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9th Annual 2011

June 8

The annual

Community Leader Awards recognize the selfless, dedicated and courageous people who perform exceptional acts of service that make our community

vibrant and beautiful place to live. such a

AWARDS

Proud to be in your community for over 80 years

From school students to retirees the spirit of commitment to community is reflected in the following inspirational stories. Please join the Surrey-North Delta Leader in honouring these

important and often unsung local heroes.

It’s all about

commitment

CELEBRATING THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF OUR COMMUNITY


2 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

C Congratulations! Proud member of our community for 45 years. Our sincere thanks and gratitude to this year’s community leaders. Your contributions to our community serve as an inspiration to us all. Guildford Town Centre is proud to be part of such a caring community.

(604) 585-1565 · GuildfordTownCentre.com


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 3

2011 NINTH ANNUAL Annually honouring and celebrating the leaders in our community with pride.

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

Assistant Editor

Sheila Reynolds

Publisher

Jim Mihaly

Editor

Paula Carlson

L to R: Sheila Reynolds, Vicky Basran, Ann Robinson, Bert Willcott, Maggie Tkalcic, Andrew McTaggart, Glory Wilkinson, Kelly Gumas, Alison Booth, Paula Carlson, Gavin Roache, Alan Champion, Bruce Hayne and Jim Mihaly.

message FROM THE CLA TEAM hey don’t often get recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community. But there is a very large group of people in Surrey and North Delta that do a great deal of important work. They strive tirelessly – through countless volunteer hours, sometimes overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles – to better the community. And they don’t ask for anything in return.

You’ll find them in our schools, on sports fields, in care centres, at the food bank and at various local events. They are truly community leaders. Many have their own families, careers and commitments, but still find the time to make a difference by sharing their empathy, enthusiasm and energy. The Community Leader Awards were established nine years ago to recognize and

honour the efforts essential to maintaining this vital and growing community. Each of their stories is inspirational, and by highlighting them, we hope others will be moved to contribute in the community and share their own skills, compassion, knowledge and heart with those around them. Thanks to our sponsors, the Community Leader Awards get bigger and better every year. Congratulations to the 2011 recipients!

Congratulations Congratulations and best wishes to all nominees and recipients at the 2011 Community Leader Awards!

to the nominees and recipients of the 2011 Community Leader Awards!

MAYOR DIANNE WATTS

BOB BOSE

TOM GILL

LINDA HEPNER

MARVIN HUNT

Surrey Arts Centre

MARY MARTIN

BARINDER RASODE

BARBARA STEELE

www.surrey.ca

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4 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 5

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

MENTOR SPONSORED BY CANADIAN TIRE

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Penny Priddy

T

here’s a lot to learn about someone as complex as Penny Priddy. There’s the politician and the volunteer, the avid reader and the busy grandmother. There’s even the side of her that delves into antique costumes and vintage clothing. But the hat Priddy most often wears in all of those roles is that of a mentor. “I’ve had a variety of experiences in my lifetime, as everybody does,” she says. “All of those experiences, good or bad, they help us. You learn things.” And everyone has the ability to take those lessons and share them, Priddy says. “When you see other people struggling, if they’re open to it, you can offer your experience, or your wisdom.” But a mentor should never expect their words or actions to be taken as gospel. When Priddy was battling breast cancer, she decided to keep a cabinet portfolio in her role as an MLA for Surrey-Newton. “I wouldn’t advise anyone to do that,” she says, but as a cancer survivor, she can share her experiences to help other people understand their own challenges. And it doesn’t stop there. Priddy’s long history on the political stage, as well as her time as a nurse and college instructor, has given her a vast knowledge of the business world. And the true power in knowledge, she says, is in sharing it.

Honourable Mention SHYAMA PRIYA

CLA winner profiles by Jessica Peters

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

W

hen Shyama Priya stands in front of a class of young dance students, she’s not just there to teach them where to place their little feet. She also shows them the steps to take towards a healthy way of life. “I teach them that along with dancing, you have to take care of your body,” she says. “In dance class, you promote healthy living.” The 28-year-old has been dancing most of her life and learned the art of powwow dancing when she was about 16. Aboriginal Fancy dancing is a passion of Priya’s that she has been sharing for more than 10 years. Known as the dance of transformation, she uses this medium to share the importance of living with honour and working hard to achieve your dreams. She’s passing on her knowledge to young children, along with the lesson that you are what you eat. “They need to know that it’s cool to be in shape and feel good and be healthy,” she says. “Being sick and not as active and out-of-shape is not cool. I think our priorities are really mixed up today. Diseases like cancer and diabetes are on the rise, especially within the First Nations community. And it’s very obvious to me that it’s connected to our lifestyles.” As a raw food enthusiast and vegan, Priya hopes to mix her dance lessons with a way to promote healthy eating. “I’m young enough to work with younger kids, and present it in a cool way so they learn,” she says.

Honourable Mention GLYNNIS BOULLE

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P

She throws herself into causes she believes in. She’s the vice-president of Children of the Streets, which seeks to eradicate the sexual exploitation of babies, children and teenagers. Priddy also chairs a social policy leadership team for the Surrey Board of Trade and is involved with the governance committee for the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. Priddy is the only woman in Canadian history to be elected to school board, city council, a provincial legislature and the House of Commons. She is past co-chair of the Women’s Campaign School and she is a member of the Canadian Women Voters Congress and Canadian Women of Municipal Government. In 2001 Priddy was awarded an honourary Doctorate of Law degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University for her service to the people of B.C. And for fun, it’s back to the clothes. “I’ve been collecting vintage clothing for about 20 years now,” she says. Getting involved with the Original Costume Museum Society was a natural fit. The group meets once a week in the attic of the Highcroft House in Vancouver. Clothing, especially women’s garb, is like time travelling through social changes, Priddy says. But beyond that, it’s just plain fun. “To be able to play, well, it’s like Christmas day to me,” she says.

G

lynnis Boulle has always pitched in to help whenever, wherever. So it makes perfect sense that she would get involved with the North Surrey Lions – an organization that prides itself on supporting a wide range of worthwhile causes. Now, she’s showing a small group of young people the benefits of such volunteerism. Boulle, along with her son and 12 others, created the Kwantlen Park Secondary School Leo Club in September 2010. This year, the club – for budding Lions under age 30 – has grown to 20 members. And with a year that included tragedies around the world, the club couldn’t have grown at a better time. “They did a fundraiser this year to help with the Japan earthquake,” Boulle says, with students washing cars for eight hours to raise $700. They’ve also helped locally, raising money for Surrey Memorial Hospital, the Centre for Child Development and the fine arts program at Kwantlen Park. As the adult in charge of the determined young Leos, Boulle certainly fills the role of “mentor,” but she doesn’t see herself that way. “I think I’m more of a facilitator,” she says. “I’m there to share and help and to guide them. It’s more a question of channelling their enthusiasm.”


6 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

MENTOR sponsored by Canadian Tire

AWARD RECIPIENTS

Special Address from Surrey Mayor

Dianne Watts

Master of Ceremonies

Bruce Hayne

L to R: Jim Anderson - Canadian Tire, Penny Priddy, Shyama Priya, Glynnis Boulle.

