Spirit of Revelstoke awards celebrate volunteering in the community

Volunteers were the focus when Spirit of Revelstoke awards were handed out during the Volunteer Fair and Community Dinner on Tuesday evening.

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The Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce handed out 29 Spirit of Revelstoke awards on Tuesday evening. Photo:Melissa Jameson

Revelstoke celebrated volunteers in the community on Tuesday evening during the Volunteer Fair and Community Dinner at the Revelstoke Community Centre. The Volunteer Fair included 26 local volunteer groups sharing information and displays.

Spirit of Revelstoke awards were handed out during the evening to 29 deserving recipients. The Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Revelstoke program recognizes individuals who make outstanding volunteer contributions in the community.

Here is a list of volunteers who received Spirit of Revelstoke awards, as well as their nominee’s description of why they are deserving of the award:

Rob Buchanan.“I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Rob for the planning of LUNA Fest and quickly realized he is one of those humans that inspire others to create and make things come to life that you never thought possible. A never ending idea generator and a big advocate of collaboration he put in countless hours of personal time helping other artists and working to help make this festival come to life. Truly an inspiration.”

Matt Yaki. “Matt’s dedication and commitment to the Revelstoke Cycling Association has been incredible. He has organized many volunteer efforts, in particular the chainsaw clean up of the trails after this year’s windstorm. He volunteers with the club not just as a trail builder, but helps with budgeting, making contacts, and liaising with community stakeholders. He works tirelessly for the cycling community of Revelstoke, and every cyclist in our community has benefited from his efforts.”

Graham and Wendy Harper. “Graham and Wendy have been key volunteers with Community Connections’ Food Recovery Program (FRP) since June 2016. Our FRP redistributes surplus foods from food retailers into our community through family groups, community agencies and the Food Bank. Surplus foods consist of: after Best-Before dating, overstock of certain products or damaged packaging. Our FRP sorts through the received products to deem food as edible or not. All the surplus foods we receive that are deemed inedible are picked up by the Harper’s to use as feed for their animals. This is extremely important as our program’s mandate is to keep food out of the landfill and since we cannot redistribute these inedible foods to people, we can share it with animals or compost. So far our program has redistributed over 120,000 lbs of food and of that, approximately 40,000 lbs has been picked up by the Harper’s, instead of ending up in the landfill. Over this time, the Harper’s have been accommodating, punctual, and dedicated to the cause of reducing our food waste in Revelstoke. The Harper’s desire to help comes out of the shared outlook that food should not be thrown out. Food that ends up in the landfill creates methane, a toxic greenhouse gas, it drives up food prices, and decreases access to food for many. In addition to their pickups, Graham and Wendy are always diligent to return clean buckets for us to refill with food, which allows us to continue to receive and process more food and ultimately allows the FRP to feed over 500 people per week in our community. If it weren’t for the Harper’s, we would not have the resources to continue this beneficial community program.”

Brad Binnington. “Brad Binnington is our amazing go to support for everything technical at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre, and regularly goes above and beyond.”

Kathleen Bailey, Carolyn Johnston and Uri Naprstek. “Kathleen, Carloyn and Uri are board members who continue to go above and beyond for the Revelstoke Arts Council.”

Fransizka Widmer. “I am nominating Fransizka because althought she is not native to Revelstoke and has a busy schedule with two school aged children she had dedicated much of her spare time volunteering for various organizations. She volunteers at the food bank every week year round as well as with the food recovery program. Fransizka is also a big part of the volunteer parents at Begbie View Elementary. She care for children’s lost and found items, launders all the items weekly.”

Jill Holloway. “Jill has been a Hospice Frontline Volunteer for a number of years and very dedicated and committed to helping with both our Palliative and Pals program. She is compassionate and caring and available as needed and beyond. Works well with other volunteers and staff in Interior Health facilities as well as in the Home. A wonderful example of volunteerism.”

James MacDonald. “James plays an integral part of the Revelstoke Fire Department. As well general fire calls, he is; Treasurer of Revelstoke Fire Rescue Society, Active on the Rescue Truck, and a critical member of the the team that planned and executed the successful Firefighter Gala that celebrated Canada 150 and RFRS 125. He has also served on the Chamber of Commerce board for a number of years.”

Diana Bostock, Vanessa WardSimpson,Clayton & Marly McAstocker. “Diana, Vanessa, Clayton and Marly are part of a group of individuals has created and are running a breakfast club at Columbia Park Elementary school every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. and is available for all students free of charge. This has been made possible through the support of south side grocery store as well as the community connections food recovery program. The school staff has seen an increase in the learning of the students as well as a decrease in the need for food during the lunch hour.”

