Minister of Transportation Todd Stone, on behalf of Premier Christy Clark, presented Trudie BonBernard, a well-known Kamloops citizen, with the Province’s newest honour, the Medal of Good Citizenship
The ceremony was held today, June 1, 2016, at Thompson Rivers University Campus.
Launched in July 2015 by Premier Clark, the prestigious Medal of Good Citizenship recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term service, have made outstanding contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward. The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness and contributions to community life. Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round.
BonBernard, was honoured with the medal for her leadership and compassion benefitting children, vulnerable citizens including long-term care residents, hospice and hospital patients, youth at risk, and comforting families under stress.
Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering have helped to promote and significantly expand the service provided by the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program to Kamloops residents facing a variety of challenges. Currently 66 dog-therapy volunteers contribute more than 8,000 hours annually at more than 26 facilities in the Kamloops area. Dog-therapy teams attend community events, join library and school reading programs, visit group homes, university students, and long-term care and mental health facilities. Most recently they are visiting patients at a community dialysis unit.
Under her leadership and work on the volunteer executive of the program, BonBernard has developed and implemented a plan for program growth, member retention, community awareness and greater diversity of facility assignments and community events.
She has also inspired a volunteer to do a master’s thesis on the benefits of therapy dogs for at-risk youth in schools, and has created learning and educational opportunities for all therapy dog team members.
BonBernard is among a select group of British Columbians who will receive the Medal of Good Citizenship.
Premier Christy Clark –
“One person’s passion can make a tremendous difference within a community, and there’s no finer example than Trudie BonBernard. A natural leader, she has taken the love of her dog and her infectious enthusiasm to fuel a compassionate movement comforting people at a difficult time in their lives.”
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –
“Kamloops is a better place because of the work Trudie BonBernard is doing in our community. She has devoted thousands of hours to serve others and to make the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program a robust service touching hundreds of people, brightening their day and making them feel a little less stressed.”
Terry Lake, Minister of Health –
“Trudie BonBernard has shown exceptional creativity and enthusiasm in building the number of dog therapy teams and the locations where they provide service. These teams have brought comfort to many people. Through her leadership, Trudie is making an outstanding contribution to Kamloops.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and chair of the Medal of Good Citizenship Selection Committee –
“There are many people who generously volunteer their time, effort and skills to make their community better and this honour acknowledges their excellence, achievement and service. The time spent reviewing nominations was inspiring, and it reinforced to me that we live in a province where each and every day citizens can make a difference through their generosity and selflessness.”
Trudie BonBernard, recipient, Medal of Good Citizenship –
"Working with the therapy dog program has given me the greatest satisfaction of any volunteer position I’ve held. The time I spend on organizing and administrating the program is very rewarding because I know how beneficial therapy dogs can be to so many people in our community. The Kamloops therapy dog teams are brightening lives every day in a wide variety of facilities. It is exciting to look ahead to the future possibilities of how the therapy dog teams might contribute to making Kamloops a strong and healthy community."
- The Medal of Good Citizenship was launched in 2015 to recognize individuals who, through exceptional long-term volunteer efforts, have made outstanding contributions to the well-being of their communities.
- Nominations for the Medal of Good Citizenship are accepted year-round.
- All regions in the province were represented on the Medal of Good Citizenship Selection Committee and members came from various professional backgrounds.
- More than 220 nominations were reviewed.
- Additional medal presentation ceremonies will be held throughout the province in the coming months.
To learn more about the medal, or to nominate a good citizen in your community, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/medalofgoodcitizenship
To view photos of recipient ceremonies, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHskw9MKjm