The Building Blocks of our Community

HAMILTON DUNCAN ARMSTRONG + STEWART BUSINESS + LITIGATION LAWYERS TRADEMARK AGENTS

2010 Leader of the Year

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Peace of mind for Families.

Congratulations to all Community Leader Award nominees. Thank you for your dedication to our community. •

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6 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

MENTOR sponsored by Canadian Tire

AWARD RECIPIENTS Special Address from Surrey Mayor

Dianne Watts

Master of Ceremonies

Bruce Hayne L to R: Jim Anderson - Canadian Tire, Penny Priddy, Shyama Priya, Glynnis Boulle.

The Building Blocks of our Community

HAMILTON DUNCAN ARMSTRONG + STEWART BUSINESS + LITIGATION LAWYERS TRADEMARK AGENTS

Peace of mind for Families.

Congratulations to all Community Leader Award nominees. Thank you for your dedication to our community. •

Buy & Sell a Business

Personal Injury

Land Development

Employment Law

Corporate Law

Business Litigation

Banking

Civil Litigation

Collections

Wills & Estates

t 24 hour Skilled Nursing Care t Special Alzheimer’s Care Unit for residents who require a secure environment t Open House every Tues. 3 - 5pm pm and every Thurs. 9 - 11am

Receive a

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tel: (604) 581-4677

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tel: (604) 575-8088

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To schedule a personal visit, call Joti at 604.307.9066 14568 104 A Avenue, Surrey

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 7

2011 NINTH ANNUAL The Leader would like to thank our many community partners and sponsors who made this award winning annual event possible.

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

With thanks!

AWARD SPONSORS...

Mentor: Makes a positive contribution to the community and leads the way by example. This person is sought after and looked up to by others. Someone to learn from and aspire to be like. A real inspirational person. Coach:

Makes a positive contribution to their sport. Is exemplary in developing skills and confidence in participants. A role model who inspires and encourages high athletic achievement.

Youth Volunteer: Makes a positive contribution to the youth in the community. Some one who is depended upon and committed to provide direction, programs and/ or support to ensure our youth have positive experiences. Community Supporter: Makes a positive contribution to their community through their work or as a citizen. Someone who gives their time unselfishly in order to support causes and efforts that make the community a better place to live.

Emergency Services: Makes a positive contribution to the community by going over and above the call of duty. Is exemplary in the area of Emergency Services and unselfishly shoulders the enormous responsibility while accepting the potential risks and challenges.

Teacher:

Makes a positive contribution by being a true leader. Demonstrates a high level of ethics and professional standards, is an inspirational motivator, excellent communicator, good listener and reliable resource to the Community.

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Community Service Volunteer: Makes a positive contribution to the community by unselfishly volunteering their time to their community service organization. This person is well thought of and is significantly relied upon by others in the organization. They are dedicated and committed to making a difference.

Community Volunteer:

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The individual makes a positive contribution to the community by supporting several causes not necessarily devoted to one service organization. They are dedicated to making a difference in several programs and initiatives.

The Building Blocks of our Community A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P


8 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

s i k c a Giving B nsibility o p s e R s ’ e n o y r e v E Tong Louie Family YMCA Community Coach Award A strong community requires that everyone does their part to make a difference. Whether it’s by giving the gift of your time, talent, or treasure you can make a difference in your community. The YMCA creates opportunities for you to give back. At the YMCA you can strengthen yourself and others all at the same time.

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Bringing people together


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 9

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COACH SPONSORED BY YMCA OF GREATER VANCOUVER

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Stu Graham

S

tu Graham didn’t pursue basketball because it was the easy sport for him. He pursued it because of the challenge. “I was involved in pretty much every sport,” he says. “But basketball was my favourite. It was the most difficult for me to be good at. It wasn’t as easy for me as football.” He went on to be a player at Simon Fraser University, and during the 1976-77 season his coach asked him to be his assistant. “It was a pretty interesting time,” Graham says, playing with the likes of Jay Triano and Terry Fox and being coached by Stan Stewardson. “He (Stewardson) became a real mentor of mine,” Graham says. “He instilled the passion of being the best you could possibly be.” Graham has lived up to that challenge. Now a director of Basketball B.C., he’s had an entire career of highlights to share with

his players through the years. He has coached at all levels of the school system, including university and provincial teams, for more than 35 years. But when his own daughters started playing basketball, he went back to coach at the high school level. “I was the most qualified to do it,” he says. “I feel I had great opportunities in high school and I felt the only way to give them that chance was if I stepped up to do it.” And in 2008, he coached the Elgin Park Secondary girls to win the provincial AAA championships. He says he doesn’t have a one-line coaching motto. “I’m not that good,” he says. “My goal for them has always been to achieve to be the best you can be, and to have fun,” he says. “And if you’re having fun, you’re going to be doing your best.”

Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention

FLORENCE DYCK

DUANE LINNEN

GREG & SHAUNA PUCHNIAK

I

magine taking all the performing arts, rolling them into one, and then adding quickly spinning flags, simulated rifles and sabres. That’s how Florence Dyck explains the entertainment spectacle known as colour guard, an energetic athletic show celebrated south of the border. But it’s growing in popularity in Canada, too, and those who love colour guard are fiercely supportive of it. As a founder of the Surrey-based group Pacificaires, Dyck has spent the last 30 years coaching thousands of young people in the art – and sport – of colour guard. It’s not always easy to recruit for or compete as a Canadian team. The Pacificaires troupe travels throughout the United States, taking part in the larger-than-life competitions. And it’s more than made its mark as the only Canadian team to win gold at the world championships two years in a row. “That’s huge,” Dyck says. “That’s like winning the Olympics.” But Dyck has always taught her teams that nothing is impossible if you persevere. “If you believe, you can achieve anything, and (the kids have) proven that over and over again,” she says.

G

A

s Frank Hurt Secondary School’s football coach, Duane Linnen has one non-negotiable

rule. “No pass, no play,” he says. “You’ve got to have those grades, maintain a certain average, or you’re suspended until you get the grades up.” All his players know the rule and live by it. Linnen has lived his own life on the gridiron by the very same tenet. He grew up in cities such as San Diego, where high school football isn’t just about passing time. Representing your school is both a privilege and an honour. And Frank Hurt’s Hornets learned how perseverance can pay off in the long run. “In the 2009 season we didn’t win one game, and it was discouraging,” Linnen says. But the next season, the Hornets came back strong, winning the Tier II B.C. High School Provincial Championship. “The ones that stuck it out were rewarded,” he says. “You put in the hard work, and good things will happen.”

reg and Shauna Puchniak know that the act of staying fit is best enjoyed with good friends by your side. They spend their spare moments running together, and both have devoted their time to Surrey’s Tong Louie Family YMCA – Greg by leading the gym’s Turbo Charged Bootcamp and the wildly popular Gauntlet training course, and Shauna by volunteering to lead Sun Run training clinics for several years. “I’ve been running for a really long time and I wanted to give back to the running community,” Shauna says. Group settings provide the camaraderie needed to stay focused on a long-term goal, she adds. When she’s not training her own group, Shauna often takes in her husband’s training sessions. “It’s a great way to spend time together,” he says, while offering each other support. Once a player on the national men’s baseball team, Greg says he doesn’t see himself as a leader in his courses. But the staff at the YMCA say otherwise. His courses are in high demand, with the Gauntlet becoming the biggest class the organization has seen, drawing 60 people week after week. Greg got involved with the YMCA about eight years ago, following an injury. He was encouraged to volunteer by someone who became his mentor. “I didn’t know I would like it,” he says. “But I’ve met some really great people.”

