spirit of Swift Current Award winner. Chamber Board Chairman Doug Evjen and award category sponsor representative Derek Wiebe from MNP presented the award to Sputtergotch owner Garry Koebel.
LEFT: Members of the Ecole Centennial School Stars Choir perfomed at the Swiftlink Charity Expo at the Swift Current Mall on Saturday. RIGHT: Bands from all Swift Current schools were on stage Sunday at the Beef and Band Blast.