City of Kamloops honours nine community volunteers with exemplary service awards

Volunteers honoured by city

Kamloops mayor and council honoured nine dedicated volunteers in a ceremony Wednesday, awarding them for their service to the community.

Each year, council acknowledges residents who have volunteered their time to helping the community by giving out exemplary service awards.

The 2024 recipients include Spencer and Janet Bryson, Terry Denike, Jennifer Harbaruk, Leann Kopytko, Geordon Lloyd, Deb McDougall-Bergstrand, Jeremy Salamandyk and Jeanette Souliere.

In a news release, the City of Kamloops said the Brysons are board directors of their family foundation, the Stollery Charitable Foundation, and have showed “unwavering dedication,” empathy and care when engaging with organizations seeking funding.

Denike is involved with the St. John Ambulance Brigade as a first-aid volunteer. She has also volunteered for the local fire department, and at emergency support service centres helping fire and flood evacuees.

Harbaruk has been dedicated to the Kamloops Ambassadors Program, and has served as a mentor to youth. She has also helped raise funds for Royal Inland Hospital, and volunteers with initiatives like the Relay for Life and the Interior Children’s Expo.

Kopytko has been a youth councillor with Day One Society for the last 15 years, providing substance and misuse counselling to more than a thousand students in the school district. Along with her late husband, she created the Out of the Ashes bursary to help youth in recovery access education.

Lloyd is recognized for his commitment to the Starfish Backpack program, an initiative which helps elementary school kids who face food insecurity.

McDougall-Bergstrand volunteers her time managing the Heffley Creek Community Hall, and puts on an annual community Christmas dinner, where food is also delivered to those shut in or in need of an additional meal. She also launched a local community newspaper, the Heffley Creek Hollar.

Salamandyk is at each Kamloops Blazers hockey game serving as an usher, and also helps out at concerts and fundraising breakfasts. He “tirelessly” supports rodeo events through the region, and attends each event hosted by the Kamloops Food Bank.

Souliere is “integral” in running the Little Farmers Zoo in Westsyde, feeding and socializing the animals while maintaining the farm three times per week. She also volunteers at the SPCA Thrift Store and in a local church mentoring program.

More information on each of the honourees can be found on the City of Kamloops website.

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