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P


10 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

L to R: David Woollven - YMCA of Greater Vancouver, Stu Graham, Diana Bryant, Shauna Puchniak, Greg Puchniak, Duane Linnen and Florence Dyck.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 11

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

Congratulation to all the CLA Winners. Thank you for the many contributions to our community!

Stephanie Cadieux

MLA Surrey–Panorama

Phone: Email: Web: Twitter:

604.574.5662 Stephanie.Cadieux.MLA@leg.bc.ca www.stephaniecadieuxmla.bc.ca www.twitter.com/MLACadieux

Kevin Falcon

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Phone: Email: Web: Twitter:

2011 Community Leader Awards COMMITTEE MEMBERS

604.576.3792 Kevin.Falcon.MLA@leg.bc.ca www.kevinfalconmla.bc.ca www.twitter.com/KevinFalcon

L to R: Kevin DeBoice, Marion Bradner, Jackie Yurick, Judy Krawchuk, Diana Bryant, Lloyd Lees, Melanie Houlden and Jim Mihaly - Publisher, Surrey-North Delta Leader.

MLA Dave S. Hayer

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12 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 13

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

YOUTH VOLUNTEER SPONSORED BY McDONALD’S

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

RCMP Cpl. Norm Massie or one week every January, Surrey becomes a basketball mecca. More than 800 players compete in 70 games in the RCMP Basketball Classic, an annual tournament that Basketball B.C. calls one of this province’s finest. The players are usually the stars – students come from almost every Surrey high school to play. But this year, the founder of the tournament is centre court. RCMP Cpl. Norm Massie is being recognized for his hard work with, and dedication to, local students. He began the tournament 20 years ago as way to connect with Surrey’s youth. As one of the first police officers to be assigned as a school liaison officer, he quickly saw the benefits of working so closely with high school students. “It gave them the chance to ask me anything they wanted,” he says. “I noticed the difference right away and that’s when I really believed that exposing them to police in that

F

kind of friendly environment was so beneficial.” At lunch, he would play ball hockey and basketball with the kids and the school’s counsellor. He encouraged other officers to drop by the schools he was working in and join in the games. From there, he decided to create a tournament, which was an instant success. Massie’s work with youth has earned him plenty of accolades in the past, including the RCMP Golden Spur Award for his efforts with youth. Massie has just retired, but he hasn’t stopped work on the tournament. “We just keep getting bigger and better,” he says. And even though he now lives in Ontario, he says he’s just a flight away. “We’re still working on ideas to develop the tournament,” he says, adding he’s helping to prepare more of Surrey’s officers to step into his old role. “It’s a great tournament,” he adds. “Everyone wants to be a part of it.”

S

services,” Wilson says. The program lessens the chance of kids falling through the cracks and ending up in gangs or other dangerous situations. “We’re doing whatever it takes,” Wilson says, whether that means helping a child’s family with food or housing, or getting a child sponsored to play a sport, or keeping a student on the right track in school, or simply challenging them to “do the right thing.” And the program is receiving a lot of attention. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Surrey recently, his trip included a presentation by WRAP partners, including Wilson. “We’re getting a lot of good buzz,” Wilson says, but he defers any success away from himself and onto the entire team. “I’m a bit of a humble guy,” says Wilson, who recently won the Wael T. Audi Youth Policing Award. A member for seven years, Wilson always wanted to be a police officer, just like his father. But he first went into youth work as an entry point. After 14 years in that industry, he finally made the jump. “This is right up my alley,” he says. “I love it.”

Honourable Mention CONST. JOHN WILSON

ometimes the best way to shelter a child from impending danger is to wrap your arms safely around them. No one knows this better than Surrey RCMP Const. John Wilson. For two-and-a-half years, he’s been the “on-the-ground” police officer and youth worker with the Surrey WRAP project – a gang prevention and intervention program developed in a partnership between the Surrey School District and the Surrey RCMP. The program’s name is no coincidence, Wilson says. A group of like-minded services have banded together and partnered with the program to “wrap” themselves around Surrey’s most vulnerable children and teenagers. Though there are too many supporting partners to name, all are equally important to the program. Some of the notables include: the City of Surrey’s Parks and Recreation Department, the B.C. Ministry for Children and Families and their contractors, youth probation, the YMCA, local charities such as the Surrey Food Bank, and work experience counsellors. “The goal is to wrap (youth) in

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS ON NOW email entries to newsroom@surreyleader.com Celebrating our Community Leader Awards 10th Anniversary A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P


14 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

YOUTH VOLUNTEER sponsored by

AWARD RECIPIENTS

L to R: Jim Mihaly - The Leader, RCMP Cpl. Norm Massie, Const. John Wilson

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 15

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COMMUNITY SERVICE VOLUN

AWARD RECIPIENTS

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Scottsdale Centre

Centre of Newton

7015 - 120 St., Delta

7320 King George Blvd., Surrey


16 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 17

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COMMUNITY SUPPORTER SPONSORED BY FRASER DOWNS RACETRACK & CASINO

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Susan Thomas

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hen Susan Thomas was raising her daughter, she spent her free time helping out wherever possible. She was in the school lending a hand and coached ice hockey many seasons. Now that she’s a grandmother, not much has changed. Volunteering in your children’s and grandchildren’s activities and schooling is “a very natural way to keep connected,” she says. “You can see who their friends are, and parent without being too obvious about it.” But Thomas hasn’t stopped there, either. She’s reaching out to the wider parenting community by creating a new scholarship program for young mothers. Fresh Start chooses one teen mom from Surrey to support. While the amount is currently $500, Thomas hopes to increase the amount in the coming years. “Once the interest is there, I’m sure it will naturally grow legs,” she says. Thomas and her husband Glynn put the word out to clients of their Surrey business, Printfastic Printing.

The community quickly supported the idea, and after months of paperwork and a partnership with the Surrey Foundation, Fresh Start was born. The couple just awarded their first scholarship and look forward to giving away many more. Thomas likes the idea of supporting strong families and businesses in Surrey. “It’s where we live, where we have our business, and where we want to build our roots,” she says. She’s been known to mentor new business owners, offering advice or knowledge whenever possible. “We give them help with printing and give them moral support,” she says. “We help them flesh out their ideas, or we can be a sounding board and reassure them if they are doubting themselves.” She adds that thriving community, which includes a healthy business community, depends on people lending each other a hand. “We’re not living life alone,” she says. “We should be helping each other.”

