Over the summer, the Travel Agent Next Door held a contest to show appreciation to all essential workers.
The contest invited anyone to nominate an essential worker who went “above and beyond” during the COVID-19 crisis. And it was promoted to the public through 470 TTAND agents’ personal websites.
The contest awarded two trips — one to a frontline worker and the other to a first responder. The prize included roundtrip economy airfare for the winners on WestJet for up to two adults, from any Canadian gateway that WestJet currently serves, and 7-night accommodations at any all-inclusive Palace Resort. The prize also included all resort transfers and was inclusive of all taxes.
TTAND CEO Flemming Friisdahl said: “We are extremely grateful to WestJet and Palace Resorts for donating to this worthy cause.”
For the purposes of the contest, frontline workers were defined as anyone working in an industry which was deemed essential during lockdown – from grocery store workers to bus drives. First responders included those working in roles such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors & hospital personnel.
Said Friisdahl: “All three of my daughters are essential workers. I wanted to do something to show our appreciation for all of these workers — for their dedication, skills and abilities which have been very much appreciated during these troubling times, in order to keep our Canadian families safe.”
And he added: “However, my kids could not understand why they could not be entered in the contest.’
The contest received almost 800 nominations over the 7-week period. A selected committee of 60 TTAND agents reviewed all entries and narrowed the nominations down to the final eight, comprised of four frontline workers and four first responders.
Then all 900 of TTAND’s travel agent partners had a chance to vote for their favourite story in each of the two categories.
The winners are:
First Responder Winner: Carli Summers
Organization: Niagara Health
Nomination Story of why he/she deserves a break: I would like to nominate my girlfriend. She works in the COVID hot zone of our local ICU. She has picked up multiple overtime shifts to help when needed. She has donated blood on her break at work! Like what?! She has sewn over 400 scrubs caps for nurses and doctors to keep them protected. She has made sure her patients get to video chat their loved ones, even using her own cell phone so they can stay and feel connected and loved. She is so, so, so deserving, there is no better choice?
Nomination provided on website of TTAND Agent, Barbara Durley
Front Line Worker Winner: Alan Hardwick
Organization: MidLand Transport
Nomination Story of why he/she deserves a break: Alan transports French fries and mussels to New York, returns with auto parts and sometimes juice. He ensures both USA and Canada have supplies. He crosses violent demonstration lines and isolates himself on return to PEI. He has to limit his contact with his family. He is a single Dad of 5. He lives a lonely life in his attempt to ensure we all have some of the necessities of our life. His truck is his home. He is cheerful but careful in his encounters to ensure best practice for COVID.
Nomination provided on website of TTAND Agent, Lori Oschanney
Go to www.thetravelagentnextdoor.ca for more.