The recipients of the Youth of the Year Award and their presenters. From left to right: Jim Pelk Sr., Memphis Dick, Jayson Matthews, Sarah Higginson, Emily West, Linh Tran and Gillian Trumper. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Port Alberni celebrates excellence

Community Excellence Awards held at the Italian Hall Events Centre

The Port Alberni business community filled the Italian Hall on Friday, April 26 to recognize 18 individuals and businesses at the 2019 Community Excellence Awards.

The event was emceed by Naomi Nicholson, owner of Secluded Wellness Centre and last year’s Women Leadership Award winner, and opened with special greetings and songs from Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations. Hinatinyis (Brittany) Johnson of Huu-ay-aht First Nations also took a moment to teach the crowd a dinner song and dance.

“I know not everyone is a dancer, and not everyone is a drummer or a singer,” she acknowledged. “But I’d like you to just stand where you are at your tables and we’re going to learn two little moves.”

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Sally Anderson, who was ushered to the stage as the crowd waved flags in her honour. Anderson, sometimes also known as “Flag Lady,” has been greeting train passengers in Port Alberni for almost two decades, waving flags from her backyard as the train passes her home.

But Anderson is also known for her volunteer work in the community, particularly with the NeighbourLink Society’s Read and Feed breakfast program, which aims to keep elementary school students in the Alberni Valley healthy and fed.

READ: Alberni programs keeping kids fed

Anderson thanked the business community after receiving her award on Friday, and also acknowledged the volunteers who help out with the breakfast program.

“Everyone who comes to butter toast and cut the cucumbers for them and hand them out and read them a story and give them smiles…they’re the ones who share this award,” she said. “And I just do what they tell me.”

Full list of award winners:

Community Events Award – Five Acre Shaker

Health and Wellness Award – Healthy Habits

Women Leadership Award – Terry Deakin

Social Media Award – Cloud City

Green Award – Guy Langois, Shelter Farm

Welcoming Workplace Award – Handy Andy’s

Chamber Award – Deb Haggard

Volunteer of the Year Award – Marilyn Gibson

Customer Service Award – Double R Meats

Ambassador of Service Award – Kim White, Bare Bones Fish and Chips

Tourism and Hospitality Award – Arrowvale Campground and Collins Farm

Business Investment Award – Flooring Depot

Special Recognition Award – Steam Punk Café

Youth of the Year – Memphis Dick, Sarah Higginson, Jayson Matthews, Lihn Tran, Emily West

Rising Star Award – Power of Three

Business Excellence Award – Jowsey’s Furniture

Visionary Award – Foster Coulson, Coulson Ice Blast

Citizen of the Year Award – Sally Anderson



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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Kevin Wright receives the Special Recognition Award from Terry Deakin. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Marilyn Gibson learns that she has received the Volunteer of the Year Award. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Deb Haggard receives the Chamber Award from Cheryl Hamilton. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Handy Andy received the Welcoming Workplace Award. Pictured is Handy Andy owner Darian Edgeler and several of his employees. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Jessica Philpott and Tatiana Simpson, from the Power of Three, accept the Rising Star Award. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

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