Kate Dearden and Samantha Doney have been nominated for this award for the difference they have made in their community of Oak Bay High School and in the broader community of Greater Victoria. As the co-coordinators of the Oak Bay High School Cops for Cancer campaign, Kate and Samantha have helped to raise more than $30,000 for cancer awareness and research. The have displayed a tireless and infectious work ethic throughout the planning and implementation stages of the campaign challenging themselves each year to come up with more creative ways to fund raise. Their ability to inspire a community to is second to none. These girls leave a legacy of strong social responsibility for younger students as they move on to university.
David Lamson is an activist who wants the best for his community, specifically involving the river and fish habitat. Following the Chilliwack River floods in 1989/90 and the disputes that followed, David demonstrated an ability to see the situation from all sides. He helped bridge the gap by forming the Chilliwack River Action Committee, which enabled the concerned community groups to work together. Through his resourcefulness, inclusiveness, integrity and plain dogged persistence, David encourages his community to find common goals towards a happier, healthier and safer place to live, work and enjoy recreationally.
Mr. Varshney is a businessman and philanthropist who has contributed to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, to the University of British Columbia and to the India Club. He is known as someone who understands how communities can be helped at both the strategic and the grassroots level. As a Director of St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation, Hari’s fundraising efforts have benefited maternity and children’s programs. The Varshney’s have funded an endowment at UBC to support the Centre for Indian and South Asian Research, and more recently a lecture series and scholarships at the Sauder School of Business. He is a volunteer leader who not only supports a cause, but also exhibits the passion and energy that stimulate others to give.
For more than 25 years, Dave Dickson has made a significant contribution to the vulnerable citizens of the Downtown Eastside. As a Vancouver Police constable, his innovative and unique style of policing positively impacted families, seniors, at-risk youth, preschool children and sex trade workers. Upon Dave’s retirement, many community organizations and individuals actively petitioned for his continued involvement and now he serves as a civilian consultant to the Vancouver Police where he continues his commitment to ensuring community safety within the unique challenges facing the Downtown Eastside.
For over two decades, Tom and Jean Leboe have fostered 58 children, mostly with special needs, providing a safe, loving warm home. Tom and Jean set a high standard of how to be a foster parent, love the children, and embrace the parents and in doing so heal the most vulnerable families in Prince George, one family at a time. They dedicate themselves to helping the children heal, grow and develop to reach their full potential. Their commitment to helping others extends to their community volunteerism with many organizations and various levels of forest parent associations. Tom and Jean Leboe truly give of themselves on a daily basis.
Grace has demonstrated outstanding service in both the course of her work and as a volunteer, contributing in significant ways to international business and multiculturalism in her community. As the Assistant Dean and Director of International Programs at The Sauder School of Business at UBC, Grace develops academic and professional programs with the international community that are committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and business norms. Grace extends her commitment to multiculturalism through involvement in important community organizations such as SUCCESS and as a member of the Premier’s Asia Pacific Trade Council for BC.
Bryan Dyck’s wife opened a storefront in Vancouver’s Mid-Main Street in 1999. The area was littered with garbage and graffiti and Bryan was concerned for the safety of his wife and others in the area. Bryan has spent countless hours beautifying and making the area safe through planting flowers, removing litter, creating a newsletter and website are some of his contributions. But it is his approach to graffiti that has brought the most significant results. He believes by removing the evidence of graffiti, there is less likely to be other criminal behaviour in the area. He has monitored and removed the graffiti as part of his successful efforts to revitalize and bring harmony to Mid-Main Street.
Matthew Low is an outstanding student and will graduate with 9 Advanced Placement courses – unusual for any high school student but especially unusual for a young man who also contributes so much to his school and community. Outside the classroom Matt is a member of the debate team, the Model United Nations Club, a major contributor to the Kids Help Phone, a mentor for grade 8’s, an after school tutor and a contributor to the YouThink newspaper. He is also an accomplished athlete, both as a competitor and coach, and a musician. In his spare time, Matthew has volunteered for Amnesty International and UNICEF. Although still in high school, his resume includes pages of volunteer efforts.
Edmond Wright is an inspiring community leader in New Aiyansh, formerly the Gitlakdamix Band. First as Band manager, then Executive Director, Edmond oversaw all aspects of the band’s development, delivery of services and the construction of the new village. He worked with the Nisga’a Nation’s Land Claims negotiation process and was instrumental in bringing the negotiation of the Nisga’a Nation Final Agreement to a conclusion in 2000. Edmond is currently serving his second term as Secretary/Treasurer of Nisga’a Lisims Government. His leadership and sound administrative skills have provided overwhelming benefits to his community.
Jeneece Edroff gives with her heart of gold. She touches everyone she meets. She challenges herself and others to extraordinary heights. She is known as the Penny Girl for the annual penny drive to help Variety – The Children’s Charity for which she has raised over $200,000 over the past six years. She has raised another $150,000 for other organizations affiliated with children and their needs. Jeneece is 12 years old and on a daily basis she deals with neurofibromatosis. Turning adversity into inspiration seems like an ordinary occurrence for this remarkable human being. She is a positive bundle of energy and an inspiration for us all.