Eight citizens nominated for the South Cariboo Citizen of the Year Award

Jesse (Jay) Lester.Jesse (Jay) Lester.
Don JonesDon Jones
Elsie UrquhartElsie Urquhart
Kimberly Vance-LundsbyeKimberly Vance-Lundsbye
Mal WoodMal Wood
Nadaya McNeilNadaya McNeil
Carol EnglandCarol England
Al WatrichAl Watrich

Eight volunteers have been nominated for the 2019 and 2020 South Cariboo Citizens of the Year awards.

Award organizer Donna Barnett said she and the board have a tough discussion ahead of them, noting she’s pleased to see so many people recognized.

“I think it’s great. Every single one of them is a winner,” Barnett said. “They’re a great selection of people who have really worked hard for many years.”

The nominees represent a diverse range of community volunteers. In no particular order, they include:

Longtime Mill Site Lodge/Fischer Place Auxiliary member Jesse (Jay) Lester, nominated for her 21 years of loyal service helping out with bingo, bus trips and bringing her dog Riley into Mill Site for pet visits. She also offered her carport and yard for auxiliary meetings and yard sales during COVID-19.

Lester’s fellow auxiliary member Carol England was put on the list for 20 years of service, including as president, secretary and treasurer. England gives a lot of her time to help organize events, such as the Mothers Day tea, and craft and garage sales.

Mal Wood was described as an “amazing person” by his nominator, and an asset to the community. Wood has served as a volunteer firefighter, designed games for children to practice being FireSmart, and also volunteers with the 108 Heritage site.

Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye’s name has done prolific volunteer work for several different volunteer organizations, including the Canadian Mental Health Association, 100 Mile Nordics, Canadian Parents for French and Kokoro Judo Club. Her nominator said Vance-Lundsbye goes “above and beyond” in everything she does.

The Watch Lake-North Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department’s governing board member Alan Watrich, who was a volunteer firefighter for many years, was nominated for his “tireless” work to support the department, including yard maintenance.

Nadaya McNeil’s name was put forward for her tireless efforts last year to build 100 Mile House an outdoor skating rink. Along with her father and other volunteers, McNeil successfully set up a rink at the tennis courts at the site of the old 100 Mile Junior Secondary.

On the hockey front, longtime 100 Mile Hile House Wranglers’ marketing director Don A. Jones was recognized for his years promoting the team. Jones has been a member of the organization since its inception in 2001.

The final nomination goes to Elsie Urquhart, 80, an avid longtime volunteer who has contributed to many organizations over the years. Urquhart has been a regular volunteer for the Stemete7uw’i friendship centre, where she provides soup or baking and donates hand-crafted items for fundraising.

The winners of the awards will be announced in Centennial Park on Sept. 25.


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