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Cedar Club Society - Knights of Columbus #4767

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embers of the Cedar Club Society have long been putting smiles on people’s faces, using the money they generate through their club to donate to the community. But now that the 52-year-old group is planning its own demise, the smiles around town are getting even bigger. “Roughly 10 years ago, we started planning an exit strategy,” says Tony Upton, director of the men’s Catholic group. And that included selling off a piece of property at 96 Avenue and 132 Street. It’s not the first property the club has owned. The Cedar Club Society was created in 1959 as a Knights of Columbus group. Not connected to any particular church, it didn’t take long before the club realized it needed a place of its own. “The first place was a really old building,” Upton says. “But we used it for our meetings, stored our stuff there, and used to do bingos there once a week as a fundraiser. The income we raised paid expenses, plus we donated to the community.”

Honourable Mention SARBJIT SABHARWAL

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f there’s one thing that Sarbjit Sabharwal is proud of, it’s the success of the India pavilion at the Fusion Festival each year. “It’s an amazing event,” he says. “The festival has won a lot of accolades... and last year we earned second place for our pavilion.” The festival’s goal is to showcase different cultures to the entire community, and India is just one piece of a large mosaic of cultures involved. As co-organizer of the India pavilion, Sabharwal says progress

They sold that building in 1981, and bought a piece of property a few blocks away. The intention was to build a seniors’ facility. But around that time, the numbers of the club started to dwindle. Surrey was growing and new churches were slowly drawing away members. At their peak, the Cedar Club Society had about 160 members. Now that number is closer to 55, and the group members are aging. Trouble with zoning and permits kept the senior’s facility from becoming a reality, and the club eventually sold the property. But they knew they wanted to perform one last grand gesture. “So far, we’ve given away $1.1 million” from the sale, Upton says, to organizations like the Surrey Food Bank, the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Salvation Army. Soon, the Cedar Club will wind down, and all the money will have been given away – a legacy from a long-standing club that always sought to help its own community.

is being made when it comes to creating cross-cultural understanding. “I was so nervous the first year, because we did something I had never done before,” he says. “We brought in turban tying. I would literally have to say we put thousands of turbans on people in that two-day event.” Just showing people what it feels like to wear a turban can be enough to break down barriers between cultures, he says. The success of the turban-tying event so moved Sabharwal, he had to get it down in writing. The resulting story ended up running on the front page of a local newspaper. Sabharwal says he’s just one part of a two-man team with his brother Baljit. The pair emigrated with their family from India while they were young boys. He volunteers as a way to make those transitions easier for others. “I was maybe four of five when we came from India,” he says. “We’ve seen a lot of the hard stuff as far as integration goes. I think it’s really important to keep your identity (when coming to a new country.)”

Honourable Mention CHRISTOPHER SIMMONS & DEBRA DaVAUGHN

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very successful fundraiser starts with two things: a good idea and good intentions. Operatic singers Christopher Simmons and Debra DaVaughn had both when they set out to create a musical fundraiser which would have professional performers – including Simmons and DaVaughn – sing their hearts out.

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P

And best of all, every penny raised would help a deserving charity. “We wanted to give back to the community that had given us so much,” Simmons says, and when they contacted the Surrey Food Bank’s executive director Marilyn Herrmann, they knew they had found the right place to support. The timing was perfect. Christmas was around the corner and the shelves at the food bank were sparse. The pair put together a night of music that introduced some lighthearted opera to Surrey residents, and the resulting show was extremely well-received. It is now an annual event, and for last year’s show they pulled together a line-up of Broadway music and performers. It was another smash hit, selling out at the Surrey Arts Centre. Despite the recent birth of their first child, a girl, the couple has no plans in slowing down their efforts to help the food bank. “There’s no rest, no,” DaVaughn says, laughing. “We’ve got our cast all hired and rehearsals will start in September. This girl’s probably going to be a part of the show.”


18 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COMMUNITY SUPPORTER

AWARD RECIPIENTS

L to R: Peggy Udall, Rita Morency and Robin Godfrey - Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino, Debra DaVaughn, Christopher Simmons, Susan Thomas, Mario Baptista and David Harder.

sponsored by Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino

The Building Blocks of our Community

NENWDARY

O SEC

S U P CAM

EXPANDED GRADE 8 PROGRAMS AMS

SPACES STILL AVAILABLE FOR SEPTEMBER 2011 CALL FOR A TOUR! NOW OFFERING PRESCHOOL TO GRADE 12 15353 92 Ave Surrey BC V3R 1C3 • info@surreychristian.com • surreychristian.com • 604-581-2474

ICE V ER LE! S S ILAB U B VA A


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 19

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

Our mission:

“To support the independence of new Canadians and to build strong culturally diverse communities”

Our focus is to help new Canadians adjust to and integrate into society. We are a registered non-profit agency offering a wide range of services and programs. DIVERSEcity provides services to new Canadians in more than 16 different languages. For more information, visit us on the web at www.dcrs.ca or call us at 604 597 0205.

Our services are delivered through six main departments:

• • • • • •

Interpretation and Translation Services Community Development Language Programs Family Services Career Services Fee-for-Service

Emergency Service Award

New Directions for New Canadians

Community Leader Award Recipients Community Service Volunteer Award

Congratulations to all the nominees of the 9th Annual Community Leader Awards

Mentor Award

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

Penny Priddy

John Moralek

Fraser MacRae

Former MP Surrey North

President North Surrey Lions Club

RCMP Assistant Commissioner

Thank-you to everyone . . . who makes our community a great place to live, work, learn and celebrate.

of the Lower Mainland

#1107-7330 137th St, Surrey, BC, V3W 1A3 [ www.dcrs.ca [ 604 597 0205

Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association 604.580.2321

www.downtownsurreybia.com

leader (‘li:der) n. e

Committed to the communities we serve since 1989. www.thornleyhayne.com 604.581.2827

1. One who motivates and inspires. 2. A person who helps others realize their potential. 3. One who is selfless. 4. Someone who makes a difference. To the Leaders in Education and all of the nominees and recipients of the 9th Annual Community Leader Awards, the Surrey School District congratulates you and thanks you for your service to our community.


