Akbal Mund captures Good Citizen honour
Akbal Mund is known for his energy and never sitting still, but he took a few minutes Monday to be recognized by the community.
Mund showed up at Kiss FM for what he thought was a Wendy’s Dreamlift Day planning meeting, but, instead, he was named Vernon’s Good Citizen of the Year.
“It was a big surprise,” said the 52-year-old Wendy’s restaurant area partner.
“I had no idea, none. It’s kind of a shock.”
Mund, who has lived in Vernon since 1993, is one of the founders of Wendy’s Dreamlift Day, which raises funds to send children with life-threatening illnesses and significant disabilities to Disneyland for a day.
“Most of the kids have never been away from their parents for more than a couple of hours. It’s their first time for independence,” he said.
Mund was also volunteer chairperson of the 2012 B.C. Winter Games in Greater Vernon.
“The success of the Games, in my opinion, was due to Akbal’s leadership and his ability to infuse enthusiasm and ownership into his directors and their hard-working committees,” said Larry Grist, accommodations director for the Games.
Among the other groups Mund has been involved with are the Vernon Soccer Association, Funtastic, coaching youth soccer, the North Okanagan Sports Council and Funtastic.
He has also sponsored biathlon at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre and speed skater Connie Kapak while organizing fundraising dances, silent auctions and dinners for a number of local charitable organizations.
“It is wonderful to live in a place that you know, when there is a need there will be people to help fill that need. Akbal Mund is this kind of person,” said Cindy Masters, Kindale Developmental Association development officer.
Jim McEwan, Funtastic Sports Society executive director, is impressed with Mund’s willingness to give of himself.
“We need to clone him. He does so much and doesn’t ask for anything in return,” said McEwan.
As part of the honour, Mund has received a parking pass from the City of Vernon.
“He symbolizes the kind of citizen we all hope to achieve,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
Mund is reluctant to focus on his activities and instead points to all of the other volunteers locally.
“Everyone helps in their own way,” he said.
“I do it because it’s the right thing to do and you want to give back to the community.
The Good Citizen of the Year Award is sponsored by Junior Chamber International’s Vernon’s chapter.
Mund will be featured during the Vernon Winter Carnival parade Feb. 2 and he will be official recognized at the Winter Break-Out celebration Feb. 5.