Six young Langleyites, all girls, were honoured Friday for their contributions as future leaders of this community.
It was the Langley Rotary Clubs’ inaugural SASSY (Service Above Self Student Youth) Awards held at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley on Friday, where 18 semi-finalists (out of 42 nominees) were congratulated for all their academic accomplishments and community achievements.
Six of those youth (all between the ages of 15 and 21) walked away with trophies, money and a contribution to their charity of choice.
The first-place winners were Hailey Spearn in the arts & culture category; Alix Way in the sports leadership; Kaya Pook in the overcoming adversity category; Truepayna Moo in the international services; Roxanne Kondos for youth leadership; and Alisha Sidhu for community service.
“I’m pleased with how it went,” show organizer Andria McAuley said immediately after the awards. “It was humbling to have the opportunity to take a step back and celebrate some incredible youth.”
Co-founders Dan Bennett and Rod Wainwright were impressed with the numbers of people who came out for the first-ever event, noting about 250 almost filled the theatre.
The awards presentations were interspersed with youth performances, including a drumming welcome from the Kwantlen First Nation, a dance performance by members of the Kick-It-Up-A-notch studio, two performances by Circus Lab athletes, and numerous performances by the Langley-based Her Brothers band.
“I think Her Brothers and their video (about internal beauty) stole the show with their message,” Wainwright said.
He admitted that was his favourite part of the evening, but said the message delivered about youth-at-risk in the community before and during the show continues to resonate with him as the purpose behind the project.
Two of the nominees, Jordyn Laird and Elly Choi, also made a presentation about youthful homelessness, explaining a task force’s efforts and its quest to create a youth shelter in Langley.
“We thought that it went exceptionally well,” Bennett said of the show, noting the committee members are already talking about and planning for next year’s awards show.
“I think we can call it an unequivocal success,” he added.
Much of the show revolved around video productions, and Bennett lauded the Brookswood Backstage Studio and Langley Fine Art students who put so much of the show together, Wainwright thanking the sponsors and volunteers who helped make the show possible.
• Stay tuned to the Langley Advance for videos of each of the 18 nominations.