Community Leader Awards for 2016

Here are the Community Leader honourees for 2016.

  • Oct. 24, 2016 6:00 p.m.

Raghwa Gopal

Community leaders are the people around us who make things happen for everyone’s benefit.

They’re not looking for glory, they often don’t like the spotlight, but if you’ve ever worked beside one you’ve felt the power of their persuasion, depth of their spirit and love of their community.

Our overall Community Leader for 2016 is Raghwa Gopal. He exemplifies the characteristics of a community leader these awards acknowledge: He’s inspiring, committed, patient, caring and humble.

Gopal learned about stepping up when help is needed as a school boy in Fiji. At that time, education was not a privilege everyone could afford, and someone stepped up to pay for him to continue to Grade 7 and beyond.

To this day education and literacy inspire Gopal to give back to his community.

Here are the other honourees for 2016’s Community Leader Awards. They were nominated under 10 categories, listed here alphabetically, by people who know first-hand how much they do because they work beside them in these community pursuits.


Above and Beyond

Top Honoree: Dr. Marianne Morgan

Angela Burrell and Doug Manning


Top Honoree: Norm Robinson

Jon Mason

Community Builder

Top Honoree: Mike Gawliuk

Jude Blunt and Peggy Speer


Top Honoree: Makayla Krenzel

Ellie Ennas and Chelsea Lashenko

Emergency Services

Top Honoree: Bonnie Wilkie

Rick Euper and Jamie Svendsen


Top Honoree: Gwen Steele

Patrick Mabbot


Top Honoree: Jason Picklyk

Reanne Holden

Service Organization Volunteer

Top Honoree: Norma Frick

Bruce (Butch) Fleet and Beth Jackson


Top Honoree: Sheyanne Smith

Barb Hoy and Michael McFadden

Youth Volunteer

Top Honoree: Kelty Slaney

Kensington Renneberg and Gabriela Rubio.

As with all good things, organizing the Community Leader Awards takes a small army of volunteers.

The sponsors of the various categories are the Kelowna Rockets, Co-Operators / Solve Insurance, Save On Foods, Wilden, YMCA of the Okanagan, United Way of Central and South Okanagan, KGH Foundation, Okanagan College, Gorman Bros, London Drugs, Interior Savings.

The Community Partners which participated as part of the selection committee are URBA, Kelowna Community Resources, Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Mental Health Association, Central Okanagan Food Bank, United Way, YMCA, KGH Foundation, Kelowna Fire Department, Okanagan College Foundation, Central Okanagan Foundation, School District 23, Kelowna Gospel Mission, Braintrust Canada and Okanagan Boys & Girls Club.

The third annual Community Leader Awards ceremony is being held Monday, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning, at 1000 KLO Rd. in Kelowna.

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