Langley Township honours outstanding volunteers
On Thursday, April 3, outstanding Langley Township volunteers were recognized at the Township of Langley council's annual volunteer appreciation event.
Hundreds of community members gathered at the Langley Events Centre as Langley’s dedicated volunteers were honoured with dinner, presentations, and entertainment. During the celebration, a hard-working individual, a high-achieving student, and a committed couple were presented with awards for their outstanding efforts.
The Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award is presented annually to recognize contributions that volunteers make to the community. It honours an individual’s outstanding dedication to the promotion of quality of life through creative, cultural, physical, or social pursuits, and to the enhancement of the Township of Langley’s community spirit.
Eric Flowerdew was a school trustee, municipal councillor, and member of the Langley Hospital Board. As parks and recreation commissioner, he was instrumental in establishing the initial parks and recreation budget and in hiring Pete Swensson as the Township’s first recreation director. His commitment to volunteerism was unfailing, and in 1974 the Flowerdew family honoured his name with the award.
The Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award is given to a Langley student in Grade 11 or 12, from one of the area’s secondary schools, in recognition of his or her athletic, scholastic, and community efforts. Personal qualities such as leadership, work ethic, and initiative play a major role in the evaluation process.
Pete Swensson was an internationally recognized athlete and photographer, and an outstanding member of the Langley community. The Township of Langley’s first recreation director, he was the originator of the Langley Walk. Swensson was committed to the overall development of youth, and this award is named in his honour.
The John and Muriel Arnason Award honours two people who are advocates of literacy, culture, and learning, and work together as a team to make the Township of Langley a better place.
The award was created in memory of Muriel Arnason, the first woman to be elected to Township council, and her husband, John. Muriel, who was made Freewoman of the Township in 2006, served on council for 26 years, and was fully supported by her husband in her political pursuits, as well as in her initiatives to foster the arts, education, and literacy.
The 2013 Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award was won by Karen Long. The Pete Swensson Award went to Hannah Beaton and the John and Muriel Arnason Award went to Glenn Howes and Colleen MacIntosh.
Nominees for the 2013 Eric Flowerdew award were: Karen Long, Jim McGregor, Steve Trummler and Cheryl Young.
Long, a long-time resident of Aldergrove, is quietly dedicated to making a big difference in her community. In fact, there are very few activities or events that happen in Aldergrove that she hasn’t contributed to in some way.
For many years, she has served on the executive of the Aldergrove Festival Days Society and the Aldergrove Agricultural Association, organizing fairs and parades to educate and entertain the community. A member of the Rotary Club of Aldergrove, she exemplifies the motto “Service Above Self,” helping the group raise money for a women’s shelter, clean up and beautify downtown Aldergrove, raise funds for Langley Centennial Museum student programs, and partner with the Township of Langley Fire Department to install smoke detectors in the Aldergrove Mobile Home Park.
An integral force behind the Aldergrove Christmas Parade, she can be found manning a kettle for the Salvation Army during the holidays. An advocate of Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services’ programs, she is also a huge part of the success of our local Walk for Memories, which has raised almost $100,000 for the Alzheimer Society.
She is also a long-time member of the Aldergrove Legion who serves as chair of the branch’s internal auditing committee. She helps secure donations for community dinners for families at Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas, participates in an annual Terry Fox barbecue fundraiser, and works with Rotary to provide food and gifts for Aldergrove families who are struggling at Christmastime.
Nominees for the 2014 Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award were: Georgie Antle of D.W. Poppy Secondary School; Hannah Beaton of Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School; Aidan Kits of Langley Christian School; Julianna Matson of Walnut Grove Secondary School; Brian Portner of R.E. Mountain Secondary School; Michael Pratt of Brookswood Secondary School; Devon Stam of Credo Christian High School and Amy Whitton of Aldergrove Community Secondary School.
Beaton is an accomplished track and field athlete. She can usually be found in her running shoes – or supplying them to those in need. A Grade 12 student at Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School, Hannah created the “Step In Someone Else’s Shoes” program three years ago to provide inner city schools with footwear. A member of student council and a youth leader, she also established family sports night to promote play and strengthen family ties.
An athlete who shines in soccer, volleyball, and track and field, she holds a record with the Langley Mustangs for youth shot put, was named fifth in Canada for heptathlon and fourth for javelin, and holds several track and field records at her high school. She has made the Langley Mustangs Top 10 in five events and was the recipient of the club’s Spirit Award, and was named Langley Fundamental’s Track and Field MVP from 2008 to 2013.
A Leadership and Principal’s Award-winner for outstanding effort and work habits, she has earned an “A” honour roll award each term. A youth leader at her church and a recreation leader with the Township of Langley, she has just returned from a humanitarian trip to Nicaragua with her global education class.
She has won an athletic scholarship to Trinity Western University, where she will be a member of the track and field team and pursue a degree in nursing.
Nominees for the 2013 John and Muriel Arnason Award were: Cheryl MacIntosh and Glenn Howes, Michael Jackstien and Jamey Paterson and Jordan and Shelly Welch.
MacIntosh and Howes, a Glen Valley couple, have made many contributions to ensure that North Langley is a better and healthier place to live.
For 12 years, the pair has been dedicated to the Fort Langley Canoe Club. MacIntosh began as a voyageur paddler then became a leader and coach, encouraging the group to try dragon boat paddling. Interest grew. She has chaired the board since 2009, and the club grew to more than 500 members. That meant more boats, docks, and storage space was needed. Howes became the key person for getting the docks upgraded, leading working groups through planning, design, and physical labour.
The couple also lends their leadership qualities to local environmental groups. Howes is the chair of the Glen Valley Watershed Society and MacIntosh was the treasurer. She has also been secretary, treasurer, and chair of the Derby Reach/Brae Island Parks Association. Howes is one of the association’s most diligent members and turns out in all kinds of weather to pull weeds and conduct tours as part of the association’s goal to promote conservation and education.
Beyond running many meetings, the pair has opened up their home for work parties and lunches for events such as the annual Bird Count. They participate in Rivers Week, the Cranberry Festival, and the annual Brigade Days journey and arrival at the Fort Langley National Historic Site. They help protect the environment by doing everything from planting trees and sampling and analyzing stream water to talking to neighbours about issues, and keep many kilometres of Glen Valley roads clean and collect numerous bags of garbage through the Township’s Adopt-A-Street program.
“We are really fortunate in this community to have so many people willing to volunteer their time to make life better for others,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “This event is a wonderful opportunity to thank those who give so much to Langley. Our community wouldn’t be the same without them.”
Froese presented the awards along with co-emcee Meghan Cheung, a Grade 12 honour student from Brookswood Senior Secondary who has been a member of Langley Township’s Youth Advisory Council since 2011.