Jen Dies

Jen Dies

Canadian Cancer Society honours helpers

From planning, to kick-off, to painting the street, to the Relay itself, to take down, they are totally involved.

Four people who epitomize Salmon Arm’s reputation as a caring community were recognized for their efforts Saturday.

Rick Hirtle and The Dies Guys – Lew, Jacob and Noah Dies received awards from the Canadian Cancer Society at an event held at the Podollan Inn.

Mayor Nancy Cooper presented a Volunteer Achievement Certificate to Rick Hirtle.

A cancer survivor, Hirtle has volunteered with the local Cancer  Society for six years as a Cancer Connection Volunteer and mentor, and has been an inspiration for Relay for Life, says Brenda Kurtz, Canadian Cancer Society volunteer.

“Rick Hirtle has demonstrated excellence in volunteerism on two fronts. He became a Cancer Connection volunteer in 2008 and continues to interact with great care and compassion with others diagnosed with melanoma,” notes the nomination package. “Rick also shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with participants at Relay for Life by offering his tricks of the trade for successful fundraising.”

Hirtle has not missed a Relay and has been top fundraiser for the event for several years. Last year he far surpassed his $15,000 goal.

Jen Dies, local co-ordinator of the Cancer Society’s Community Giving has help from her family, who also received volunteer achievement certificates on Saturday.

Husband Lew and sons Jacob and Noah have been volunteers for Relay for Life since 2008. Their first job was to ready the survivor building, assisting Jen in her endeavours as survivor chair.

They cleaned and painted and, when they knew that one of the participants was non-ambulatory, they even built a ramp into the building. They also recruited friends to help, and to join their relay team.

Their jobs have expanded since then, so that they are big parts of the logistics crew. For some time now they have been responsible for putting up all of the “twinkle” lights, they continue to clean and tidy, they decorate, they do any job that needs to be done, and in a capable manner.

“Our RFL committee relies on Lew’s input for many things, knowing that if it can be done, Lew can do it. He is always positive and accommodating, and he will work until everything is done,” says Kurtz.

“The boys are excellent role models and leaders. Each year they successfully field a team of their friends, and it is obvious that they all enjoy participating.”

From planning, to kick-off, to painting the street, to the Relay itself, to take down, they are totally involved.