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Council Presents Exemplary Service Awards to Five Outstanding Kamloopsians in 2022

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Kamloops, BC—On Wednesday, April 20, Mayor and Council honoured five citizens with the City of Kamloops Exemplary Service Award. This award formally acknowledges individuals who have made a difference in our community through their dedication of time and service. The ceremony also included the presentation of a Freedom of the City Award to Stella Black.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to formally recognize Kamloops residents who have given so much to our community,” said Mayor Ken Christian. “This City thrives because of people like AnnMarie, Teresa, Henry, Ron, and Rick who give back every day with their time and talents.”

AnnMarie Aase
In the short time that AnnMarie has been a resident of Kamloops, she has immersed herself in volunteer initiatives and contributed more to our community than many who have lived here their whole lives. AnnMarie has served as a volunteer and board member for several non-profit organizations and local initiatives, including:

  • Kamloops Caremongers
  • Kamloops Rugby Club
  • Buy Canadian Goods Association
  • Kamloops Triathlon Club
  • Kamloops Free Store on Facebook

She was also a shelter volunteer during the 2021 wildfire season.

AnnMarie was prepared to step up and support so many local initiatives so quickly thanks to a lifetime of charitable experience built wherever she has lived around the world and across many facets of society. She has been the official photographer of Western Canada Fashion Week and, more recently, International Indigenous Fashion Week, which inspired her to co-author a book titled Uncommon Threadz.

AnnMarie’s caring nature and sense of humour draw people in to support initiatives she creates and contributes to their success.

Teresa Dares
For 20 years, Teresa Dares has been the president of the Kamloops Ambassador Society. Teresa has been passionate about modernizing the program to empower young women and support them in reaching their potential. She has volunteered thousands of hours to support Ambassadors at community events and to help the program thrive. With the Ambassadors, Teresa has represented the Mayor’s Office and Kamloops at major events throughout BC.

“Mama Teresa,” as she is affectionately known within the Ambassador community, has maintained many friendships with those who have taken part in the program, checking in on them periodically. She is a positive role model. The time she has invested in the Ambassador program helps to develop youth in our community in a positive way and is grooming community leaders. Her caring mentorship has shaped a generation of young women since she became involved in the program.

Henry Pejril
Henry has a long-standing history in Kamloops. He has been involved in the community in many ways through community projects, sports, and politics.

Henry coached minor soccer and hockey for many years before switching his focus to bike races. He has been instrumental in the growth of bike racing as a sport in the city, the province, and the country. He was the President of the BC Summer Games in 2006, President of the Western Canada Summer Games in 2011, and is the current President of the 55 Plus Games. He also lends his voluntary talents to the following:

  • Kamloops Sports Council
  • BC Games Society
  • Kamloops Bike Ranch Society

Henry’s dedication to volunteering has helped to bring exceptional events to Kamloops, which have benefitted our economy and added value to the Tournament Capital brand. For his service, Henry has been honored with several awards and accolades from Cycling BC and the BC Achievement Foundation. He is a two-time Kamloops Sports Person of the Year and a recipient of the City of Kamloops Pioneer Spirit Award. Henry can now add an Exemplary Service Award to his list.

Ron Popove
Ron Popove is a Kamloops volunteer who serves with great organizational skill and a lot of heart. For 24 years, Ron has been highly involved with the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. He has served on the South Central Trucking and Industry Committee, organizing the foundation’s longest-running community event—one of the most successful golf tournaments in Kamloops.

Ron was instrumental in making the Hot Nite in the City Show and Shine event one the second-longest running show of its kind in Canada. Hot Nite in the City highlights local business and brings several economic benefits to the community. The event committee has also created an annual bursary for the Thompson Rivers University Nursing program.

During the pandemic, Ron organized poker runs to give seniors something to look forward to during isolation. Ron selflessly volunteers each month to drive cancer patients to Kelowna for treatments that aren’t offered locally. The effort and passion he puts in to volunteering for his community should not go unnoticed.

Rick Windjack
Rick Windjack is a leader and champion of social services in Kamloops. He is likely most known for running PIT Stop at Kamloops United Church, serving meals to those who have difficulty with food availability.

Rick assures the guests feel loved, safe, cared for, and accepted. Rick motivates volunteers and, more importantly, puts a human touch on the face of poverty. Rick feeds the poor and trains and inspires hundreds of volunteers every year. He has amassed a strong base of volunteers who love to volunteer for him simply because he is a joy to work with and be around. Volunteers have said that serving the guests at PIT Stop is an incredibly rewarding and illuminating experience. Rick’s passion for feeding others and taking care of those less fortunate is contagious. He has been described as non-judgmental, kind, compassionate, and loving.

Rick is a proud member of the Kamloops Rotary Club and has previously received the Paul Harris Fellowship award.

Our community is lucky to have Rick as a leader—someone who cares for all its citizens.