For Immediate Release:
Last night in Calgary, Alberta, the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) presented Terry Kelly with the 2005 CCMA Humanitarian Award during their Industry Awards Gala. This award is voted on by the Board of Directors of the CCMA and is presented to a person(s) and/or event(s) that have made an outstanding contribution involving extraordinary time and energy in the support of humanitarian causes through country music
CCMA President Heather Ostertag delivered a heartfelt presentation to a surprised Terry Kelly. During her speech, Ostertag said “…He is being honoured this evening because of all the work that he does in helping to make the world a better place. His heart has no boundaries. He is authentic and the way he encourages people to be their best is inspiring. Through motivational presentations Terry has given of himself to tens of thousands of students, teachers, parents, government and business employees throughout Canada and the United States. Many of these have been done without any monetary benefit
Using personal anecdotes peppered with humour, songs and audience participation, Terry encourages individuals to develop their own values and strategies for living and working happily and healthily. ….
Twelve year old Cameron Van Welter was one of the children greatly influenced by Terry and he was on hand last night to escort Terry to the podium. During Ms. Ostertag’s presentation, she delivered Cameron’s words.
“The year that I met Terry I was having a lot of difficulty in school. I was getting suspended almost every day for defying authority. I was a very angry person. Anything would set me off. Terry offered to play a show at my school free of charge the next time he was in Toronto provided that I agreed to introduce him. He came to Toronto shortly after we had talked and he played not one but two shows, one for students in Grades 1-5, and another for students in Grades 6-8”
“My life has changed a lot over this last year. I am much calmer and kinda sorta patient. Terry among other things got me started to play guitar, and I do that a lot now so he has been a big influence in my life. This year I was given the Award for ‘Most Improved’ by my Principal and Terry was one of the influences who helped me get a better attitude. I didn’t make the change overnight. It was an everyday thing. This may sound simple, it isn’t and Terry helped me understand that. Thank you Terry.”