Three people in Saskatoon are being thanked for their tireless humanitarian work and endless generosity.
The Saskatchewan Red Cross held its annual humanitarian of the year award ceremony Wednesday.
Well-known in the business community, Sherwood and Elaine Sharfe recieved the humanitarians of the year award.
“Very strange,” Elaine said when asked how it sounded to be humanitarian of the year.
Sherwood was honoured to be in the room, no matter how uncomfortable it was.
“It’s nice to be associated with such a good cause,” he said. “I’m flattered…and undeserving.”
The couple couldn’t have been more humble in accepting the award, calling the celebration of their generosity “a surreal experience.”
“Whenever we do something, or whenever we have done something, we didn’t analyze why we were doing (it),” said Elaine.
“Nor, was it to be acknowledged,” Sherwood said. “In fact, more often than not, I’d prefer it not being acknowledged.”
The chief source of their human rights and philanthropic work came from a large donation to the Concentus Citizenship Education Foundation, a coalition formed to provide education resources for kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms.
Known for operating Sherwood Chevrolet for nearly half a century, the couple has built a reputation in recent years as philanthropists rather than business owners.
For Elaine, that’s how it’s always been.
“I grew up in a home that was philanthropic. It didn’t occur to me that anything I was doing was different, that was part of my DNA.”
Saddleback honured, but knows he’s not done yet
Jack Saddleback was awarded the young humanitarian of the year. The former University of Saskatchewan Students Union President is a Cree two-spirit transgender gay man that has devoted much of his life to human rights causes.
Watching his mom work as a social worker in a first nation near Calgary, Saddleback grew up with an understanding of social issues plaguing young people.
Mental health, advocating for indigenous engagement and gender and sexuality diversity issues are just some of the causes that Saddleback has attached himself to.
“I do it for seeing someone smile at the end of the day, when they’ve gone through a hard day,” he said of his motivation. “Just being able to see a smile on their face and being able to create that.”
Holding his award in his hand, Saddleback gave it a long, hard look before smiling and lamenting at all the work he has left to accomplish.
“It feels pretty heavy and I think that’s kind of symbolic when I think about all the human rights work that needs to continue moving forward and that heavy lifting that we need to continue to do,” he said.
“We’re still seeing that there is so much more (to be done), not just within our city, but all across the province and our country.”