20 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

your roads – your team

Keeping you safe on the road is a team effort. Mainroad salutes their emergency services comrades. Proud sponsor of the Emergency Services category for the Surrey Community Leadership Awards

Mainroad Group 17474 56th Avenue Surrey, BC V3S 1C3 604.575.7020

www.mainroad.ca www.mainroad.ca


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 21

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

EMERGENCY SERVICES SPONSORED BY MAINROAD GROUP

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Assistant Commissioner Fraser MacRae, Officer-in-Charge of the Surrey RCMP

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he City of Surrey is a unique tapestry of people with diverse needs, and sometimes those needs include help from the local RCMP. From crime prevention to intervention, the local RCMP detachment has been creating innovative initiatives to lower crime and improve quality of life better. Behind many of those initiatives is Assistant Commissioner Fraser MacRae. With 35 years of policing under his duty belt, MacRae has dedicated his life to the safety and security of the communities he has served. He has been the Officer in Charge of Surrey detachment since 2005, has received a prestigious Order of Merit medal from the Governor General of Canada, and has been a strong supporter of the Mayor’s Task Force on Crime Reduction. “He is a passionate advocate for community-based solutions to crime,” Mayor Dianne Watts says. “And due to his highly capable guidance, crime in Surrey

Honourable Mention DELTA POLICE SGT. SHARLENE BROOKS

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here’s more to being a police media liaison than jut speaking to the press. As the voice of the Delta Police Department, Sgt. Sharlene Brooks also works behind the scenes, building trust within the community and creating relationships with victims and their families. She coordinates details with other officers, and skillfully achieves a delicate balance between assuring the public, helping victims, and assisting with an investigation. “It’s my job to make sure we’re communicating to the community what we can, when we can,” Brooks says. But at the same time, it’s also her job to help resolve tragedy. “We see people when they’re really, truly devastated. We can’t bring loved ones back, but through seeking justice we can help give them closure.” While the job has its dark side, especially when dealing with death, Brooks sees the silver lining. “In this job, whether in the media or policing in general, when you meet someone at their worst point in their life, and you know that by responding or assisting them you’ve somehow made their lives better, that’s a good day,” she says.

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P

is at a 10-year low. Fraser is a leader in every sense of the word and we are very proud to have him in charge of our RCMP detachment.” With 651 members and 250 support staff, the City of Surrey has the largest police department in the country. Despite its size, MacRae says Surrey is all heart. “One of the things I’ve enjoyed most is the tremendous community spirit,” he says. “Everywhere you go, you encounter groups of people who work very hard to make this place the best it can be.” He says his Community Leader Award is a reflection of the numerous positive things going on in Surrey. “Any recognition I’m being provided is a direct result of the dedication and commitment of member of staff of this detachment, the work they do every day,” he says. “It’s also evidence of the great support we receive from the City of Surrey and the broad spectrum of citizens and community groups that work together with us in making this city the best it can be.”

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF OUR COMMUNITY


22 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

EMERGENCY SERVICES sponsored by

AWARD RECIPIENTS

L to R: Jim Mihaly - The Leader, Assistant Commissioner Fraser MacRae - Officer-inCharge of the Surrey RCMP, Delta Police Sgt. Sharlene Brooks, David Zerr - President and CEO, Mainroad Group, and Réal Charrois - General Manager, Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting

Mainroad Group

At McDonald’s® our most important asset is our People. We would like to congratulate the following people on their achievement as Outstanding Crew in the first trimester of 2011. Crew Person of the Month Rakesh Sharma Jennifer Gillan Russell Bergen Jade Elidoros Joline Crawford Kamaljit Kaur Alexa Colledge Eshneel Singh Elena Le

Keerth Kumanan Denny Chanthavimon Linda Bui

TEAM HARPO James and Tracy Harper Owner Operators Cloverdale • Panorama • Tynehead

We would also like to congratulate the following People on their recent Promotions. Thank you for your efforts, we look forward to your continued growth and success! Annie Woodruff

Eduardo Cordova

New Crew Trainer

New Crew Trainer

Bethany Villlanueva

Gagandeep Pandher

New Crew Trainer

New Crew Leader

Jamie Brown

Pearl Meredith

New Team Leader

New Crew Trainer

Wilner Fontelera

Stephanie Olson

New Crew Trainer

New Crew Trainer


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 23

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COMMUNITY SERVICE VOLUNTEER SPONSORED BY GUILDFORD TOWN CENTRE

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Sarah Phillips

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ecoming a parent the first time changes your life. But becoming a parent the second time around, to a teenager with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), can turn your whole world upside down. Sarah and Russ Phillips knew exactly what they were walking into when adopting their 16-year-old foster daughter Christine. Sarah knew that a label doesn’t define who someone is. What’s more, she was willing to put in the hard work to help Christine succeed in life. The more she worked at helping her daughter navigate her adolescent years with FASD, the more obvious it became that there were no inclusive programs available. “She’s 21 now, and she’s the one who inspired me to do something,” Phillips says. Last year, Phillips began a program called Totally Beautiful. With the support of the Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society and her own Soroptimist Club, the program has been a success. Girls with FASD are welcomed into the group and

they meet regularly as a way to learn social skills, coping techniques, confidence and even basic math. Because of behaviour issues, children with FASD don’t normally fit into mainstream schooling. They also have a hard time making lasting friendships. For a growing number of young women, Totally Beautiful is changing that. “We have some who are very challenged and others who are less challenged,” Phillips says. “We include everyone and are very accepting. The program is built around what works best for FASD. It isn’t a classroom setting. The whole purpose of the group was to build self-esteem, confidence and success.” The girls have created fashion shows and worked on life skills such as counting change. It’s been such a success that a group for young men has started, too. Called The Crew (Courageous Respective Energy Warriors) the group meets at the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre for sports, snacks and activities. “When dealing with FASD, you have to be creative about how you teach, and build around the kids,” Phillips says.

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Janice Lanigan

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magine having one place to go where you felt welcome. One place where you fit in, could meet new friends, learn a new skill and even share your own knowledge. Thanks to people like Janice Lanigan, there is such a place. The Oak Avenue Neighbourhood Hub Society has been running for about 10 years, bringing together diverse members of the community and serving their needs. The society began when Lanigan and some other members of the Oak Avenue Church identified a need to make life better in their neighbourhood. They formed the non-profit group and set out to clothe less-fortunate children. In the first few months, they helped 35 kids obtain new outfits. Today, that number has grown to 600 children. Those who work with Lanigan say volunteers like her make such community groups successful. “The Hub” is now providing cooking classes for

Honourable Mention MARC & SANJA POITRAS

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immigrants, computer instruction for seniors, a community garden and a seniors’ lunch program. Lanigan never had the time to volunteer when she was working, and says she’s making up for it now. As co-chair of The Hub, she’s constantly involved with its many activities. She enjoys seeing the group grow and watching the idea expand into neighbouring cities. “When we started this, it did start with the church, like a mission outreach,” she says. “We’re known as a neighbourhood house now, and it’s evolving in other cities. It’s wonderful to have a centre where you have a mixture of many things going on where people can come together.” But Lanigan gets the most satisfaction from witnessing people better themselves. “It’s certainly been worthwhile,” she says. “We’ve seen people come in, in desperate situations, and they’ve really picked themselves up off the ground. That’s really satisfying.”

veryone needs a little help at some point in their life. And when it comes to making ends meet, sometimes even the most basic items of clothing can go by the wayside. There are plenty of families who can’t afford winter clothing, socks or underwear. But Marc and Sanja Poitras have been making a difference for many families over the past year and a half. As parents of seven children, they have a personal understanding of how great the needs are in Surrey. So they started Clothes on Wheels, which visits schools throughout the city. Families can “shop” for free items, donated through the generosity of corporations, businesses, individuals, schools, churches and other organizations. This year, there are more than 109 planned events that will connect with 17,952 children and adults and in total. Clothes on Wheels expects to distribute over 90,440 pieces of clothing, jackets, gloves, shoes and boots. The Poitras and their team of 55 volunteers continue their work due to a love for the city. When they see someone’s eyes light up from the generosity the community has shown, it makes that work all the more worthwhile.

