Two prestigious community service honours for Bodger

Don Bodger emcees the Youth Athletes of the Year awards dinner in January. - JudyTeasdale/file
Don Bodger emcees the Youth Athletes of the Year awards dinner in January.
— image credit: JudyTeasdale/file

Chemainus mural guru Karl Schutz may have local dibs on the title “Mr. Community.”

So we’ll give Don Bodger the title of Mr. Community Service.

The News Leader Pictorial’s veteran sports editor has completed a rare community newspaper industry double this year: community service gold honours from the industry at both the provincial and national levels for two separate initiatives.

Bodger is scheduled to be recognized next month by the Canadian Community Newspaper Association for his work promoting youth achievement and athletics through his annual Cowichan Youth Athlete of the Year countdown and banquet.

And he matched that Saturday when the B.C./Yukon Community Newspaper Association honoured him with another community service gold for the Georgina Falt Mind Games Music Trivia contest.

Named in honour of his late mother-in-law, Mind Games was a charity music trivia contest he organized last year to benefit the Alzheimer Society of B.C. It raised $2,588 and will become an annual event, scheduled this year for Saturday, Sept. 20.

“An original event from the Pictorial shows deep concern by the paper to raise awareness and engage the community,” the judge wrote. “I’m sure this event will continue for years to come — a fitting tribute.”

National honours for the Youth Athlete of the Year program comes four years after Bodger earned a silver for the same program at the provincial level.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s BCYNA Ma Murray awards gala was a good night all around for Cowichan Valley newspapers.

Bodger complemented his community service gold with a third-place business writing honour — a category where gold was given to  Cowichan Valley Citizen reporter Sarah Simpson.

News Leader Pictorial photographer Andrew Leong took a bronze in the spot news photography category, while the Citizen’s Andrea Rondeau won bronze for feature photo, black and white.

Finally, the News Leader Pictorial won bronze in the general excellence category.

The Ma Murray Awards are an annual BCYCNA program honouring the province’s best in community journalism.

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