Kinder, stronger, better. Ian Kruger recognised as Unsung Champion

Last week, PORCA shared the news that one of our own, PORCA president and nurse Ian Kruger has been recognized for his contributions to the community. Reading the entire list of people recognized, and nominated by their friends and neighbours, underscores how much individuals matter. Like, it’s people who make the place… or as a former Councillor once told me, we are rich in social capital here. This feels especially true in smaller communities – the impact of every person’s contribution – whether they choose to make it positive or negative – truly shapes the place and the experience of place. Your choice to pick up the garbage you see, or chuck your empty out the window as you drive past, has impact. Your choice to offer a kind word to someone, or to scowl at them, has impact. The membership you buy, the committee you sign up to, the ninja bag or brownies you drop on someone’s doorstep… you matter.

I think that’s what Ian is getting at in his comment on the post:

Thanks! I am lucky to have an amazing wife and work with great teams in my professional and volunteer life. Let’s keep our community strong, interesting, and a little weird.

We are very fortunate to have Ian Kruger as the Founder and President of PORCA. He has given years of volunteer service to Pemberton through trail maintenance, creating events like the Pemberton Enduro and PNAR as well as being a respected voice in the mountain biking community. It is through Ian’s leadership, vision and guidance that PORCA has been able to grow and attract like minded passionate community members that believe in giving back and serving others. Congratulations Ian on being chosen as an inaugural recipient of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky MP Patrick Weiler’s Unsung Heroes Awards “These awards are given out to volunteers who make our communities kinder, stronger and a better place for us all through their tireless and dedicated efforts,” said Weiler in a press release. “Recipients are all nominated by fellow community members.”

Minister Weiler shared more details in his newsletter:

Inaugural Unsung Champions 

We are very fortunate to live in a region that exemplifies the very best of community volunteerism, where volunteers have continued to make incredible contributions in service of our community during these challenging times. Below are this year’s inaugural Unsung Champions:

West Vancouver & Bowen Island: Jonathan “Bear” Yeung is an extraordinary nine year old young boy in West Vancouver who has worked hard to raise funds for those in need and generate food and beverage donations to assist frontline workers at Lions Gate Hospital. His selfless and heroic actions are an inspiration to us all. We salute his continued efforts to help vulnerable members of our community during this difficult time. 
 
Peter Morley has helped supervise the Ladies Woodworking Class at the West Vancouver Seniors’ Activity Centre for 19 years, helping to build a sense of community by sharing his woodworking expertise in a kind, friendly, safe, and patient manner, and ensuring the equipment is maintained and hand tools are clean and sharpened. He continues to enhance our sense of community for seniors across West Vancouver.
 
Nancy Farran has a long history of extensive community involvement and leadership over the past decades, including ongoing work with the West Vancouver Foundation. Her ability to inspire and pull our community together to develop a lasting legacy in West Vancouver is exceptional. We salute Nancy for her many hours of service that have strengthened the bonds of cooperation and trust that bring people together.
 
Violet Roden has worked for decades to provide counselling services for sexually abused children and to support seniors in our community. We recognize her tireless efforts in obtaining funding, supporting and educating community groups regarding the tragic absence of sexual abuse counselling in British Columbia. Her work to establish ACT II, the first sexual abuse counselling centre, was accomplished as a result of her visionary leadership, skill and determination. 
 
Edward and Sheree are long-standing volunteers who have served in senior roles and responsibilities on the Bowen Island Community Foundation, BI Arts Council, the Community Economic Development Committee, the Neighbourhood Emergency Response Program (NERP), and the Economic Development Committee. We are thrilled to highlight and recognize their tireless work in pursuit of numerous community projects, committees, and initiatives. Their extraordinary contributions to our community and the energy, passion, expertise, and experience they bring to their work are appreciated by Island residents and beyond.

Sunshine Coast:Penny Lyle is a member of the Sechelt Garden Club, who has worked tirelessly with her team to help local businesses beautify their courtyards, storefront and public patios with planters and flowers, including the ongoing maintenance of these flowers and flowerbeds throughout the year.
 Graham Walker has volunteered countless hours over the past year as the music coordinator, sound technician and emcee for Slow Sundays in the Creek. This multi-generational event brings joy and energy to the community through music and games for all ages.
 
Irene Davy and the late Clint Davy spend countless hours treating and helping many thousands of sick or injured birds and animals through the Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Irene and her team of volunteers work seven days a week, in all weather, to make a huge difference to the wildlife of the Sunshine Coast. 
 
The Sunshine Coast Farmers Institute is a community of members who support small-scale, ethical and sustainable farming on the Sunshine Coast. Through their significant and ongoing efforts, they provide bulk buying and educational opportunities that help local farmers become more successful and resilient. 

Sea to Sky Country:

Ruth Simons has over the last decade made significant and ongoing efforts to protect and enhance the biodiversity of Howe Sound. We recognize her tireless work into volunteering to create a Howe Sound Biosphere Reserve – even through the ups and downs, working through any obstacles that have emerged. She has consistently raised awareness on issues affecting Howe Sound, bringing together community, government, First Nations, and industry and business leaders to action solutions.
 
Ian Kruger is a community advocate for health living and recreation in Pemberton. He has worked hard to support healthy living as the Chairperson of the Pemberton Off Road Cycling Association since 2016, previously as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Pemberton Valley Trails Association, and as an ER nurse at the Pemberton Health Centre. His work over the years and his advocacy for building trails and mountain biking has helped enhance the health and wellness of our community and beyond.
 
Tracey Saxby is a community leader that has volunteered over 7,600 hours into the My Sea to Sky organization since 2014, connecting with a diverse audience, developing effective collaboration, and building a shared vision for a better future. We recognize her efforts to protect the biodiversity of Howe Sound as it recovers from many decades of industrial degradation. Her energy and commitment are boundless, and she has motivated hundreds of volunteers to dedicate thousands of hours over the last seven years. 

All of our inaugural recipients are a source of pride to our community. I look forward to celebrating next year’s Unsung Champions as they continue to do the work to make our communities a better place.

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