For years members of the Prince George community have been trying to get volunteer extraordinaire Noreen Rustad to let her name stand among those named Citizen of the Year.
She politely declined until she came up against Darrell Hubbell, the chair of the Community Foundation Citizens of the Year committee.
"You can't say no to Darrell," Rustad laughed, who always thought because she volunteered for the Community Foundation that she shouldn't agree to be a person they honoured for her many contributions to Prince George.
Hubbell thought otherwise and made his pitch that Rustad needed to agree for the good of the foundation of which she is a founding member. When Rustad realized she could promote the Community Foundation and raise awareness around it, she graciously acquiesced.
"I am very honoured to be named one of this year's Citizens of the Year," Rustad said.
She's in good company. Standing beside her during the announcement held Wednesday at the Coast Inn of the North was Albert Koehler, former councilor, community volunteer and the person who championed to get the Engineering program at UNBC.
"It takes a team to make things happen, I was the champion behind getting the engineering program here but it took so many people getting behind it to make it happen," Koehler said.
Chuck Chin, known as Prince George's community photographer, was also named one of the Citizens of the Year. Chin donates his time and talent to capture thousands of moments in the community during special occasions and public events, along with nature shots that showcase the beauty surrounding Prince George. He shares his photos through social media for all to see.
"It's important to give back and to give of your time - it's something you have so give your time," Chin said, who was honoured to be recognized for his volunteerism.
The Citizens of the Year Gala will be held Friday, Oct. 11 at the Coast Inn of the North to celebrate the three volunteers.
Each individual gave of their time, skills and knowledge to make Prince George a better place to work and play, said Alain LeFebvre, president of the Community Foundation, during his master of ceremonies speech.
Mayor Lyn Hall took the podium to say a few words of appreciation for Rustad, Koehler and Chin.
"If you look at the past Citizens of the Year they are a stellar group and representative of what this community is all about from a volunteer perspective," Hall said. "Simply put these three are 'go-to' people in our community and whenever people think about having to do something you automatically pick up the phone and call one of these folks that are standing beside me today."
The Prince George Community Foundation, founded in 1995, is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization. It is a member of the Community Foundations of Canada and facilitates philanthropy by partnering with donors to build permanent endowment funds to support community projects. Grants are given to non-profit organizations that wish to enhance the quality of life to residents of Prince George.
For more information about the gala and the Community Foundation visit www.pgcf.ca.