Winners Recognized for the 2019 Spirit of Oliver Awards in their volunteer efforts

Spirit of Oliver awards

The Town of Oliver has been recognizing individuals and groups for the past 15 years with awards to applaud volunteer contributions to the community. Due to COVID-19 the annual event  was postponed from Volunteer Week, which ran from April 19-25, 2020.

Martin Johansen, the Mayor of Oliver and a few members of Council presented the Spirit of Oliver awards on Oct. 13 in small, socially distanced groups in Council Chambers. Oliver Parks & Recreation Society was represented by Carol Sheridan.

"These individuals and organizations are committed to their communities and make positive impacts on their neighbour's lives,” Johansen said. “This is why the Town of Oliver, and Oliver Parks & Recreation, are proud to recognize the contributions of the winners and the many who were nominated".

The 2019 winners are listed below in the following categories:

Youth - the winner is Enola Mills, who has been involved in the Oliver Ambassador Program for the past few years, both as a candidate and as an ambassador. Mills has volunteered at many events for local non-profit groups, Oliver Parks and Recreation and the Town of Oliver events.

Outstanding Individual Adult (or Couple) - the winner is Mr. Chris Yerburgh, who is a long time resident of Oliver, he is a tireless volunteer and is well loved in the community. Known for being a  bingo caller at the Oliver Senior Centre and a legion sponsor liaison for the Oliver Youth

Ambassador Program, he sits on the Youth Committee of the Oliver Legion and is on the panel to award bursaries for the high school students. Yerburgh has been a Legion member for over 30 years.  He was also one of the founding members and for 26 years a volunteer of the Oliver Crime Watch. 

Community Group - the winner is Oliver Citizens Crime Watch, which has been working to keep Oliver safe since 1994. Started by Ron Johnson and Chris Yerbourgh and in this year alone there were 54 – two man patrols which in total travelled 6492 kilometres and logged 1051 man hours.

Community Builder (Oliver Parks & Recreation Award) - the winner is Benita Baerg, who volunteered specifically for the Oliver Small Wheels Playground project for over two years. She is known for organizing and executing numerous fundraising initiatives, such as a Youth Movie Night, Silent Auction and Winter Warm Up amongst others. Overall through Baerg’s hundreds of volunteer hours, over $120,000 was raised.

The Community Roots award received no nominations for the category.

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