A selection committee for the Comox Valley Annual Community Awards couldn’t pick between two deserving Citizen of the Year nominees, so it chose both.
Former Courtenay mayor Ron Webber and Pamela Crowe, chair of the Comox Valley Child Development Association, will share the honour.
Linda Oprica, a ‘professional coach’ with Ascent Coaching, and Robert Mulrooney, an investment adviser with Dundee Wealth, were other finalists.
The award was sponsored by Canadian Tire.
In his acceptance speech, Webber thanked his wife Lorraine and his daughters “for being behind me in every thing I’ve taken on.”
That long list includes 18 years as Courtenay alderman and 12 as mayor.
“I’m a slow learner,” he joked in a video introduction of his nomination.
In his time on Courtenay council, he was involved with the construction of the River Walkway, the new library, the fire hall, Sid Williams Theatre, the sports centre and the Florence Filberg Centre.
Webber was named a Freeman of the City, the highest honour that a community can give one of its citizens.
As well as serving on the boards of the Comox Valley Hospice Society, Glacier View Lodge, Comox Valley Community Foundation and the BC Summer and Winter Games, Webber is a 48-year member of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Lions Club.
The Comox Valley native served with the Canadian Scottish Regiment Reserve and Canadian Armed Forces.
“This is just an amazing award and what an amazing night,” Crowe said in accepting her half of the award.
“It’s a real honour for me to be involved with the child development association,” she stated. “It’s an inspiration to see the work that they do.
“I work with an incredible group of board members … an incredible group of staff and professionals that work and assist every day the lives of the children we serve.”
She thanked the “wonderful telethon family” for making possible the association’s biggest fundraiser of the year each November.
Since 1976, the telethon has generated over $1.5 million to assist local families. Crowe has been involved with it for 36 of the 37 years she has lived here.
For the past 20 years she has been the telethon co-ordinator and for the past 11 years has served as CVCDA president.
Crowe, who works at Ives Burger Law, missed only a telethon meeting or two even during treatments when she faced a major personal medical challenge two years ago.
“Helping or touching the life of somebody else in a positive way has to be a good thing,” Crowe said in a video. "So many people in the Valley do this in so many ways … that’s why it is such a great place to live because people … do this without any thought of being recognized.”
The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce has presented the Citizen of the Year Award since 1974. This award is given in recognition of outstanding voluntary service by a full time resident of the Comox Valley to the community at large, over a significant period of time. This service can be of an individual nature or through clubs and community organizations.