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VIDEOS: Langley volunteers extraordinaire lauded

Township recognizes two outstanding community members for their contributions
Sue Westhaver and Callum Neily shared a chuckle over the weight of the trophies they won Thursday night at the Township of Langley’s annual volunteer awards celebration at Langley Event Centre. Both joked more weightlifting might be required. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

An individual who is a champion of hospice care and a Grade 12 student who created a national non-profit organization have been honoured for their outstanding volunteer contributions.

Every spring, the Township recognizes its many committed volunteers during a celebration.

It includes the presentation of the Eric Flowerdew volunteer award, the John and Muriel Arnason award, and the Pete Swensson outstanding community youth award.

This year’s volunteer appreciation dinner and awards evening was held in-person tonight (Thursday, April 7) at the Langley Events Centre, where before a crowd of about 100, numerous community members were thanked and recognized for their contributions to the Langley.

“It is so wonderful to be able to gather in-person again to celebrate and thank our many volunteers,” said Mayor Jack Froese, who emceed the festivities and presented the awards.

“Each and every one of our volunteers contribute to making the Township a great place to live, work, learn, and play. We are so appreciative of their service to our community.”

During the event, two awards were presented to recognize community members for their outstanding volunteer contributions.

LAST YEAR: Dedicated volunteers honoured by Langley Township

Eric Flowerdew volunteer award

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.

The Flowerdew award was presented to Sue Westhaver.

For 10 years, Westhaver has contributed more than 3,500 hours of her time volunteering with the Langley Hospice Society and its foundation.

As a volunteer in the hospice residence, she ensures patients have the care and support they need during their final days, and she provides compassionate emotional support to these patients’ families.

Through volunteering as well as her own personal hospice experience, Westhaver has become a great champion of hospice care.

To help others understand the importance of access to palliative care and support for loved ones, she has shared her own personal story about her late husband, Bob’s hospice experience, and the support that both her and her husband received through the Langley Hospice Society.

In 2017, Westhaver was a guest speaker at the provincial funding announcement for the new 15 bed Langley Hospice Society residence project and that same year she travelled to Ottawa, as a guest of our local MP, the late, Honourable Mark Warawa, to speak to the importance of palliative care.

Her passion for hospice care has helped engage other volunteers, donors, and supporters for the new Langley hospice residence project.

Westhaver is an active and engaged member of the new residence fundraising committee and has assisted with events and activities in pursuit of raising the funds necessary to build this important project for our community.

Also nominated for the Flowerdew award were volunteers Doug Johnston and Leslie Gaudette.

John and Muriel Arnason award

The John and Muriel Arnason Award is named after former Township of Langley councillor and freewoman Muriel Arnason and her husband, John.

It is given to two people who volunteer together to make the Township a better place.

Unfortunately, no nominations were received for the 2021 John and Muriel Arnason award this year.

Pete Swensson Outstanding community youth award

Presented to a student in Grade 11 or 12 in recognition of their athletic achievements, academic accomplishments, leadership, and commitment to the community, 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 2021-2022 Pete Swensson outstanding community youth award was presented to Callum Neily.

A Grade 12 student at Walnut Grove Secondary, Neily’s enthusiasm for learning has resulted in a consistent “A” honour roll status and a current GPA of 98%.

A strong and focused student, he is taking six advanced placement courses in his final year, which places him as one of the top 10 academic students in his grad class.

Just as impressive as his scholastic efforts, is what Neily does outside of the classroom.

He is one of his school’s foremost athletes, and a key shooting guard on the Gators’ basketball team that just finished fourth at provincials.

He’s also a student council representative, Gator Pod leader, and member of both the Green Team and Helping Hands Club.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he created “Tutoring with Callum,” a national non-profit organization that provides free tutoring to high school students from families financially disadvantaged by the pandemic.

This past October, Neily donated 100 per cent of his high school tutoring proceeds to the Langley Food Bank, which provided Thanksgiving food hampers to eight families in need.

Other nominees for the youth award included:

· Cassandra Morris – R.E. Mountain Secondary

· Cassidy Buchanan – Brookswood Secondary

· Taelor Coxford – Langley Christian

· Jordan Williams – Langley Secondary

· Evan Dyce – Aldergrove Community Secondary

RELATED: Foursome of outstanding Langley volunteers lauded in 2019

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.

To learn more about the Township of Langley’s volunteer awards, visit

• Stay tuned for more about each of the winners

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Sue Westhaver and Callum Neily shared a hug Thursday night at the Township of Langley’s annual volunteer awards celebration at Langley Event Centre. They were the two individuals singled out for their exemplary contributions to the community. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)
Township Mayor Jack Froese served as emcee of the volunteer appreciation banquet at Langley Events Centre Thursday night, where a number of outstanding volunteers were lauded, and two in particular were singled out for honours. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)
Shannon Todd Booth was the person who nominated Eric Flowerdew volunteer award recipient Sue Westhaver (right) for the annual honour given for outstanding service above self. Westhaver was recognized for all she’s done for Langley hospice during the past decade. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)
Jeremy Lyndon (back) is principal of Walnut Grove Secondary, and part of the school team that nominated Callum Neily (left) for the Township’s annual Pet Swensson outstanding community youth award. Neilly was on hand to accept the award with his mother Nicole, older sister Mariah, as his father Rich. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

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