Outstanding Volunteers Honoured
Prince George, B.C. – Members of the community that is Prince George gathered at the Civic Centre Saturday night to honour the efforts of some of the city’s outstanding volunteers with community appreciation awards at the 2016 Civic Appreciation Dinner.
The honourees, who received the recognition and praise of local, provincial and federal politicians as well as their fellow citizens, included:
Outstanding Volunteer Award of Merit: Wendy Ulch and Noreen Rustad.
Mayor Lyn Hall noted that Wendy Ulch is a long-time volunteer for the Royal Canadian Legion who dedicates her time each year to the Red Shirt Walk of Honour and the Poppy campaign, canvasses for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, “earned her Green Jacket for the 2015 Winter Games” and worked on one of the campaigns in the last federal election.
Hall said that “as a founding member and second president of the Prince George Community Foundation Noreen Rustad was instrumental in the set up of the structure, governance, marketing and granting processes of the foundation.” She has supported the auction at the Citizen of the Year event, served on the Board of Governors at UNBC for 5 years, was involved in the development of the Spinners and Weavers Guild, assisted with Studio Fair, was a committee member for the BC Festivals of the Arts and has sat on many committees for special events and arts development.
Recreation and Culture Award of Merit: Nowell Senior, Neil Taylor and Allan Thorp.
City Councilor Susan Scott presented these awards. She noted Neil Taylor is a volunteer for the College Heights Community Association and has, single-handedly for the past 21 years, flooded and maintained the outdoor ice rink at St. Mary’s Park. He works through each winter keeping the rink snow-free and in good shape for the enjoyment of the kids and families in the neighbourhood.
Allan Thorp has been a volunteer for more than 20 years with the Elder Citizens Recreation Association. He spends countless hours entertaining at seniors care homes and at events throughout the city.
Nowell Senior has been a driving force behind the development of the Ancient Forest Trail, the building of the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and the construction of the 2.3-kilometre wood plank walkway around the entire route. He has contributed over 5000 volunteer hours to the Ancient Forest Trail and will lead the completion of the plank walkway this year. He is working toward obtaining UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for the Ancient Forest.
Community Service Award: Trelle Morrow, Don Homan, Marcelle Carr.
Marcelle has volunteered with RCMP Victim Services for 11 years, supplying service and protection in very negative circumstances. She does this while working full-time and volunteering with her church and dry grad activities. She regularly exceeds the required time in working with Victim Services.
Don Homan has been a volunteer in the city for more than 25 years and as a teacher at DP Todd ran the Leadership Program and encouraged his students to take part in a wide array of volunteer activities. He participates in outreach efforts at St. Vincent de Paul and was the Volunteer Recruitment Chair for the Canada Winter Games.
Trelle Morrow is responsible for the design of many of the elementary schools and commercial buildings in the city and has volunteered many hours on the Prince George Heritage Commission. As a past chair of the commission he was on the committee that published a booklet about the Heritage Homes in Prince George. He gives talks to City staff and the public about significant historical buildings in the city and documents local history.
Youth of the Year: Daniel O’Reilly.
Daniel is a busy 16-year-old Grade 11 Principal’s List student at College Heights Secondary. But he’s not too busy to volunteer at Simon Fraser Lodge, University Hospital of Northern BC or St. Vincent de Paul, or canvass for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Relay for Life, Cops for Cancer, the Terry Fox Foundation and the Uganda Foundation. As well he is Vice-President of the District Student Advisory Committee, V.P. of the Junior Rotary Interact club, school district rep on the City’s Select Committee on Student Needs, sits on the PG Public Library Youth Advisory Board and much more.
If that doesn’t impress you Councilor Garth Frizzell can inform you that “Daniel has participated in science fairs since Grade 4 and has won many awards regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Most recently he represented Canada in Taiwan at the International Science Fair and his research earned him a bronze medal. He has received special recognition from the House of Commons for being an ambassador in youth and science, and he’s currently pursuing patent for his science fair discoveries.” Frizzell says “you’re going to be hearing about this guy in the future.”
Two other awards were presented Saturday night. The Access Award of Merit went to the Tabor Mountain Recreation Society and the Heritage Citation Historic Places Award was given to the Prince George Citizen.
Outstanding Volunteer Award of Merit recipient Noreen Rustad summed up the mindset in volunteering your time for your community. She told the audience “It’s a privilege to be able to do these things. When you have compassion for what you do, as all of you volunteers in the room know, it’s a privilege to be able to work in this community where people always get behind a good effort.”