The Rotary Club of St. John’s Northwest has named Amanda Burton and Peter Benoite as the recipients of the 2012 Aidan Maloney Emerging Professionals Award for Vocational and Community Service.
Presentations were made today by Maloney at a ceremony during the club’s weekly luncheon meeting.
Citing their initiative in developing and supporting significant community-minded projects, award committee chairwoman Nancy Snedden said, “These individuals are truly using their vocations to enhance the lives of people in their communities and beyond, and they have both shown tremendous ingenuity in their approach to community service.”
Named in honor of St. John’s Northwest Rotarian and former Rotary district governor and lifelong leader Aidan Maloney, this award is aimed at recognizing annually, up to two young professionals between 25- and 40 years of age, who positively impact their vocations and communities.
Winners receive a plaque, $500 cash for continuing education, and an invitation to attend Northwest Rotary luncheons as a guest for the remainder of the Rotary year (until June 30, 2013) with the provision of a Rotary mentor.
“Rotary embodies community service and we are proud to encourage and support the development of young leaders in our community who demonstrate the very characteristics we aim to attract,” said Wilf McIsaac, St. John’s Northwest Club president. “We are always inspired by the genuine desire of so many young individuals who want to make a positive difference within their communities.”
Burton holds a masters of science degree in nutrition and dietetics from Central Michigan University, a bachelor of science in biochemistry/dietetics from Memorial University, and graduated as a registered dietitian from the ARAMARK internship program.
In 2008 she was awarded the Dietitians of Canada Judy van Tilburg Memorial Bursary, which is presented to two interns across Canada for personal and professional potential in the field.
While working with Kids Eat Smart Foundation to bring nutritious breakfast and snack programs to schools across the province, Burton recognized a need to do more for the province’s health care epidemics such as obesity and diabetes.
In 2010, she started Recipe for Health, a nutrition counseling and consulting practice in St. John's. She is regularly consulted for her food and nutrition knowledge and is the Newfoundland and Labrador media representative for Dietitians of Canada.
She is currently working on a book which features a healthy twist to traditional Newfoundland and Labrador foods that is set to be printed next year. She also provides nutrition wisdom and advice in her weekly Telegram column on Mondays entitled, 'On Your Plate'.
Burton also enjoys volunteering and serves on the board of directors for the Community Food Sharing Association as nutritional adviser and has done work for several local organizations, including the Canadian Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Benoite is the head coach of Memorial University’s Sea-Hawks men's basketball team. Having been a member of the team from 1993-1998 and then an assistant coach for both the women and men’s teams, he has deep roots in basketball in Newfoundland and Labrador.
He’s a graduate of Memorial University, having earned a bachelor of science degree with a major in mathematics and Minor in statistics.
Benoite has received several honours, including the Atlantic University Athletics’ Association MVP, Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union’s (CIAU) All Canadian and Academic All Canadian.
He has also played professional basketball, both overseas and in North America, and coached various youth teams while in Germany.
While working for the Newfoundland Statistics Department of the provincial government, he was part of a team (Community Accounts) that was awarded the Public Service Award of Excellence and a bronze medal award winner for Innovation in Public Service by the Institute of Public Administration in Canada.
Bemoite is also extensively involved in community initiatives, including the REAL program which provides children access to sporting programs and he provides various basketball clinics to community groups and school teams.
Last year, he embarked on a new endeavour, travelling to Tanzania, Africa where he administered week-long basketball camps for both boys and girls. He plans to enhance his connection with the African community by beginning a program of collecting basketball shoes to bring to the children