Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 4, 2006
Spelliscy honoured for volunteer efforts
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Local TV personality Tim Spelliscy has been named this year's recipient of Newman Theological College's Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award in recognition of his volunteer service to the Catholic community.
Spelliscy, station manager and news director at Global Edmonton, often emcees and acts as auctioneer in fundraising events. He is currently helping organize the gala in support of the Priests' Retirement Fund and will emcee the event Sept. 9.
"When you support these different fundraising dinners and events, you certainly don't expect or want or aim toward getting some kind of award," Spelliscy said.
"And so initially I was kind of awkward or even uncomfortable with it but now it's kind of falling into place. I am very grateful and kind of feel humble and kind of inspired by it. It is always nice to have somebody say thanks to you in a way."
Spelliscy, an active member of St. Thomas More Parish and a father of two, says he gets his inspiration from his late dad, Hal, who started the Friars' dinner and had a deep commitment to community service. He also follows the example of other dedicated volunteers like Father Mike McCaffery, Randy Yatscoff and Marc Barylo of Catholic Social Services.
"I think there are a lot of other people in this community that do a lot more good work in fundraising but I'm the guy at the front with the big mouth and sometimes people notice me more," he chuckled.
Others think the award is well deserved.
Chief Justice Allan Wachowich said Spelliscy has set an example for community involvement.
"We need individuals like Tim Spelliscy so that we can sustain ourselves and we need volunteers who are people of their word - once they make a commitment they carry out their commitment. This is the kind of individual that he is."
Newman College established the Kevin Carr Award in 2004 in honour of its first lay president to recognize people who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Christian community and beyond.
Last year the award when to Ernest Chauvet, founder of John Paul II Bible College in Radway, and the year before it was given to retired senator Jean Forest.
A luncheon honouring Spelliscy will be held Oct. 4 at the Petroleum Club, 11110-108 St. Wachowich will emcee the event.
Spelliscy, 50, has been a member of the Friars' board for the past seven years and emcees the charity's annual fundraising dinner. He has served as chair of the WCR's board of directors and also volunteers for an array of other organizations, including the Sign of Hope campaign, of which he is a former chairperson, the Star of the North Retreat Centre's annual fundraiser, St. Joseph's University College, the Lurana Shelter for Women and the annual LaSalle gala.
He helped organize the tribute to McCaffery a few years ago and has been a member of the Edmonton Archdiocese's sexual abuse committee since day one.
City lawyer Teresa Haykowsky, a former member of the Senate of Newman College and a member of the Friars' board, was one of the people who nominated Spelliscy for the award.
"His conduct, in my view, is quite remarkable in that he is a very, very caring individual and very balanced in his approach and, in my view, considers Catholic values in the way he conducts himself."
Lawyer Rosanna Saccomani has known Spelliscy for the past 15 years and thinks the world of him. "He lives his life in the community," she said. "Tim never says no. He takes on so much; he is really a Christian in action."
Len Perry, director of news and public affairs at CTV Calgary, wrote a letter supporting Spelliscy's nomination, where he describes him as a servant leader.
"He has built his life around serving others," Perry said. "His principles and actions are based upon his faith, . . . evident at home, in the community and in the workplace."
When Spelliscy read Perry's comments he said he thought, "that's a very kind thing to say" but he thinks getting to the level Perry describes is still a long way off for him.
"I don't think that's a level I've reached yet with my leadership or my leadership skills or whatever but I thought that's a level I'd like to aspire towards," he told the WCR.
Over the years Spelliscy has noted a lack of involvement in volunteer activities and thinks it is time to change that trend.
"I think sometimes in our community it's a core group of people that are doing the same things for all the different organizations," he said.
"We have to get younger people involved in all the great projects that are going on in the Christian community. We need some new blood; we need some younger people and it's our job to go and find a way to get those younger people."