WHITE ROCK - There couldn't have been a better time than Canada Day for the City of White Rock to recognize three exceptional women on their contributions to the community with the Outstanding Canadians on the Peninsula awards.
For their extensive volunteer work, Pat Petrala, Pat Patton and Polly Tays were brought on stage Sunday morning at the beginning of Canada Day festivities in White Rock to receive their accolades.
The City of White Rock has honoured citizens since 2005 who have made a "positive contribution in arts, culture, business, heritage, sport and/or the environment."
Pat Petrala has been a champion for the community for more than 16 years and has been referred to as White Rock's "unofficial Town Crier" because of how much work she puts into networking and promoting the community. She said she hopes these awards and her own recognition will inspire more people to get involved with the community.
"There are a lot of singles or people estranged from their children, and getting involved with the community is a way of making a surrogate family. We're all adoptable," said Petrala.
Currently, Petrala is working on outreach to get people involved for the dialogue on senior's care, which will be taking place in White Rock on Monday at the White Rock Community Centre.
Mayor Wayne Baldwin said Petrala is a "tireless and caring activist, volunteering with numerous non-profit organizations and committees."
Patton was recognized for her volunteerism at the Meals on Wheels program for more than 27 years.
She began as a driver and then took over as president when the organization's founder passed away. Her countless hours organizing volunteer staff, meals and visiting seniors has, in the words of Baldwin, "benefited the health of many individuals in our community, allowing them to remain in their homes. She brings happiness and joy to those around her."
The third award recipient, Tays, has been a White Rock resident for 28 years and, for more than 13 years, she has volunteered every Monday at the day surgery ward at Peace Arch Hospital. She volunteers on Fridays at the Hospice Thrift Shop and she is involved with other organizations such as the Blood Donor Clinic and the Kent Street Activity Centre.
"It is impossible for Polly to go anywhere without someone waving, greeting or thanking her for some act of kindness," said Baldwin.