The number of Sea to Sky residents who have received Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals is continuing to grow with the confirmation that two more locals have been added to the list of 60,000 Canadians — and 700 British Columbians — receiving medals for public service in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's 60-year reign.
To qualify, "Medal recipients have made a significant contribution to the province, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada."
Said MLA Joan McIntyre, "These recipients exemplify both excellence and volunteerism at its best. They serve as positive role models for all."
The latest list of recipients includes Whistler's Sue Adams, Pemberton's Mark Blundell, Sheri Davis from Squamish and West Vancouver's Stuart McLaughlin.
Sue Adams is a champion of the arts and small business with a long list of public service in organizations and committees, including the Whistler Arts Council, Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Women of Whistler and the provincial Small Business Round Table. She's also a mentor to others, and has been involved with the Women's Enterprise Centre in encouraging female entrepreneurs and politicians. Her company owns The Grocery Store in Whistler Village as well part of the Pemberton Valley Supermarket.
"It was a huge honour," she said of being informed that she had received the award. "I was speechless for once!"
Although she's been involved with a lot of organizations, Adams was told that it was her work as a mentor to other businesswomen that stood out, as well as her work for arts and culture.
"I've always felt that arts and culture are very important," she said. "I've been quite a proponent for using arts and culture as an economic diversifier for the community of Whistler."
Mark Blundell and his wife, who couldn't attend the ceremony hosted by McIntyre, are Adam's partner in the Pemberton Valley Supermarket. His record of public service includes three terms on Village of Pemberton council, and he's the past president of the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce. Currently he's the chair of the Pemberton Health Foundation, he's the alternate for SLRD Area C, and he's on the board of Community Futures Howe Sound, which has obtained funding for a number of local projects including seniors housing in the community and the children's centre. He's a member of the local Lions club going back 15 years and the Pemberton Legion, where he was past president.
Blundell said he and his wife Carol made a conscious decision over 15 years ago when opening their supermarket to give back to the community, both as volunteers and financially.
"We're just glad we could do it and glad the community made us successful enough that we could continue to back them," said Blundell. "We're pretty proud of this community. When anything serious happens, like the flood, everybody pulls together and we all do what we have to do. I'm proud to be a citizen and business person here, and to be able to support whenever and however we can."
Sheri Davis is an active member of the Squamish Rotary Club and the Squamish Community Foundation. Recently she founded a local chapter of Knitting for Kenya, where participants knit wool caps for newborns in Kenya.
"I was speechless," she said of the medal. "Really, I was absolutely shocked, because there are so many people doing so many fantastic things in Squamish. Plus, I didn't know that much about it, and it kind of came out of the blue."
Davis also runs the breakfast program at local high schools and has created youth Rotary programs in the schools to build leadership skills and encourage kids to get involved. She's involved with the Special Olympics, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and she helps to coordinate and administer the community garden. She's been involved in Scouts and coached sports.
She also involves her husband and children at every opportunity, which has made her level of involvement possible. More at www.piquenewsmagazine.com.