A special group of reluctant heroes gathered on Thursday, June 22 to celebrate individuals who go above and beyond to make Salmon Arm and the Shuswap a great place to live.
The second annual Community Leader Awards, hosted by the Salmon Arm Observer and its community sponsors, honoured exemplary individuals in 12 categories including environmental leader, coach, emergency service and youth volunteer. But, as noted by Observer publisher Rick Proznick, the recipients were largely uncomfortable by the recognition — as they do not volunteer for any accolade or glory, but instead to help others in the community.
This is the third year the Observer has recognized dedicated individuals in our region and shared their inspirational stories. The Observer will be publishing a special supplement detailing their accomplishments that will appear in the July 30 edition of the Shuswap Market News.
Leader of the Year went to Georgia McLeod for the volunteer work with the Shuswap Film Society, Salmar Community Association, SABNES, Shuswap Outdoors and the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet. No matter what she does, she becomes known as the “go-to person.”
Salmar manager Daila Duford took the top honour in the Above and Beyond category which celebrates those who exceed the requirements of their job to improve their community. Honourable mentions were Diane Jewell and Celia Harris.
In the Coach category, which honours exemplary volunteer coaches, Jeremy Menzies took the top honour for his work with young Salmon Arm Minor Hockey players and coaches. Honourable mention went to Selkirks swim coach Barry Healey.
John McLeod received the highest honour in the Community Builder category, with Louis Thomas and Joyce Henderson taking honourable mentions.
The Courage category was for people who rose above adversity or personal challenges to become successful. Top honour was awarded to Kenna-Rae Stockbrugger. Honourable mentions went to Samantha Fuller and Tom Rice.
Ray Routley, with Shuswap Volunteer Search and Rescue, took the top honour in the Emergency Service category. Luke Gubbels received the honourable mention.
The team of Dr. Warren Bell received top honours in the Environmental Leader category, with honourable mentions going to Gudrun Hupfauer.
Top honours for Mentorship went to Celia Dyer and honourable mention was for Carmen Moore.
The top-honoured service organization volunteer was Kay Johnston, with honourable mentions going to Joan Mitchell and Pat Lagimodiere.
George Zorn was the top honoured volunteer, with Randy Brogden and Ellen Verigin receiving honourable mentions.
Tim Giandomenico was honoured for his volunteer work with youth while Sandi Reutlinger earning an honourable mention.
Jasmine Lam received the top honour as a youth volunteer with Cassie O’Flaherty and Richard Jurasek receiving honourable mentions.