The Rotary Club of Invermere met in the upper mezzanine of Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena on May 19 to present the award for Citizen of the Year.
This year’s award went to two individuals: Julie and Bill McIntosh.
“It was quite a surprise and an honour,” said Julie of receiving the award.
Julie accepted the award on behalf of herself and Bill, as Bill had passed away on March 29 of this year.
“The model for Rotary is ‘service above self’, and in our search for Citizen of the Year, we have encountered many people who model this,” said Milt Deck, chairman of the Citizen of the Year committee in the presentation speech.
Deck went on to say that Julie and Bill exemplified the model for Citizen of the Year.
“You and Bill had a good relationship and support for each other and the community,” said Deck.
Bill, who had been one of the founding members for the Columbia Valley Rockies hockey team and director of the recreation board, had dedicated much of his time supporting the team and other activities in the community along with Julie.
“We liked to do it because we liked to see the results,” said Julie on their volunteer work. “For everything, we wanted to see things happen, and especially help the kids.”
Together, Julie and Bill had billeted up to five hockey players and put forth fundraising efforts to get the Rockies a new team bus, which Bill drove and maintained over the years.
Bill also spearheaded the Bull Riding event and put it on, from setting up the bleachers to cleaning up after the show.
This year, the Bull Riding event has been re-named in Bill’s honour to the Bill McIntosh Memorial Bull Riding in the Rockies.
“The team will be greatly changed. Bill’s sage advice to us will be greatly missed,” said Deck.
District of Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft also gave a speech to honour Julie and Bill, and to thank the Rotary Club for the annual award.
“All the people in this room represent what’s so important in our community,” said Taft. “The recipients this year are so very deserving.”
Julie says that she will continue to stay with her work with the Rockies now that Bill has passed.
“All I can say is, I wish Bill was here,” said Julie. “He would have been very surprised too.”