Public to vote for citizen of the year

Thank you to the community of Summerland for participating in the nomination process for the Business and Community Excellence Awards.

Thank you to the community of Summerland for participating so fully in the nomination process for this year’s Business and Community Excellence Awards.

All the nominees were celebrated on Jan. 30 at a nominees’ reception hosted by Nesters Market.

This past week a committee met to select the finalists based on their entrepreneurial spirit, their leadership in their business and sector, their efforts to grow their businesses in the past year and their contributions to the local economy and the local community.

The two finalists in each of the 11 award categories have been announced. Chamber members will be asked to vote on the finalists from Feb. 10 to 20.

This year all Summerland residents will have the opportunity to vote in the Citizen/Volunteer of the year category.

This category, sponsored by Nesters Market, was formerly known as the Good Citizen Cup, and has been given out in Summerland since 1938.

To vote, go to www.summerlandchamber.com.  There will be a link from the home page for award voting. You can also vote in person at the Chamber of Commerce office.

As it may be harder to find information about the wonderful nominees for the Citizen/Volunteer of the Year, we wanted to introduce them all to you here.

The two finalists are also indicated.

Billy Boerboom (Finalist)

A member of the Summerland Fire Department for 25 years, and a regular volunteer for the Summerland Sportsmen’s Association, Billy is best known as the co-owner of the Apple Barn, and an award winning grower. The Apple Barn’s ongoing commitment to the community includes the donation of hundreds of pounds of apples each year, with much of the donations going to local school programs.

Carleen Murray (Finalist)

Carleen is the co-owner of AlCar Storage with her husband Al.  Carleen volunteers at the Seniors’ Center, with the local school breakfast club, and supports local literacy by making wallets for children to store their first library cards.  Children receiving treatment at Penticton Hospital’s pediatric ward receive bright, handmade pillow cases made by Carleen.

Dave and Alison Carleton

Dave and Alison are dedicated to the success of the Summerland Sportsmen’s Association. As the association’s President (Dave) and Treasurer (Alison), they are instrumental in organizing key events such as the annual fishing derby, game banquet and the association’s participation in Action Festival. The couple is heavily involved with the British Columbia Wildlife Federation and  are members of Summerland Citizens on Patrol.

Darlene Forsdick

As the Summerland Sister City Coordinator, Darlene developed a Sister City plan that has strengthened the ties between Summerland and the community of Toyokoro, Japan. She has led important initiatives such as coordinating an annual teaching placement of a Summerland teacher in Toyokoro, and organizing student visits to Summerland as well as government delegates.

Carla Omenzetter

Carla has a long history of volunteerism and giving back to the community. Carla has served as a city councilor, as a volunteer director and Secretary on the Community Futures-Okanagan Similkameen Board of Directors, and is the past president of Agur Lake Camp.  Carla also contributes her time to the Summerland Rodeo Grounds Equine Development Committee and the annual Action Festival.

Barbara Thorburn

Barbara plays a key role in the “Philosopher’s Cafe” and the Arts community and participates in grassroots political activism. She has been a tireless volunteer — planning, organizing and ensuring many local initiatives reach their respective potential.

Terry Sedawie

Terry regularly goes above and beyond her work as a senior account manager with RBC in Summerland.

She was instrumental in the coordination and opening of the Artisans of the Okanagan, and regularly promotes cross promotion and advocates ways that local businesses can work together for greater success. Terry also contributes her time with SADI.

Henry Sielmann

Henry is the current President of the Summerland Trans Canada Trail Society, and has been instrumental in promoting the trail, including the development of a dedicated website for the society. Henry is now also involved in the Trail of the Okanagan’s Lakeshore Pathway project. He  is a member of the District of Summerland’s Climate Action Committee, and has also served as a director for the Summerland Fall Fair.

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence continues to be an important acknowledgement of community leadership.  This award will be given at the mayor’s discretion at the gala to an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to Summerland.

All awards will be given out to the winners at the 77th Annual Awards Gala which will be held at the Summerland Waterfront Resort on Feb. 28.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at cpetkau@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com.

Christine Petkau is the manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.