Recognizing our volunteers


Several important volunteers were recognized at our June 13 bbq for their contribution to our club.

The Wooden Ski Award for long service went, unusually, to two people: Julie Ward, for her long service as a coach with Track Attack and even longer service as manager of the Banting Lake tent (along with Doug Townson); and Mike Argue for his dedication (and incredible speed) as lead coach with the high performance team.

Both Mike and Julie, the board felt, have played a huge role in making our club what it is, even if a lot of their work happens behind the scenes. For example, we learned last night that even when HP skiers have a race that Mike can’t be at, he’s checking the results online and texting the kids right afterwards, and generally playing an outsize role in their lives, both on the trails and off.

The Double Poler Award (for outstanding service in the past year) went to Alex Lothian for his vision and accomplishment in creating the Canada 150 Teaching Hill, also known as “Alex’s Hill.” And also, it must be said, known as the hill on which Alex put out his knee shortly after the photo shoot to celebrate its existence, thus knocking him off the roster as a Jackrabbit coach for the remainder of the season (though he continued to help coordinate Jackrabbits). He’s now mostly OK.

The Stellar Snowflake Award for outstanding youth volunteer went, for the second year in a row, to Ella Kokelj, for her coaching in Jackrabbits. Ella served as the lead coach with her group this year, which meant she took the lead on planning lessons as well as getting out on the trails with kids each week. Ella also shared her own ski experience with the kids so that they could get an idea of what they themselves might be able to accomplish down the road. Thanks Ella!

This year’s Herringbone Award for outstanding company went to Overlander Sports. This year, Overlander donated a brand new chip timing system which has greatly simplified the race timing process and taken the burden off some of our volunteers (Overlander had, we learned, also donated the last timing system that is now rather outdated.) Overlander was also appreciated for letting us use ALL their rental skis on World Snow Day so that we could give visitors to our club the full experience this year.

Two board members were recognized informally for their outstanding contribution. Board members as a rule are not eligible for any of our titled awards, but these could not go unmentioned.

First, Tania Hercun, who led the chalet renovation project. If you haven’t seen it yet, go now and take a look. This is a legacy project that has already had a HUGE impact on our club and that simply would not have happened if Tania had not taken the lead and worked out all the details from flooring to blinds to acoustic panels to the wood pellet boiler. (There were several huge rounds of applause for all of this.)

And second, Kerry Wheler, our events director who made the past ski season really extraordinary with her dedication to community and to really making everyone welcome at our club. Her energy and enthusiasm go far above and beyond and this really showed in all the excellent events the club hosted this year, as well as some new ones, such as the Sunday lunches she initiated. It’s really hard to say enough about this. Thanks to Brett, Toryn and Emma for letting us all benefit from Kerry!

And finally, a Lifetime Membership was awarded to Kevin Hodgins for his many, many years of service to club as a board member and more. Kevin joins a very short list of people who are members for life of the club so that his contribution won’t be forgotten.

(Sorry that was so long, but with 50 years of a purely volunteer-run club, you kind of have to do this to make sure it keeps going! And all of these people have set a very high bar so it’s important we learn from them.)

Thanks to all of our members who nominated volunteers for these awards and for coming out to the bbq to celebrate their contribution.