YES Awards in need of cash infusion

May ceremony will recognize exceptional youth in Oak Bay

Oak Bay Coun. Hazel Braithwaite happily runs herself ragged running the YES Awards.

“I believe other municipalities are looking at our model and saying ‘that’s not a bad way to celebrate youth in our community’,” Braithwaite said. “It’s nice to be one of the pioneers of something that celebrates youth and business and seniors all at once,”

She created the Young Exceptional Star Awards, which marks its eighth year in 2015, during her previous term on council. It was a way to recognize youth, bring in business to help with that recognition, and invite the seniors’ group leadership to remind them of good works by youth in the community.

“I wanted to make sure the emphasis of the awards was not athletics or academics,” said Braithwaite, who now co-chairs the awards with Coun. Michelle Kirby. “It’s about giving back to the community in any way.”

The 2015 YES Awards are May 13, and are in need of a little help to make them shine.

One of the business connections of the awards is sponsorship. For $150, a business helps cover the physical award and recognition dinner for parents and sponsors.

“We’ll probably give out 10 to 12 awards, so we wouldn’t have more than 10-12 sponsors,” Braithwaite said.

There are also other groups, for example Kiwanis, who might donate enough to provide two awards and some extras. In the past kids have received a token such as flowers and chocolates.

The nominations too are open, to kids who physically live or attend school within the boundaries of Oak Bay.

“It is Oak Bay youth that we’re celebrating,” Braithwaite said. “Most of our nominations come from teachers or group leaders, but anybody can nominate.”

The deadline is March 26 to nominate youth. Email for more information on sponsorship or nomination forms which will also be online at