Local Hero award recipients announced

Darlene Gering -
Darlene Gering
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Burnaby council has approved seven recipients for its 2011 Local Hero Awards.

The awards recognize the following people who have made contributions to community well-being in Burnaby over an extended period through multiple activities:

• Darlene Gering, former president and CEO of the Burnaby Board of Trade, was recognized for her work on community development initiatives as well as her volunteer work with Faith Lutheran Church, Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby Family Life, Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table and the Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness.

• Stephen Hughes has been an active volunteer with Citizen Support Services for over 15 years, reaching out to isolated Burnaby seniors. He has also been involved in his church and the Burnaby Host Lions Club for many years.

• Vicky Ma has volunteered at Edmonds Community School and Suncrest elementary for more than five years, serves on the district parent advisory council, and volunteers with the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. and Northern Shaolin Lung Chi Cheng Martial Arts Association.

• Raymond McKay has served as a director at the Community Centred College for the Retired, where he also teachers classes in bridge, is the volunteer manager for a division of the Lower Mainland Seniors Slo-Pitch League and encourages seniors to stay active and healthy. Having served in the Merchant Marine during the Second World War, he also volunteers with the Company of Master Marines in Canada, as well as with the Knights of Columbus in Burnaby.

• Jim McQueen is a member of the Southeast Burnaby Community Policing Advisory Committee, a regular volunteer at Progressive Housing Society's Homeless Outreach Resource Centre and a volunteer at the K.R.I.B. Youth Centre, providing support by donating food for young people in need.

• Sonia Purewal actively volunteers at St. Michael's Centre long-term care where she gives manicures and visits room-bound residents, and with the South Burnaby Eagles basketball program where her roles have included coach, assistant coach and scorekeeper.

• Nellie Wong's 20 years of volunteer work in Burnaby include roles as an advocate and educator with the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, as a member of the City of Burnaby's Access Advisory Committee, as a board member of the ConnecTra Society and as a longtime volunteer with the Family Support Institute, the latter two organizations that support people with disabilities.

Award recipients will be presented with certificates of recognition at the Oct. 3 city council meeting at city hall.

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