Two Kelowna residents recognized for volunteerism

Garth Vickers and Jeannette Mergens to receive Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Two Kelowna residents have will be recipients of the prestigious Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, awarded by Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette.

Garth Vickers is being recognized for his ability to bring out the best in his athletes as a coach at all competitive levels with the Special Olympics for nearly two decades.

Jeannette Mergens has been cited for her commitment to improving health care and to reduce homelessness and poverty.

This group shot of the past B.C. Council presidents of the Canadian Federation of University Women includes Jeannette Mergens, second from right in the back row. Photo:Contributed

Mergens has been a representative of the Community Action Towards Children’s Health and a member of the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition, and been involved in the Child Poverty campaign and the Aging Out of Foster Care project.

Vickers and Mergens are two of 40 medal recipients from B.C. invited to attend a medal award ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2 p.m., at Government House in Victoria, the ceremony hosted by B.C. Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin on Payette’s behalf.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians in a wide range of fields. The official Canadian medal honour incorporates and replaces the Caring Canadian Award created in 1995 by then governor general Romeo LeBlanc.

The medal itself consists of a silver circular design that is 36 mm in diameter with a suspension ring. The obverse depicts a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign, circumscribed with the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal Title and the word “CANADA,” separated by two maple leaves.

The reverse side of the medal celebrates the ideas of caring and generosity, represented by two interlaced hearts.

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