2019 Citizens of the Year goes Friday

The Prince George Community Foundation is pleased to be hosting the 22nd Annual Citizens of the Year Gala on Friday. This year, we are honouring three more than deserving individuals: Albert Koehler, Chuck Chin and Noreen Rustad. Together, the 2019 recipients have contributed thousands of volunteer hours, contributed their time, skill, knowledge and finances to local organizations. We are extremely grateful for their efforts and are pleased to be recognizing them as the 2019 Citizens of the Year.

The 2019 Citizens of the Year Gala will be held on Friday at the Coast Inn of the North. Tickets are $80 each or $640 for a table of 8. Tickets are almost sold out so do not wait if you want to help honor this year's recipients. You can purchase tickets online through our website at www.pgcf.ca.

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This year's event is sure to be fantastic with three incredible honourees, a wonderful silent auction, champagne reception and great networking for all in attendance. We hope to see you there!

- Prince George Community Foundation


Albert Koehler is best known for his many years of service as a Prince George city councillor but that is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his community service. A longtime Rotarian, Albert follows Rotary's Service Above Self motto to the letter. It's that devotion that earned him the support of voters in his political career and now being recognized as one of the 2019 Citizens of the Year.

Besides serving as president of the Yellowhead Rotary Club in 2010-11, Albert has served in recent years on the boards of the Spirit of the North Health Care Foundation, Community Futures, the Prince George Symphony and Resources North. He served on the board of the Chamber of Commerce for five years, culminating in his presidency in 2008-09. A founder of the Northern Technology and Engineering Society of B.C., Albert's pursuit of a civil engineering program at UNBC finally came to pass last year. Albert served as the Honorary Consul for the Federal Republic of Germany, a role he held for eight years.

Albert has received many awards over the years for his community service, including the Immigrant and Multicultural Society's Diversity and Community Service Award. So it's only fitting he's being recognized as one of the 2019 Citizens of the Year.


Noreen Rustad's community service record stretches back more than 50 years and is so impressive, this isn't the first time she's been one of the Citizens of the Year. In 1992 alone, Rotary named her a Citizen of the Year, she was a recipient of the Governor General's 125 Commemorative Medal and she received the City of Prince George's Award of Merit for Recreation. Those accolades were for her 15 years of work with Brownies and Guides, her 13 years of service with children's drama groups and for her decades of work with the Prince George Weavers and Spinners Guild (including a term as president of the Canadian Weavers Guild) and various other community groups.

Instead of resting on her laurels, Noreen got even busier. In 1996, she was a founding director of the Prince George Community Foundation and has worked tirelessly for the foundation ever since, including serving three years as foundation president. A UNBC Honorary Alumni member, Noreen sat for six years on UNBC's Board of Governors. More awards have followed, including the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, a B.C. Achievement Award and the Woman of the Year Award for Impact and Influence. It's now time to recognize Noreen as one of the 2019 Citizens of the Year.


The most popular post on the Hell Yeah Prince George Facebook page this year asked this simple question - does Chuck Chin deserve to be recognized as one of the 2019 Citizens of the Year? The response, of course, was overwhelming.

While some people slow down after they retire, Chuck grabbed his camera and got busy chronicling the city he loves, the people who live here and the amazing things they do in pictures. He has been the photographer of record at virtually every single fundraising and awareness event, from the Relay For Life, the Festival of Trees, the Climb For Cancer, Remembrance Day, Canada Day, the Pride Parade and Pops In The Park to all the major sporting events and teams, from the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the World Baseball Challenge and the World Para Nordic Championships to the Prince George Cougars and Prince George Spruce Kings.

Chuck's fee for all of that work? Not one penny. He considers as payment the thanks and gratitude he has received over the years, in person and online, particularly on Hell Yeah Prince George which he helped found. Chuck has also been the photographer at numerous awards dinners in recent years. Hopefully, he can put his camera down long enough to be recognized as one of the 2019 Citizens of the Year.

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