Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers ceremony at the B.C. Legislature on Sept. 5, 2019. (John Yanyshyn for Government House)

6 Okanagan volunteers receive national medals for community work

Forty-four recipients received Soveriegn’s Medals from Canada’s Governor General Julia Payette

A number of Okanagan volunteers were in the spotlight Thursday, receiving honorary praise for their tireless efforts in the community.

Forty-four volunteers from across the province were nominated to receive Soveriegn’s Medals from Canada’s Governor General Julia Payette at the B.C. Legislature on Thursday.

Kelowna-based recipients include Dick Auty, who runs the Freemasons’ Cancer Car Program and Nassreen Filsoof, who started the Canadian Iranian Foundation. Meanwhile, Ken Waldon of Vernon was honoured for his work with Crime Stoppers and Citizens on Patrol.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields.

As an official Canadian honour, the Medal for Volunteers incorporates and replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, created in 1995, by then-governor general Roméo LeBlanc. The medal builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award by honouring the dedication and commitment of volunteers.

Here’s the full list of Okanagan candidates and their achievements:

Richard (Dick) Auty – Kelowna

Dick Auty has run the Freemasons’ Cancer Car Program in Kelowna since its inception in 1998, overseeing a team of dispatchers, drivers and vehicles. He has devoted countless hours to the administration of the B.C. interior program, providing cancer patients with free transportation between their homes and place of treatment.

Nasreen Filsoof – Kelowna

Nassreen Filsoof is a well-respected leader in the Iranian community of Vancouver. She founded the Canadian Iranian Foundation in 2005, with a mission to facilitate the social and cultural integration of new immigrants into Canadian society. She also volunteered with the Iranian Canadian Cultural Association.

Jan Waldon – Vernon

Jan Waldon is dedicated to preserving local heritage and promoting community safety. She shares her love of music through the North Okanagan Community Concert Association and is also secretary of her church’s refugee committee.

Ruth Mellor – Kelowna

Ruth Mellor volunteers with several organizations in Kelowna, addressing women’s issues, chairing the Central Okanagan Community Gardens Society and providing quality film options and scholarships through the Kelowna Film Society Board. A member of the Canadian Federation of University Women since 1972, she has served on its provincial and national boards.

Linda Millard – Kelowna

As the founder of the Crown Jewels of Canada Society, Lynda Millard has created a unique social opportunity for women across the country. For over a decade, she has planned events and conventions that bring members together in a spirit of fun and friendship. She also writes newsletters, designs websites and travels to visit chapters across Canada.

Ken Waldon – Vernon

During his decades of volunteerism, Ken Waldon has helped maintain community safety through Crime Stoppers, Citizens on Patrol and the North Okanagan Emergency Support Services. He co-established the Friends of Fintry Provincial Park Society and works with local organizations in the North Okanagan region to preserve local heritage.


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