Joan Albert wasn’t expecting a gathering in her honour when she set out for Polson Park Saturday morning.
Once she saw the pink sweatshirts in the parking lot, though, she knew something was up.
Albert was named JCI Vernon’s Good Citizen of the Year for 2020. Polson Park was buzzing with friends, family and colleagues who came together March 13 to congratulate her.
Albert was presented with a bouquet donated by Harrison Flowers, the Good Citizen of the Year Trophy as well as a $500 donation to a charity of her choice on behalf of Kidston and Company Lawyers.
The Good Citizen award is a a tradition of more than 50 years in Vernon. It recognizes an individual’s contributions to the community, while highlighting the human value of those contributions.
Organizers said choosing an award winner was more difficult than ever in a year like no other.
Albert stood out for her volunteer work in many roles and many organizations, such as HOPE (Helping out People Exploited), an organization that reaches out to provide blankets, clothing and food to those in need — whose members sport the pink hoodies.
She has also volunteered with Noric House, Mission Boutique and the Reading Program at Alexis Park Elementary. She helped with a backpack drive and sent more than 100 shoe boxes to developing countries.
A spokesperson for JCI Vernon describes her as an advocate for those she works with who have Alzheimers who takes a “compassionate, devoted and gracious approach in all the work she does.”