Vernon's good citizen


A huge cheer arose as Marie Morris walked into the room.

Presented with a bouquet of flowers and a balloon that said “thank you,” the long-time Vernon resident learned she was Vernon's good citizen of the year.

The award is given annually by the Junior Chamber International Vernon branch.

“She has given back to the community without a second thought,” said Susan Morris, who nominated her mother.

“I had no idea,” Morris smiled at her friends and family who crammed the room at People Place.

“What are some of you doing away from work?” she asked to laughter.

Currently on the Special Olympics board of directors for athlete registration, Morris also drives and chaperones athletes to out of town tournaments.

Involved with Trinity United church, Morris works in the office one day a week and offers rides to a young family and elderly members on Sunday.

She helps at blood donor clinics, drives the elderly to appointments, reads and takes people in care facilities on outings.

Morris has also been:

  • president of the CNIB
  • chair of the Vernon Winter Carnival
  • president of Kinette club
  • Involved with minor hockey, the Kokanee swim club, a lifeguard at Camp Hurlburt and canvassing for charities and driving for sports teams

When asked why she has spent so many hours volunteering, Morris simply said, “to make the world a better place.”

“She just helps people, she'll drive elderly people to church, she is tireless and just so deserving,” said Rob Morris, one of Marie Morris' five children.

“Not only does she do stuff for the community but she does an amazing amount for her five kids and 10 grandchildren and six great grandchildren so she's pretty busy caring for a lot of people,” said Brenda Morris, another daughter.

“Just from seeing the amount of people who showed up today to support and acknowledge everything she's done for the community, it was a good decision,” said Jay Keis, JCI president.

Morris will be on the JCI float during the Winter Carnival parade and will be acknowledged at the Winter Carnival Breakout event on Feb. 8th.

The Okanagan Valley School of Massage Therapy is donating $500 for Morris to donate to a charity of her choice.

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