Honourable Mention JOHN MORALEK

I

f you find an extra toonie in your pocket, do John Moralek a favour. Head down to any Surrey Prospera Credit Union and tell them you want to donate to Miles of Toonies. All money raised will go toward the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. It’s just one of several fundraisers Moralek and the North Surrey Lions Club are working on this year.

They hope to raise $110,000 for the foundation. “We don’t know if we’ll reach that goal,” Moralek says. “But we’ll try.” That’s the best any Lion can ever do – try his or her best. While Moralek is now the president of the North Surrey club, he started as a Lion by way of filling in for another. He runs an auction company, and the Lions used to hold an annual auction. “They asked me to fill in because their auctioneer was moving out of town,” he says. From there, they “pestered” him to be a member. But the meeting nights fell on work nights and Moralek couldn’t see belonging to a club that he couldn’t take part in fully. Time went on, and he kept volunteering as their auctioneer. Five years ago, they switched their meetings to a workable night for Moralek, and he’s never looked back. Becoming a Lion isn’t a huge responsibility he says; members help with events when they can. But the benefits to the community when everyone helps just a little bit are enormous.


24 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 25

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

Peggy Ament

F

learning about topics such as invasive plants, sustainable energy and protection of endangered species. Again, Ament says with the passion her students show for the task at hand, it’s not difficult to achieve success. “I guess I’m in the business of empowering my students, and so when they take something on it makes it easy,” she says. “It’s not like I’m force-feeding them something they don’t want to learn.” The kids have to be dedicated to keep the group growing. Because many of them bus or carpool to school, most of the work needs to be done during their weekly meetings. Being in a “green” city makes it easier to facilitate the group, Ament says. “Surrey is big on the environment. And it’s so much easier to work with groups that are environmentally minded, it’s so much easier than going against the grain.” In the end, Ament hopes to help the students forge a more eco-friendly future. “We are trying to make a more livable community,” she says.

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were surveyed on satisfaction, there was more proof that Rawji is doing his job well. Out of 211 parents polled, 99.6 per cent deemed the leadership in the public school to be “excellent.” Rawji’s goal at Chantrell Creek is to teach the students social responsibility. “In terms of what we’ve done, it has been simple things,” he says. “We want the students to leave the school with a greater sense of responsibility than they have entitlement, so they do feel very responsible for the community at large, and for each other.” The feeling is school-wide. “Everyone is unified behind that statement,” he says.

or teacher Peggy Ament, success isn’t measured by her own accomplishments, but by the achievement of her students. During class time at Holy Cross Regional High School, she leads students through business curriculum. But during one lunch break a week, she rallies a group of young, passionate students for the school’s environmental club. “I think I’m doing what we’re supposed to doing. Bringing out something in them,” Ament says. And when students respond the way this group has, she says “it’s easy work.” Enthusiastic students include Rosalyn Desa, Stephanie Nguyen, Shauna Stanyer and Irene DeSouza, who banded together to nominate Ament for a Community Leader Award. “We are in the second year of operation,” Ament says of the environment club, and already the group is working outside the school with other community organizations. The students involved are

Honourable Mention FAIZEL RAWJI

hen you talk to Faizel Rawji about his school’s successes, he’s quick to point a finger away from himself. “Chantrell Creek Elementary has come a long way in the last three years,” he says. “The kids and parents have become united in what we believe in.” But there’s a different version of that story. Rawji was recently named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals – an honour given to only 32 principals across the country. “That was a huge award,” he agrees, which included a trip to Toronto to take in training and networking with like-minded professionals. And when the parents of the school

Honourable Mention RAYWYN M. ERICKSON

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ou can’t avoid pain, says Raywyn Erickson. But you can learn from life’s trials and tribulations, and you can grow stronger. It’s what she’s done in her own life, and what she teaches to men and women in transition at Unity Manor, Lilith House and Athena Recovery House. Her program, Living Choices, gives

her clients techniques to “awaken awareness” within themselves. “It’s magic,” she says, when others learn to break down their own barriers to improve their lives. Erickson stepped back from teaching and writing when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. But she’s back volunteering with the hopes someone will

see the difference the courses are making and provide funding. “I started giving back because of the rewards I was receiving,” she says. “I got here kicking, fighting and screaming every inch of the way.” At age 65, she says her lifelong journey is far from over. “I learn something new every day.”

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P

IT’S ALL ABOUT COMMITMENT

TEACHER SPONSORED BY SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY SURREY

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT


26 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

For over 35 years, the Macnaughton & Ward Financial Services team has proudly served and grown with the Fraser Valley community ™‹–Š‘—”‡š’‡”–‹•‡‹’”‘–‡…–‹‰›‘—”‹–‡”‡•–•ƒ†ϐ‹ƒ…‹ƒŽŠ‡ƒŽ–ŠǤ

o Pr

ea r s!

Visit us today to determine how we can help YOU!

ud 10430 144 Street Phone: 604.581.9121 ly 5y serv er 3 v Surrey, BC V3T 4V5 Fax: 604.581.9142 o ing F raser Valley for www.for-my-future.com Toll‐Free: 800.397.0115 Email: info@for-my-future.com Toll‐Free Fax: 888.397.0115

INSURANCE | INVESTMENTS | EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

TEACHER sponsored by Simon Fraser University

Congratulations from Macnaughton & Ward Financial to to all CLA nominees!

AWARD RECIPIENTS

L to R: Peggy Ament, Faizel Rawji, Raywyn Erickson and Joanne Curry - SFU.

Surrey

Congratulations to the grads of 2011!

Teachers are bargaining to reverse Liberal cuts Our goals at the local table include: • Smaller class sizes • More support for students with special needs • Local solutions to issues in our neighbourhood schools Working together, teachers and trustees can agree on improvements to benefit all.

A message from the Surrey Teachers’ Association

We know how hard you worked to reach graduation day, and now it’s time to celebrate your accomplishments. Please, celebrate safely! A message from your teachers, members of the Surrey Teachers’ Association


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 27

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COURAGE sponsored by ABC Country Restaurants

AWARD RECIPIENTS

Open your door to summer. Open your door Open your door to summer. to summer.

L to R: Pamela Jacques - ABC Country Restaurants, Dave and Susanne McNeil (Megan McNeil’s parents), Simon Gallant, Matt Gallant and Joe Calendino.

