Lake Cowichan citizens win volunteer awards at Chamber AGM

A well known community volunteer and a local business family were recognized

From left: Jo-Anne and Pete Pimlott hold their award for Citizen(s) of the Year

From left: Jo-Anne and Pete Pimlott hold their award for Citizen(s) of the Year

A well known community volunteer and a local business family were recognized during the Feb. 29 Cowichan Lake District  Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting.

Val Sangster was awarded the Nichole Stock Community Service Award as an individual who has exemplified volunteerism during the past year and Jo-Anne  and Pete Pimlott were presented with the Citizen of the Year Award for their ongoing efforts that benefitted the community as a whole in 2011.

Sangster was in total shock winning the award saying Laurie Johnson had asked her to attend the meeting with her to see who would win the Citizen of The Year Award.

“I was there under false pretence,” she says, “ I was very surprised and proud to have been recognized for this award.”

Sangster was nominated for her involvement in many different groups including Cystic Fibrosis, Christmas Hampers, Lake Days, Town Light-Up just to name a few. Comments from her nomination forms included: “The community is very lucky to have a dedicated volunteer who works so tirelessly for her community.”  Sangster has also been known to bring soup to her fellow volunteers, which has made her a popular person to work with.

Pete and Jo-Anne Pimlott were completely surprised with the award and consider it a huge honor to be recognized by the community in this way. Pete was quick to point out that it is the volunteers that make the fundraising events around the area so successful, and they are more than happy to donate items to help with all the worthwhile causes.

The Pimlotts were talked into going to the AGM by their daughter Sarah, who said she wanted to become involved with the Chamber and asked them to accompany her. It has been a bit of a tough year personally for the family and they were overwhelmed with the presentation.

Comments from the nomination letters stated: “Where would all our fundraising events be without the generosity of Pete and Jo-Anne.

“Their business supplies everything from hot dogs to tents for fundraising outside the store. Till tape donations help support not for profit groups throughout the year and they are a big supporter of Cops for Cancer. They are involved in many of the community events  that happen in our area and who wouldn’t miss their float and beaded necklaces at Lake Days. Jo-Anne and Pete exemplify good corporate support in our community, and without this support, our community would be a little less bright.”

During the Chamber AGM, president Jim Humphrey reported on the accomplishment of the Chamber this past year and said they must continue to improve the economics for those presently in business as well as to look to attract new business to the area.

“In order to have a vibrant community, we need to have a variety of businesses to meet the consumers needs,” he said.

The Chamber was active in various community events and organized and hosted two all candidate meetings with the School District  followed by Area I.

One of the roles that the Chamber of Commerce has within the community is that of operating the Visitor/Business Centre and Katherine Worsley, the coordinator of the Centre reported that this past year they recorded the most visitors ever with over 22, 000 visitors and over 16, 000 of those guests coming through the doors during the months of May through September. Over 8, 000 visitors came in seeking information on the Pacific Marine Circle Route alone.

The Ladies of the Lake were present and spoke about how much they have enjoyed representing the area this past year, having participated in parades throughout  BC and in the United States. The Chamber board of directors and staff say they look forward to supporting, promoting and participating in the local businesses, non-profit organizations, service groups and events in the coming year.