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Monday, May 6, 2013

Diamonds for the Burnaby Optimist Club

Submitted by Roxy Abernethy

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accession to the Throne. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a way for Canada to honor her Majesty for her service. It also serves to honor the diverse contributions and achievements and distinguished service to their fellow citizens, to their community, and to their country through volunteer work.

The Burnaby Optimist Club is proud to announce that four of their members have been presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The recipients are Lou Ryan, Ray Abernethy, Nick Kvenich and Roxy Abernethy.

Lou does extensive volunteering through the Burnaby Optimist Club, the Sunshine Dreams for Kids Foundation, the local food bank and many community events. Lou has also served as the Optimist Club president for two terms. Everyone in the community knows Lou!

For over 30 years, Ray sources, collects, and distributes furniture, clothing and household goods to those in need. What began as a small backyard project blossomed under his leadership and vision into a unique, charitable society called Helping Families in Need. It serves thousands of families in the lower mainland and Fraser Valley.

Nick serves on the Action Line Housing board of directors and is directly involved in enhancing the lives of seniors in our community. Nick is also an avid stream keeper. He shares his passion for clean and environmentally sound streams with local school children. He also volunteers throughout the city at many community events and is a charter and life time member of the Burnaby Optimist Club.

Roxy has organized a Swim-A-Rama for 35 years and raised over $300,000 for Cystic Fibrosis. She has also organized softball in the city for  30 years, coordinates a craft fair at the prestigious Overlynne Mansion in North Burnaby in support of seniors, has held the position of president and treasurer of the Burnaby Optimist Club aand is active in fundraising and organizing volunteers fin support of her husband's, Ray, charity.

Those awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal represent one-tenth of one percent of all Canadians. Quite a feat for a small 12-member Optimist Club.

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