Human spirit recognized in awards

Dragonfly awards handed out Thursday for people’s contribution to mental health

The Forward House Community Society celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week each May by recognizing the support and advocacy of their community partners in mental wellness and addictions recovery.

They held the ninth annual Dragonfly Awards dinner Thursday at Parksville’s Bayside Inn to “express appreciation to those who have given us much and for our place in community,” Forward House executive director Carol Richardson said in a news release.

“The dragonfly undergoes life affirming, if painful, phases of development to become a creature of transparent beauty, which transformation is a suitable metaphor for the evolution of the human spirit through adversity to fulfillment and joy,” she said. “Thus we have adopted the dragonfly of aboriginal teachings as our own symbol of movement forward.”

She said business partner Coastal Community Credit Union, agency partner Elaine Young and health care partner Ellen O’Connor are distinguished by their foresight and humanity.

Client-partners recognized the successes of their peers, awarding Jake Thomas for courage, Gary McDonald for transformation and Gordon Ross for contribution to community.

Anne Turner was recognized as a formal graduate of Forward House to pursue her academic and artistic interests in her host community and Pat Key was recipient of the first Jeanne Rupprecht Award for Inspiration.

“A bittersweet farewell was expressed to Dana Leik, who has taken a new position with VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) outside our Oceanside area,” Richardson said.

They thanked Helen Chapman and George Dunning of Galloping Gourmet Catering for the “outstanding buffet dinner” and Bayside catering manager Helen  Corcoran for her support.

The awards were made by stained glass artist Terry Wesnoski.

For more on the event or Forward House, call 250-954-0785 or e-mail through the website:


by the Forward House Community Society



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