Shaun Aquiline. “I am nominating Shaun for the colossal effort he put forward in making the Miracle on Mackenzie Christmas event take place. He was asked to attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting to discuss a Christmas ‘light up’ or parade and as a result took on the task of planning and organizing the three-hour event in Grizzly Plaza staged to celebrate the holiday season and the community. His time was spent getting permits, writing scripts, getting entertainment signed up, music lined up, securing contributions from local business and organizing other volunteers. It was a job well done for Revelstoke in the spirit of community, creating an event that will take place for years to come.”

Pam Doyle. “An active member of Rotary participating in many community endeavors -United Church committees-M&P which is responsible for hiring staff and human resources issues, administration, finance, and operation committee, chair of Board of Trustees, and chair of several fund raising activities, board of the Railway Museum, Credit Union Board and also serves on various committees as well as chairing the Conduct review committee, Revelstoke Senior Housing Board. At many community functions you will find Pam volunteering her time an talents. This woman lives for giving and contributing to our community.”

Ron LaRoy. “Ron has been an outstanding citizen of Revelstoke for many many years. He is the president (I believe) of the Revelstoke ATV AND Snowmobile Clubs and has been for a number of years. I don’t think Ron ever sleeps. He donates much of his time to both of these clubs.”

Randy Driediger. “Randy goes over and above volunteering in the Revelstoke community. Randy volunteers for Rotary, Fire Department, Chamber of Commerce, men’s hockey, just to name a few. So much that he has to work until 10p.m. nightly just so he has enough time to get it all in!”

Laurel Corrigan. “Laurel combines her knowledge of plants, diverse background in park and strong work ethic while volunteering with us. From digging out invasive bull thistle in Blanket Creek Provincial Park, to visiting landowners with invasive knotweed. Laurel continues to support CSISS, individual community member and the environment. She also just increased her commitment to the topic and is volunteeing her time as a board member on the Columbia Shusway Invasive Species Society as well.”

Kate Lafrenier. “Kate has volunteered with the Opt Clinic for several years She was the first high school student to volunteer and be available quite consistently most Wednesday nights. She returned after a time away to pick up where she left off helping with paperwork and greeting clients in a very professional confidential way. She goes beyond the clinic to be avaiable in the community to educate and provide awareness. A very big asset to the clinic.”

Brian Gadbois. “Brian has been a contributing member of the North Columbia Environmental Society for several years. He is dedicated to promoting awareness around local environmental issues by actively participating on our Conservation Committee. He has volunteered to share his knowledge and expertise on many topics and continues to evolve our organization.”

Chris Bowerman  and Colton Hollenburg. “Chris & Colton (Otherwise known as the C-Team) have been helping with our Food Recovery Program and the Food Bank since April 2017. They have come to us from the School District #19 with support from their Educational Assistants. The C-Team initially would come twice a week to help with duties such as: help lift heavy boxes, assist with recycling and composting, sorting incoming food and help clean the facilities. Since the summer, the C-Team has been helping our programs five days a week. Chris has a cheerful, positive demeanor and works hard to accomplish tasks while telling a joke or two. Chris has taken on a mentorship role with Colton, helping him come out of his shell. These two are being nominated for the Spirit of Revelstoke as one nominee as they are the C-Team signifying their positive working relationship, personal growth and dedication to volunteering to our Food Security Programs.

Jeff Acton. “ Outstanding volunteer member of the Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services, acting as a mentor to many newer volunteers and serving our community as an emergency responder. Jeff participates in countless community events and projects and always seems to have something on the go, frequently putting others needs before his own. He is an active member of the biking community and his entire family helps out at events such as the community Christmas dinner every year.”

Joe Painter. “Not only does he look out for the neighbourhood but in the winter while everyone is busy working he is busy making sure our driveways are plowed! Not just his immediate neighbours but far down the block – including houses on Arrow Drive. He is always quick to introduce himself to new neighbours and make them feel very welcome.

Andreas and Mica Sheppard. “These students have been an integral part of helping keep the “Breakfast Program” running at Begbie View Elementary School two days a week from September until June.

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Melissa Jameson
Melissa Jameson is the civic affairs reporter for the Revelstoke Mountaineer. She handles the newsy side of goings on about Revelstoke. Got a news tip? Feel free to contact Melissa at melissa@revelstokemountaineer.com