KELOWNA - Premier Christy Clark presented two well-known Okanagan residents, Troy Becker and Marion Sallenbach, with the province's newest honour, the Medal of Good Citizenship.
The ceremony was held as part of the Canada Day Celebrations, Friday, July 1, 2016, at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
Launched in July 2015 by Premier Clark, the prestigious Medal of Good Citizenship recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term service, have made outstanding contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward. The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness and contributions to community life. Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round.
Troy Becker, a resident of West Kelowna, was honoured for contributions to making his community a safer place and helping to create life-enhancing opportunities that build confidence for people with disabilities.
A professional firefighter and volunteer search and rescue member since 2001, Becker created the Community Recreation Initiatives Society to benefit people with disabilities wanting outdoor experiences like kayaking, zip lining, bicycle riding and mountain climbing. He and his organization also run annual camps throughout the province for various groups like Spinal Cord Injury British Columbia and families with children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
His creativity and dedication to his community help people of all ages and disabilities, including some with life-threatening illnesses, gain confidence. As well, his passion has inspired many others to volunteer and bring joy to the lives of individuals and their families.
Marion Sallenbach, a resident of Winfield, was also honoured for her many years of volunteerism within the community, her selfless actions having a tremendous impact on countless families in the Okanagan.
An active volunteer in the community for over 50 years, Sallenbach began volunteering with the Hospital Auxiliary in Winfield in the late 60's, her efforts helping to raise thousands of dollars for the Kelowna General Hospital. Ten years later, she helped bring the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) to Winfield and over the next four decades the impact of the BC HELP program grew, loaning 170,000 pieces of equipment - such as crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs - to 94,000 British Columbians in 2014-15 alone.
In addition to her work for the hospital, Marion has also volunteered with the Winfield Community Church, the Red Cross, and the Independent Order of Foresters, through which she has donated her time and expertise in a myriad of ways, which includes helping with the 'Wheels to Meals' for seniors, bookkeeping services, and assisting the 'Adopt-a Road' initiatives.
Now in her ninth decade, Sallenbach continues to dedicate her time to the community, her volunteer work also complimented by the assistance of her two daughters, Joanne Galigan and Sharyn Fiwchuk making her contributions a family affair.
Becker and Sallenbach are among a select group of British Columbians who received the Medal of Good Citizenship.
Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna -
"Troy Becker and Marion Sallenbach are two extraordinary citizens who have gone above and beyond to make a real, lasting difference in people's lives. By giving their time and talents so selflessly, they're more than just good citizens - they represent the very best in us."
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and chair of the Medal of Good Citizenship Selection Committee -
"There are many people who generously volunteer their time, effort and skills to make their communities better and this honour acknowledges their excellence, achievement and service. The time spent reviewing nominations was inspiring, and it reinforced to me that we live in a province where each and every day citizens can make a difference through their generosity and selflessness."
Troy Becker, Medal of Good Citizenship recipient -
"Impactful initiatives require a dedicated and passionate team who provide the resources and energy to break down barriers, and an organization's purpose can only be achieved through leadership supported by a committed and compassionate network of people. Our strong network of family, friends, volunteers, staff, coworkers, participants and community partners is unwavering in their support. Together we have, and will continue to make a difference."
Marion Sallenbach, Medal of Good Citizenship recipient -
"As a Red Cross volunteer it is my way of giving back to my community. It is a great way to meet new people and make new friends while also helping those in need."
* The Medal of Good Citizenship was launched in 2015 to recognize individuals who, through exceptional long-term volunteer efforts, have made outstanding contributions to the well-being of their communities.
* Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round.
* All regions in the province were represented on the Medal of Good Citizenship Selection Committee and members came from various professional backgrounds.
* More than 220 nominations were reviewed.
* Additional medal presentation ceremonies will be held across the province in the coming months.
To learn more about the medal, or to nominate a good citizen in your community click here.
To view photos of recipient ceremonies click here.