The Building Blocks of our Community

Open your door to Summer! Be Fresh, Safe, Secure and Bug-Free in clean contemporary style! SECURITY SCREEN DOORS • No bars, no grills • Just security with a clear view

RETRACTABLE SCREENS • Retain the style and look of your home • Hide from view when not in use • Custom made & professionally installed • Limited Lifetime Warranty • Damage and impact resistant

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604-299-8878 The Magic of Retractable Screens

• European designed and award winning • Over 100 fabric colours and designs available • Create outdoor entertaining & living space • 10 year warranty

www.wizardscreens.com


28 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One Person can show Courage and this Courageous spirit can touch and live within all of us By looking at the wage of blessing in every living life Together we can weather the storm, And put up a fight ‘Cause we can do anything. Should you feel like giving up? Trample the frustration and conquer the stress. Continue to fight the courageous fight long past a warrior’s fight has ended Tarrus Riley

As Sponsors of the Surrey Leader Community Courage Award, All of us at abc Country Restaurant Proudly Salute this year’s Courageous Hero.

your country…your restaurant CLOVERDALE 604.576.7770

CLOVERDALE GUILDFORD 604.576.7770 604.930.4717

GUILDFORD FRASER HWY. 604.930.4717 604.583.3228

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NEWTON SCOTT ROAD 604.596.2997 604.591.7087

LANGLEY EAST 604.530.1322


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 29

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COURAGE SPONSORED BY ABC COUNTRY RESTAURANTS

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Megan McNeil

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f the world could be healed with just one song, that song just may be “The Will to Survive.” Written by Surrey teen Megan McNeil during her stays in hospital during cancer treatment, the musical hit has travelled the globe via the Internet. The song resonated with people all over the world, her father Dave McNeil says. The video features a smiling Megan and a group of children who have all been through the rigours of cancer treatment. “She was an inspiration to many in Surrey, globally too,” Dave says. “It was into the United States and as far away as Russia.” Even today, just months after Megan succumbed to adrenal cancer at the age of 20, her song is still going strong. And that’s exactly what she was hoping for, her father says. “It’s been picked up by various non-profit event fundraisers, and we’re hoping it will become the anthem for cancer.” The song became Megan’s campaign. “She did a lot of volunteer work and essentially her voice was heard throughout her cancer journey,” Dave says. Always a strong singer, Megan

Honourable Mention

Honourable Mention

SIMON & MATT GALLANT

JOE CALENDINO

performed her song for the James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research and the B.C. Childhood Cancer Parents Association. She was involved in Wigs for Kids, Balding for Dollars, the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation, and co-hosted the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon. The list of organizations she supported goes on to include the Music Therapy Ride, the Michael Cuccione Foundation, the Right 2 Survive and Evening to Inspire. Megan campaigned tirelessly in the short time she battled cancer. She was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in September 2006, just days after her 16th birthday. The family had been insisting to doctors something was wrong, but were told she was healing from a track-and-field injury. When she was finally diagnosed, the cancer was at stage four. “The worst,” her dad says. Megan died on Jan. 28, 2011. To keep Megan’s inspiration spirit alive, Dave hopes people will continue to download Will to Survive from iTunes. Every download costs $1 and will go toward Megan’s favourite cancer organizations.

A

N

ot all courageous stories have happy endings. And not all heroes like to be honoured. Such is the case with Matthew Gallant and his brother Simon. The brothers were quick to rush into a neighbouring apartment unit in Cedar Hills in January when they heard a smoke alarm go off and a woman screaming in the hallway. Twin girls, just 20 months old, had knocked over a lamp and a fire started in their bedroom. With the brothers’ quick action, the two girls were pulled from the apartment, away from the smoke and flames.

“I was pretty pumped on adrenaline for the next couple of nights,” Matthew says. Sadly, just four days later, one twin died from her injuries. And six months later, the other twin has not yet made a full recovery. It’s a hard reality to bear. As any rescue worker knows, helping a fatally injured child is emotionally devastating. “I do wish people would quit bringing it up,” Matthew says, to help him let the memory of that evening subside. “But I wouldn’t change even one second of what I’ve done.”

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P

fter a recent showing of the hard-hitting play based on Joe Calendino’s gritty former life, a young boy stood up and threw him a hardball question: “Do you still have good dreams?” The question nearly moved the reformed gang member to tears. “Imagine, a guy like me knocked to his knees by a five-year-old,” he says. Calendino has lived the hard life, having once been a full-patch member of the Hells Angels. He was addicted to crack cocaine, alienating his friends and family. He was slowly killing himself. Then, Vancouver Police Const. Kevin Torvik came back into his life. The two had known each other in high school, which Calendino never had finished. With Torvik’s help, Calendino cleaned up and returned to Templeton Secondary in Vancouver. He reconnected with his old drama teacher and started mentoring some high school boys there. That was four years ago. Today, Calendino works with kids across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. The play based on his life, Let Me Up, has now been seen by about 6,000 youth. “It’s all about the kids,” he says. “We’re creating a journey for these kids in the hopes that they never, ever travel down this road.” The play features a number of nightmarish scenes and is followed by a question-and-answer session, which is where that five-year-old’s question arose. “If there was anything one child could say to you, that was it,” Calendino says.


30 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER sponsored by Coast Capital Savings

AWARD RECIPIENTS

L to R: Ken Melech, Narima Dela Cruz, Arminder Virk, Jim Mihaly - The Leader, Elizabeth Cugnet - Coast Capital Savings and Jas Cheema.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 31

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

LEADER OF THE YEAR sponsored by

AWARD RECIPIENT

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L to R: On behalf of Community Savings Mayor Dianne Watts

Debbie After

and Jamie Stewart (2010 Leader of the Year) present the 2011 Leader of the Year Award to Laurel Middelaer.

Community Savings

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32 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There’s rare, medium, and

Well Done! Congratulations to all the nominees of the 2011 Community Leader Awards. Through your community work, you have helped make Surrey and North Delta better places to live. Thank you for making a difference.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 33

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER SPONSORED BY COAST CAPITAL SAVINGS

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Arminder Virk

A

rminder Virk is determined to become a Surrey firefighter one day. But for now, he’s keeping busy with his studies, competing at SFU as a wrestler and volunteering. In fact, he’s keeping extremely busy. “I started volunteering at a really young age, in Grade 8,” he says. “My wrestling coach at Guildford Park Secondary worked on the Surrey fire department and I got into volunteering because of him.” It didn’t take long before Virk learned a lesson about lending a hand. “Once you start volunteering, you don’t stop.” He’s a fixture in events like the Bright Lights in Stanley Park and the recent Walk, Run and Roll, sponsored by the Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society and benefitting the Centre for Child Development. He supports Jumpstart for Kids, an after-school program that works to help address

issues such as childhood obesity. And Virk shares his knowledge about what he knows best – the wrestling mat. “I had never had the chance to work with young kid before,” he says. “It’s nice to help out that next, younger generation.” Virk is a full-time student at SFU, wrestling on a scholarship for his school’s team, and has just finished his third year and declared his degree in general studies. When he’s not doing all of that, or volunteering, he finds the time to work for a moving company. There isn’t one volunteer position he values over the other. “They’ve all got their own positive aspects,” he says. And if his hopes to become a firefighter come true, he’ll be spending a lot more time giving of himself to others.

