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Wendy Maurer is Qualicum Beach Citizen of the Year

Wendy Maurer was honoured as Citizen of the Year last night during the sold out Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce Community Awards gala at the civic centre.

"Wendy has done so much for Qualicum Beach that it's hard to quantify it in one sentence," said John Briuolo of Qualicum Foods, the sponsor of the Citizen of the Year award. "She is a wonderful example of Qualicum Beach citizenship."

According to information provided by the chamber, Maurer grew up in a family where community service was part of family life. She was introduced to our community through her volunteer involvement with the Brant Festival, Mid Island Wildlife Watch Society, and the chamber of commerce, where she later worked.

Maurer then went on to Chair the Oceanside Spirit of B.C. Committee and was selected to run as torch bearer in the 2010 Paralympics, representing all Spirit of B.C. Committees in the province.

Today Maurer chairs the board of the Qualicum Beach Historical and Museum Society, and works with the Ducks Unlimited volunteer team on their annual gala and spends one week each year as a volunteer with Parks Canada providing interpretive services on Russell Island, part of the Gulf Island National Park Preserve where she talks about Hawaiian settlement in B.C.

Maurer was an administrator working for a variety of non-profit organizations such as chamber manager for several years. She then shifted her focus to the art of creating glass beads and now works full time at her business, Beads of Joy.

Master of Ceremonies Dave Graham recognized 21 nominees at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre Wednesday night.

One-of-a-kind maple whale's tail sculptures, created by local artist Jai Kealy of QB Arts, were handed out to the recipients from each category.

Recognized for Outstanding Customer Service was Bailey's in the Village, an award sponsored by Black & White Party Rentals.

Samudra Weight Loss Health and Wellness Studio was the recipient of the New Business of the Year Award, sponsored by RE/MAX Anchor Realty.

In announcing Faye's Gifts as the 2013 Business of the Year, Scott Rodway from Rodway and Perry said: "We were pleased that residents of our community care about business and are willing to take the time to nominate those that they feel are worthy of special recognition.  Faye's Gifts is a well-regarded business in our town and deserving of this honour."

Taking home the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2013 was David James, an award sponsored by the Society of Organized Services.

A new category at this year's award ceremony was that of Community Builder of the Year, sponsored by NR Insurance. The Qualicum Beach Newcomer's Club was honoured with this award.

The Newsmaker of the Year, sponsored by The Parksville Qualicum Beach News, went to Michelle Stilwell for her win in the provincial election and the setting of a new world record on the Paralympics track.

Also honoured Wednesday night was Georgia McLean as the Chamber's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.  Dianne Kristiansen representing Coastal Community Credit Union said: "Georgia is such a lover of Qualicum Beach, and was a driving force in the business and volunteer community to affect positive change."

For photos from the gala, see Tuesday's edition of The NEWS and visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PQBNews.

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