Volunteers who have poured their time into the community were honoured by Langley Township as two local awards were announced via physically distanced ceremonies the week of June 24.
Every spring, the Township recognizes its many committed volunteers during a celebration which includes the presentation of the Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award, the John and Muriel Arnason Award, and the Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award.
The winners were:
• Barb Jackman, winner of the Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award
• Anneke Cairnie won the Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award
• The John and Muriel Arnason Award is named after the late long-serving Township Councillor Muriel Arnason and her husband John, and is presented to two people who volunteer together to make the Township a better place. This year, no nominations were received for the award.
This year’s celebratory public event was cancelled due to COVID-19, but the recipients were presented with their awards by Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese in small, physically distanced ceremonies.
“Volunteers make our community a better place to live, work, and play,” said Froese. “We all know this past year has been challenging, so I am honoured to recognize the exceptional service of those volunteers who faced the challenge head-on and made a significant impact in the Township.”
“Congratulations to this year’s recipients and a huge thank you to the many people who generously donate their time and energy to serving their community,” said Froese.
Jackman, who won the Eric Flowerdew Award, has been volunteering with the Langley Hospice Society since 2006 and has spent more than 10,000 hours assisting with the operations of the society’s Second Story Treasures Thrift Store.
Jackman is an integral part of the volunteer team at the busy boutique-style thrift store in Walnut Grove. She volunteers multiple days each week and helps manage receiving and storing donations. She is also part of a small team that collaboratively merchandises the store to display the furniture and home décor items that are sold to help support Langley Hospice Society programs and services.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the store closed but Jackman continued to volunteer on-site. True to her nature, she rolled up her sleeves and helped with whatever was needed, including rearranging the store to ensure COVID-19 health and safety protocols were implemented so it could re-open to the public.
“She is a gem,” said Shannon Todd Booth, who heads up communications and fund development for the Langley Hospice Society.
Jackman tends to shun the limelight and just doing her work, tirelessly, Booth said.
“We couldn’t do what we do without her,” she said.
Also nominated for the Flowerdew Award were volunteers Joanne Bolam and Marcel Horn.
Named after a former Parks and Recreation commissioner, school trustee, and municipal councillor, the Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award recognizes an individual who promotes an active living lifestyle that enhances Langley’s quality of life and community spirit through creative, cultural, physical, or social pursuits.
Cairnie won the Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award, which is presented to a student in Grade 11 or 12 in recognition of their athletic achievement, academic accomplishment, leadership and commitment to the community.
The award is named after the Township’s first Recreation Director, an internationally recognized athlete, photographer, and originator of the Langley Walk.
Cairnie, a Walnut Grove Secondary School student, used her passion for basketball to make a positive impact in her community.
Selected as a member of Special Olympics BC’s first Youth Engagement Project, Cairnie initiated the idea for an inclusive basketball training event for students with intellectual disabilities. Through a grant from Special Olympics BC, she developed an introductory basketball event that welcomed 40 students with intellectual disabilities from local schools.
Additionally, Cairnie coached basketball at two elementary schools and has also worked with children through volunteering at day camps with the Township of Langley and the North Langley Community Church.
With an academic average of 94 per cent, Cairnie is in the French Immersion, accelerated Math and Sciences and English honours programs. She also took four advanced placement (university level) courses prior to her graduation this June.
As a member of the Walnut Grove Secondary basketball team, Cairnie has excelled in both local and provincial championships and as a result, has received an athletic scholarship to continue playing basketball at Thomson Rivers University this fall.
Nominees for the Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award included:
* Hayley Eccles – D.W. Poppy Secondary School
* Jaden Lamothe – Langley Secondary School
* Jordan Dickhof – Langley Christian School
* Kate Straforelli – Brookswood Secondary School
* Sebastian Valdes Pinto – Aldergrove Community Secondary School
* Wafa Somji – R.E. Mountain Secondary School
The Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award is named after the Township’s first Recreation Director, an internationally recognized athlete, photographer, and originator of the Langley Walk.
The Swensson Award recipient received a $750 scholarship and the Flowerdew recipient received $750 to contribute to a recognized charity or society of their choice.
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