TOP HONOUR RECIPIENT

Ken Melech

L

ike many volunteers, Ken Melech has a list of volunteer responsibilities as long as his arm. But there are two facets of his volunteer life closest to his heart – food and flying. “The thing I enjoy most is carrying on what I’ve done all my life, and that’s marketing,” he says. Through the program Yumii Foods, a division of Social Grocer, Melech is able to help find financial solutions for non-profit organizations. In this age of dwindling government grants, Yumii is focused on putting money into the hands of worthwhile groups. When someone purchases food through Yummi, about 20 per cent of the mark-up goes to a chosen group. The idea started with

Honourable Mention JAS CHEEMA

J

one item, and has grown to include 73 mostly organic products. “A couple years ago, we learned we would be losing some of our gaming funding,” he says. “I thought, ‘there has got to be a way to replace this funding’.” Melech is involved with a number of nonprofit groups. But the one he couldn’t live without is the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA). “It’s great to be up there flying,” he says. “We’re getting a little more involved all the time with ground search and rescue.” Being a CASARA member has opened up new opportunities to volunteer even more. “I became qualified to be a civilian spotter on a military aircraft,” he says. “I really like that.”

as Cheema is the consummate volunteer. She is well-known throughout the community for her dedication to many causes, in particular diversity issues, literacy and health care. And even when she’s at her day job, as founder and president of Ice Intercultural Services, she continues to help others with their own success. She works with the Fraser Health Authority as well, where she is responsible for implementing diversity programs around the region. For Cheema, getting involved in charity work is a way of life. “I strongly believe we all need to get involved in our community and work towards building a better future for all.” Her volunteer work mirrors her belief that health care and literacy are the key pillars of a vibrant community, and her column in The Surrey-North Delta Leader highlights social topics she holds dear to her heart. She also takes important issues to the airwaves in radio and television interviews. “The satisfaction I receive from helping others is priceless in comparison to what I give,” Cheema says.

Honourable Mention NARIMA DELA CRUZ

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P

N

arima Dela Cruz is one busy volunteer. And nothing could make her happier. As a member of Surrey’s growing Filipino community, she’s committed herself to keeping the spirit of the Philippines alive and well. To that end, she founded the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society four years ago, and each year since, the group has celebrated its country’s independence. The event has grown so much over that time, organizers had to move it outdoors to Holland Park. The month of May is Dela Cruz’s busiest, so busy she barely puts in any hours at her day job as a realtor. While there are now about 20,000 Filipinos in Surrey, she says they are generally hard-working people who don’t have a lot of time to volunteer before the event. So she doesn’t mind putting in the extra hours planning. “I just love doing it,” she says. “I’m happy when I serve. I’m a very people-oriented individual. I get tired, too, and sometimes I get frustrated, but at the end of the day when I get something accomplished I am happy.”


34 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Acorn Oak Tree

Good leadership comes from the ability to see potential. As the sponsor of this year’s Leader of the Year award, we would like to thank all the 2011 nominees for their vision and hard work. Your efforts are helping to unlock the potential that lies within our community. You have made Surrey and North Delta a richer place to live. We are proud to be your neighbour.

Surrey, Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, Victoria • comsavings.com • Call 604-654-2000


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | CLA Surrey/North Delta Leader 35

2011 NINTH ANNUAL

COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDS

LEADERS OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY COMMUNITY SAVINGS

They’ll continue the fight to make roads safe for everyone, and they’ll work hard to keep Alexa’s memory alive, too. Laurel and Michael Middelaer

T

here is no “wrong way” to grieve. For some, the solitude of the morning is the best time to remember a loved one. For others, those moments come at the end of the day. Some people grieve quickly, and others take it slow – mending their heart one day at a time. For the Middelaer family, grief is still a daily emotion. It’s been three years since their little Alexa was killed by a drunk driver, but there is still a lot for them to work out. Laurel Middelaer takes comfort in talking about her daughter, and even her daughter’s death. “It helps somehow,” she says. “When I tell the stories, it keeps her alive. The more I talk about it, the more I’m working on it.” The day four-and-a-half-year-old Alexa died was a traumatic one for many people. There are emergency workers who are still not able to speak to Laurel and her husband Michael about it.

Since Laurel is more comfortable openly talking about the crash and the family’s loss – “sometimes I feel a bit robotic,” she confesses – she is the one who deals with the public in their battle against impaired driving. Michael has not spent as much time in the spotlight as his wife. They believe the community connects better with a mother, and they want everyone to be affected by Alexa’s story. Michael shines behind the scenes, helping his wife research drunk driving issues. The couple has worked together to lobby for changes to the system. Two to three people are killed each week in B.C. as a result of impaired driving. Throughout Canada, that number jumps to four people every day. As part of the Middelaer’s goal to reduce these sad statistics, they have launched a campaign for Alexa’s Bus – a mobile blood-

alcohol testing unit that will aid police in the fight against drunk drivers. The Middelaers want to see five on the road, at a cost of $1.25 million. The buses can be used roadside as a way to properly test suspected impaired motorists, better ensuring a conviction once an offender reaches a courtroom. But the buses can also be used for education, Laurel says. They can be parked at events such as hockey games and the public can climb aboard and learn more about blood-alcohol levels. (Find out more at http://alexasbus.com/). Curbing drunk driving requires a three-pronged approach, she says. The first is education, and the Middelaers believe that public knowledge has never been better. The second is police enforcement, and Laurel says the police are doing what they can. It’s the third prong, the application of justice, where

A C E L E B R AT I O N O F L E A D E R S H I P

the Middelaers say there are deficiencies. “We feel there needs to be sentencing that is equal to the severity of the crime,” she says. They’ll continue the fight to make roads safe for everyone, and they’ll work hard to keep Alexa’s memory alive, too. But they’re also not losing sight of the here and now. “I’m a broken mother inside, but I also have an amazing son named Christian,” Laurel says. “He’s lost his best friend and he’s really lost his parents. I’ve got this determination that I would still try to be whole for him. He deserves that.” Three years is “an eternity” to a child, she says, and Laurel has gained strength from the way Christian learned to grieve his sister. “He certainly hasn’t forgotten but he’s moved on in a really honourable way and we can take something from that,” she says.


36 Surrey/North Delta Leader CLA | Wednesday, June 15, 2011

TD Commercial Banking, Fraser Valley Commercial Banking Group congratulates the

2011 Community Leader Award recipients and all Nominees for outstanding service and dedication to our community.

Mauro Manzi

Dorothy MacLeod

John Macmillan

District Vice President TD Commercial Banking 604.586.2001 mauro.manzi@td.com

Manager Cash Management TD Commercial Banking 604.586.2006 dorothy.macleod@td.com

Relationship Manager TD Commercial Banking 604.586.2007 john.macmillan@td.com

Rajesh Prashadcolah

Prabhdeep Brar

Adam Hassett

Relationship Manager TD Commercial Banking 604.586.2014 rajesh.prashadcolah@td.com

Account Manager TD Commercial Banking 604.586.2020 prabhdeep.brar@td.com

Account Manager TD Commercial Banking 604.586.2051 adam.hassett@td.com

10435 King George Blvd., 2nd Floor, Surrey, BC V3T 2W7


Community Leader Awards June 15 2011