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RDEK announces 2022 volunteers of the year

Seven recipients across the six areas were announced on Thursday
Passengers aboard Angel Flight East Kootenay’s newest plane, a Cessna 414a, which can fly above poor weather and keep flights going. (Image courtesy of Todd Weselake / Angel Flight East Kootenay)

The Regional District of East has announced it’s volunteers of the year for 2022, with one recipient in each of the Regional District’s six areas.

“At a time when volunteerism is declining in many places, we are so grateful to have such strong support from our community members, year after year,” said RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.

“This year’s award recipients have shown up time and again to show their support for their communities and those who live and work around them.

“From providing Angel Flights, to providing leadership to our youth, donating equipment, services and supplies to those in need, championing emergency preparedness, and taking care of neighbours both near and far, this year’s volunteers of the year have shown what it means to be community minded in every way,” said Gay.

The winners from each of the six areas are Todd Weselake (Area A), Heather Serafini (Area B), Don Flowers (Area C), Stan Yawney (Area D), Tex Deagnon (Darwin) (Area F), and Sue and Tom Hoyne of Area G.

The breadth of community involvement by the six volunteers is vast, with each award recipient (and many more) going above and beyond for their communities.

Todd Weselake of Area A is a co-founder and pilot with Angel Flight East Kootenay, which provides free emergent flights to and from much-needed medical care for East Kootenay residents.

Area B recipient, Heather Serafini gives her time to the youth of the community through the 4-H program, which is focused on youth development.

Don Flowers of Area C is the perfect neighbour, and can be counted on to staff the BBQ at community events, help out with community projects, or step in to assist his neighbours any way he can.

Area E recipient Stan Yawney is described as a “remarkable person” that is “always ready to help anyone who needs it”, making his mark as president of the St. Mary Valley Rural Residents Association.

Tex Deagnon of Area F served as president of the Fairmont Community Association for six years, and remains active as a tireless and enthusiastic volunteer, visionary and advocate for the community and residents of Fairmont Hot Springs.

Last but not least, Sue and Tom Hoyne of Area G are described as “pillars of the Wilmer Community Club for over 15 years”: Working to establish a community hall and community playground, and currently contributing through the establishment of the Wilmer FireSmart Program.

Each of the seven volunteers will be recognized individually throughout the summer and will be presented with a gift of appreciation on behalf of the RDEK.

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