Dressed to the nines and eager to celebrate, 44 B.C. residents attended Government House to receive awards from Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin.
The individuals were chosen for their outstanding volunteer work, and received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in recognition. The medal was created in 1995, formerly known as the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, and honors the dedication and commitment of volunteers.
Any Canadian citizen who has made a significant and unpaid contribution to their community is eligible, as are non-Canadians who have brought benefit to Canada or Canadians. Nominees are reviewed by an advisory committee, which makes recommendations to the governor general.
This year, 10 of the award recipients come from the Greater Victoria area. These include:
Shari Crawford, Victoria
Crawford has shared her financial expertise with the Vancouver Island Golf Superintendents Association to help raise funds for multiple sclerosis research.
Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Fenton, Sooke
Fenton has volunteered with Scouts Canada since 2004, mentoring youth in the development of leadership skills. Recently he developed the Vancouver Island Training Program, partnering with the 33rd Medical Services group to bring young adults together to provide first aid services at local events.
Ruth Verne, Victoria
Verne has organized raffles to raise funds for multiple sclerosis research through the Vancouver Island Golf Superintendents Association.
Donald Fisher, Sidney
Fisher has been a member of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada for the past 55 years, holding several roles including sergeant-at-arms, photographer and webmaster. He also developed and maintained an extensive electronic database for the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.
Lieutenant Commander David Freeman, Victoria
For more than 25 years, Freeman has served as a tour guide and researcher at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum. He’s also been an advocate for war veterans.
Lynn Huot, Victoria
For 10 years Huot volunteered at walks, bikes and galas and coordinated auctions for the Vancouver Island Golf Superintendent’s Association to fundraise for multiple sclerosis research.
Stephen Kelly, Victoria
Kelly is a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders and serves as the head instructor for pipe students. He’s organized many charity events to promote Canadian military history.
Dan Mayo, Victoria
For 25 years Mayo has volunteered with the police reserve constable program, and the law enforcement torch run. Since 1998 he’s also participated in the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock to raise money to fight childhood cancer.
Stephen (Sam) Weller, Victoria
For 15 years Weller has helped the Canadian Executive Service Organization to improve business practices of government organizations internationally. Among many projects he’s helped Bolivian government agencies through a data sharing agreement, trained a Cameroonian council in financial management, and mentored a leader of the Gwich’in Tribal Council in Inuvik.
Roger Wheelock, Victoria
Wheelock is a volunteer with the Canadian Executive Services Organization and focuses on sustainable tourism initiatives, with a focus on creating opportunities for youth and women. He’s had assignments at many locations, including Guyana, Colombia, Jamaica and Inuvik.