Community Leader Awards: The Red Cross

The Kelowna Capital News honours volunteers in the community

The 4th Annual Kelowna Capital News Community Leader Awards was held at Okanagan College, Oct. 23, 2017. Leaders are nominated from the community and a board of community members selects the winners.

In the wake of a calamity, Kelowna’s Red Cross workers continually step up and provide comfort to countless residents, and that’s why they’ve been nominated as a community leader.

They work alongside Emergency Social Services and other B.C. organizations to provide food, lodging and family reunification. It’s a broad mandate to provide assistance that allows the Red Cross and its volunteer teams flexibility to identify the humanitarian needs that fall outside the guidelines of government assistance and are not filled by other agencies.

Most recently the disaster management team played a key role in the local fires and spring floods.

For nominator Tammie Watson, however, it’s when the floods came and 220 residences were evacuated that she saw the heart of the organization.

“For eight long weeks, seven dedicated Kelowna volunteers manned tables at the Kelowna reception centre, traveled to town halls around the region providing information, guided evacuees through the application for Red Cross financial assistance, provided psycho-social and needs assessment support and readied the Disaster Response Vehicle housed at the Kelowna office,” said Watson.

“Thanks to an outpouring of support from thousands of generous donors who trusted the Canadian Red Cross with their donations, the team distributed over $150,000 in financial aid to Kelowna residents impacted by the floods by means of direct e-transfers.”

In this single six week period, these workers worked 24/7 and clocked nearly 2,000 hours assisting Kelowna residents.

“The Canadian Red Cross would not be what it is today without the generous hearts of our loyal and dedicated volunteers,” she said.


Curtis McTavish – Leader of the Year

Phil Von Unruh – Coach

Dean Kennedy – Coach

Samantha Kilmartin – Coach

Betty Cleland – Mentor

Shelley Pacholok – Courage

Anja Dumas – Courage

Diane Entwistle – Above and Beyond

Michael Greer – Above and Beyond

Sheila Gardiner-Watt – Above and Beyond

Emergency Support Services – Emergency Services

Patrick Barton – Emergency Services

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Emergency services category: Leader Emergency support services representative Catherine Williams (left) and runners-up Patrick Barton of the Kelowna Fire Department and Red Cross Disaster Management representative Janis Brown. Sponsor Doug Rankmore (right) represented the KGH Foundation.

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