Little known fact: Carol Maxson saved Armstrong’s Brown Derby restaurant’s butt more than once.
Owner Neil Todd said Maxson would simply come and do dishes when they couldn’t find anybody else.
It’s one of the many reasons the always-smiling, always-friendly Maxson was named Armstrong-Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Wednesday, and Todd and his staff were on hand at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery for the celebration.
“She is so deserving of this honour because she’s sweet and she’s lovely,” said Todd.
“Nobody has a bad word to say about her.”
Maxson, originally from Rocky Mountain house and Red Deer, Alta., moved in 1968 with her husband, Russ, and family –which includes eight children – to a farm south of Armstrong where Maxson still lives.
“Russ always wanted to move to B.C.,” said Maxson, who was honoured by chamber board president Fran Stecyk, mayors Chris Pieper of the city and Janice Brown of the township, and who received greetings and warm wishes from Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo.
“When we came here, we fell in love with Armstrong and nothing has changed. It’s the people who help make it. We have everything we need in Armstrong.”
Maxson has been a dedicated volunteer for Kindale for more than 10 years, and was one of the first people to volunteer when Kindale’s thrift store opened, said one nomination.
She has worked in the store once a week since it opened.
Maxson has assisted at other Kindale events, volunteers for the food bank, has volunteered with the Royal Canadian Legion, volunteered for Heart and Stroke, the Trevor Carsen Millar Legacy Fund and generally helps wherever there is a need.
She was honoured with a Royal Canadian Legion lifetime membership in 2006.
“Carol is an unsung hero who quietly makes a difference in her community,” said another nomination.
“Her generous donation of time and expertise enabled the Ladies’ Auxiliary to Branch #35 to donate to many charitable causes including veterans and their descendants.”
Maxson received a bouquet of flowers from the chamber and was honoured with a tea and reception.
She was overwhelmed by the award and the well-wishes, fighting back tears on several occasions.
“There are a lot of people who deserve this award,” she said.
“It’s amazing the number of good people we have in this town.”
John Hoyle, the 2015 Citizen of the Year, told Maxson to enjoy the upcoming year.
She will receive official recognition as the 2016 Citizen of the Year during the opening ceremony of Canada Day celebrations in Memorial Park July 1.
In addition, Maxson will be the honourary parade marshall for the Interior Provincial Exhibition parade Sept. 3.
Past winners on hand to congratulate Maxson also included Betty Bifano, and Rea Smith and Ruth Bosomworth, co-winners in Armstrong’s Centennial Year, 2013. Bosomworth will turn 103 in August.