When it comes to volunteering, the Smiths go above and beyond the call of duty in Qualicum Beach.
That community spirit was recognized by the municipality recently when the Town of Qualicum Beach honoured community volunteers at the Town of Qualicum Beach Volunteer Appreciation Reception held at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.
A group of distinguished guests including Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon joined members of council to celebrate local volunteers.
“A community is only as strong as its citizens and volunteers provide the most active, honorable examples of people making an extra effort to help in our society,” said Mayor Teunis Westbroek. “These individuals make our community a wonderful place to live, visit and do business in. I have to add that it was a true challenge this year to choose between the dedicated nominees for the Above and Beyond Award. They are all worthy of high praise and did not make our selection process an easy one.”
The Above and Beyond Volunteer Recognition Award is given annually to someone who has demonstrated an extraordinary effort to accomplish a task and who exemplifies good character, leadership, selflessness and integrity. Recipients are nominated by members of the community.
The recipient must have been actively engaged for at least one year in volunteer activities that benefit the community of Qualicum Beach.
This year’s recipients are Joy and Keith Smith for their work as volunteers, mentors and leaders in the community.
The couple was recognized for their work with in impressive array of local projects, organizations, and events including:
• Actively participating in a community fundraising project to purchase and protect the Heritage Forest on the Brown property; later acting as director and president of the preservation board and offering ongoing support today for its AGM.
• Sharing their knowledge as volunteer mentors and gardeners for Kwalikum Secondary School’s Food Garden Project and their new Food Sustainability Project.
• Creating Qualicum Beach Seedy Saturday, an annual event that focuses on seed-saving, organic gardening, and growing food locally; being instrumental in its growth from a modest event to one of the largest Seedy Saturday events in Canada with over 2,000 attendees and involving 90+ volunteers.
• Assisting at the Old School House for many years as a receptionist and a kitchen helper in preparing tea for the Sunday afternoon music program.
• Actively being engaged in the Eaglecrest Garden Club, the community gardens and local broom busting projects.
• Devoting significant time and energy to the Citizens on Patrol program and District 69 Speedwatch, serving as a member since 1999 and a coordinator from 2009 to 2011.
Also presented at the event was the Town of Qualicum Beach Street Style Award, which recognizes the efforts of residents to make their properties attractive through innovative landscaping.
This year’s award recipients were Jim and Maggie Patterson, Allan and Maureen Ross, and John and Margaret Groenhof.
The Town of Qualicum Beach thanks all volunteers — both those who were nominated today and the unsung heroes who continue to share their time and knowledge. The Town greatly appreciates the vast range of skills, strengths, knowledge, passion, and levels of experience that all volunteers bring to the community.
The nominated volunteer groups and individuals honoured this year will be shown on the 2012 Volunteer Appreciation Recipient list which will hang in the Town Hall foyer alongside the Above and Beyond Volunteer Award plaque.