Helping increases happiness for all: junior citizen of the year

HUMBOLDT — When Nathan Tremblay faced unexpected demand for a sweater he designed, his reaction exemplified why he was selected as 2019 junior citizen of the year.

The sweater memorialized Jacob Leicht and the rest of the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos team and was originally planned for a small number of people.

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“I just wanted to order a sweater for me and a few buddies,” Tremblay said.

One of the friends who ordered a sweater received it during his dance class. Everybody else saw it and wanted one.

It just grew so quickly from there that I knew I had to do something,” Tremblay said. “I had to fundraise or something with all the all the support coming in.”

Tremblay ended up selling around 360 sweaters, raising around $2,500.

“It was just incredible. I never thought I’d be able to organize something like that all by myself.”

The money was originally going to go toward the Broncos memorial fund, but after some discussions with the families, he donated it to KidSport in January.

Tremblay, a Grade 12 student at Humboldt Collegiate Institute, is active both in his school and community.

“His enthusiasm and energy for the well-being of HCI is infectious,” said his nominator for the junior citizen of the year award.

Tremblay serves as the co-president of the Student Representative Council, an interest that began when he was in elementary school at St. Dominic.

“That just got me interested in being involved inside the school and making fun activities and stuff,” he said. “Then in Grade 9, I just decided that was one of the clubs I was going to join when I first got into high school.”

The council was small when Tremblay joined, with around six students. Thanks to a major build-up, the council now has more than 20 people.

“I just like having that little bit of voice to be able to bring lots of energy and enjoyment  into the school,” Tremblay said.

Notable events for Tremblay during his time on the council include a fundraiser with a local car dealer in 2017 that raised lots of money, as well as a competition in the school, started this school year, that’s based on the school house competitions seen in Harry Potter.

“It’s the first year we’re doing it this year, but it’s been lots of fun so far,” he said. “It seems lots of students are excited about it.”

Tremblay plays a key role in organizing and encouraging involvement at events like school assemblies, year-end wind ups, school spirit days, Christmas fun days and sports assemblies, often adding a component to them that raises money for organizations like Telemiracle or the local food bank. He also represents students on the high school’s School Community Council.

Tremblay is serving as the chair of this year’s grad committee.

“I help organize everybody and I keep the meetings running,” he said, adding the others on the committee are doing some hard jobs to make the ceremony possible.

Tremblay is also an avid curler. He was one of the members of the team that made it to the provincials, which were held in Humboldt last weekend.

“When I lived all the way back in Bjorkdale, my grandpa taught me how to curl, probably when I was seven, and I’ve just kept with it throughout my years,” he said. “I plan on curling probably forever, because it’s just one of those sports that you can just play the day you die. It’s just awesome.”

When Tremblay found out he would receive the junior citizen of the year award, he felt a bit of disbelief, as he didn’t know he was nominated.

“I didn’t see it coming,” he said. “I don’t really know how I’m deserving of it. It’s nice to see that people think that I exemplify that kind of stuff.”

Tremblay’s involved in the community because he believes if everybody had a voice and put just a little bit of effort, everybody’s happiness could be increased exponentially.

“If everybody put in just a little bit more positivity and a little bit more effort into what’s happening around them instead of just focusing on themselves, I think we’d be way better off just as a whole,” he said.

“I just like to do my part, just try to get involved as much as possible, keep people from having too much on their plates and try to help out in any way I can.”

Tremblay will receive his junior citizen of the year at the Mark of Excellence Awards on Wednesday, March 20 at the Uniplex. The event starts at 5 pm.

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