Okanagan residents receive Medal of Good Citizenship

Awards presented to Troy Becker and Marion Sallenbach by B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

Premier Christy Clark presents Medal of Good Citizenship to Lake Country resident Marion Sallenbach at Canada Day festivities today in Prospera Place.

Premier Christy Clark today presented two well-known Okanagan residents, Troy Becker and Marion Sallenbach, with the province’s newest honour, the Medal of Good Citizenship.

The ceremony was held as part of the Canada Day Celebration today at Prospera Place in Kelowna.

Launched in July 2015 by Premier Clark, the prestigious Medal of Good Citizenship recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term service, have made outstanding contributions to their communitiem without expectation of remuneration or reward.

The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness and contributions to community life. Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round.

Troy Becker, a resident of West Kelowna, was honoured for contributions to making his community a safer place and helping to create life- enhancing opportunities that build confidence for people wit disabilities.

A professional firefighter and volunteer search and rescue member since 2001, Becker created the Community Recreation Initiatives Society to benefit people with disabilities wanting outdoor experiences lik kayaking, zip lining, bicycle riding and mountain climbing.

He and his organization also run annual camps throughout the province for variou groups like Spinal Cord Injury British Columbia and families with children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

His creativity and dedication to his community help people of all ages and disabilities, including some with life-threatening illnesses, gain confidence. As well, his passion has inspired many others to voluntee and bring joy to the lives of individuals and their families.

Marion Sallenbach, a resident of Winfield, was also honoured for he many years of volunteerism within the community, her selfless actions having a tremendous impact on countless families in the Okanagan.

An active volunteer in the community for over 50 years, Sallenbach began volunteering with the Hospital Auxiliary in Winfield in the late 60’s, her efforts helping to raise thousands of dollars for the Kelown General Hospital.

Ten years later, she helped bring the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) to Winfield and over the next four decade the impact of the BC HELP program grew, loaning 170,000 pieces of equipment – such as crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs – to 94,00 British Columbians in 2014-15 alone.

In addition to her work for the hospital, Marion has also volunteered with the Winfield Community Church, the Red Cross, and the Independent Order of Foresters, through which she has donated her time and expertis in a myriad of ways, which includes helping with the ‘Wheels to Meals’ for seniors, bookkeeping services, and assisting the ‘Adopt-a-Road initiatives.

Now in her ninth decade, Sallenbach continues to dedicate her time to the community, her volunteer work also complimented by the assistance of her two daughters, Joanne Galigan and Sharyn Fiwchuk making he contributions a family affair.

“Troy Becker and Marion Sallenbach are two extraordinary citizens who have gone above and beyond to make a real, lasting difference in people’s lives. By giving their time and talents so selflessly, they’r more than just good citizens – they represent the very best in us,” said Clark.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and chair of the Medal of Good Citizenship Selection Committee, added: “There are many people who generously volunteer their time, effort an skills to make their communities better and this honour acknowledges their excellence, achievement and service. The time spent reviewinh nominations was inspiring, and it reinforced to me that we live in a province where each and every day citizens can make a difference through their generosity and selflessness.”

Becker acknowledged that impactful initiatives require a dedicated and passionate group of people working together who provide the energy and resources to break down barriers.

“An organization’s purpose can only be achieved through leadership supported by a committed and compassionate network of people. Our strong network of family, friends, volunteers, staff, coworkers, participants an community partners is unwavering in their support. Together we have, and will continue to make a difference” Becker said.

Sallenbach said being a Red Cross volunteer was her way to give back to her community. “It is a great way to meet new people and make new friends while also helping those in need,” she said.