Volunteers’ Centre Zagreb, in cooperation with the City of Zagreb’s office for social protection and people with disabilities, hosted the 8th annual Volunteer Oscar on Thursday, 23rd February 2017.
Zagreb mayor, Mr. Milan Bandić, attended the event held in the Old Town Hall. He thanked everyone for their service and said that big people help others and that giving is the biggest gift you can get and receive.
Mrs. Jela Prgić Znika, executive director of the Centre, added that she believes that volunteering can be a driving force of an active, responsible and humane community and she encouraged everyone to start volunteering.
23 volunteers contended for the award and there were three finalists: Matej Ilić Buljan, a 27-year-old Hrabri telefon (helpline for children) volunteer, Martina Hodinj, an 18-year-old high school student and the president of her school’s Volunteers’ Club, and Marijana Jergović, a 52-year-old president of the association Smiješak za sve (for improving the lives and of children and young adults). With 73% of the 3,572 votes, Matej Ilić Buljan was the clear winner, but Mr. Bandić added that every volunteer deserves an Oscar.
Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded for the first time, to Marija Fulgosi (67), who has been a volunteer at Kap dobrote (a Catholic association that works with the most vulnerable social groups) for more than 30 years.
Mrs. Anka Juričić (77), who won the Oscar in 2016, said that volunteering is the best way to create interpersonal relations and that volunteers are the pride of this country.