The Blueridge Awards
The Blueridge Awards are given to residents who go out of their way to make a difference to the community. Thanks to local resident Toby Barazzuol of Eclipse Awards, we have six beautiful awards to honor residents in our community. Note that not all annual awards are given out each year. We count on your nominations to pass them on to deserving individuals!
Award Details and Past Winners:
Blueridge Spirit Award – Recognizes residents who show enthusiasm and passion for the community. This “pay it forward” award is passed on when the current holder of the award selects a new winner within three months.
The latest recipients of the Blueridge Spirit Award are Rachel and Greg Harper. Jennifer Dickson passed the award on, and says:
Her husband Greg is also a strong supporter of the school and the Blueridge community. He is always ready to jump in with the school as needed. His involvement with Blueridge Good Neighbour Day started earlier this year when he joined the planning committee and contributed greatly to the planning for the kids’ activities as well as the site-planning in general.
Congratulations to Rachel and Greg! Thanks for helping make our neighbourhood so special!
The newest winner of the Blueridge Spirit Award is Jennifer Dickson. Graham Gilley passed the award on in January 2023, and shared this:
Jennifer is one of those community members who will step up and just do what needs doing. For the past 10 years she has been involved with a wide range of community sports groups including the North Vancouver Football Club (age group coordinator), GSL Football League (Registrar), Mount Seymour Little League (Treasurer, President & Vice President), NS Spring Flag Football League (Registrar), District 5 Little League (Treasurer) and Windsor Football (Manager). WHEW … It’s a sport just reading all of that! And lest you think she’s only about sport, Jennifer has also been the Chair of the Blueridge PAC and is the current Treasurer of the Windsor PAC, for which, as the Winsor PAC Chair, I am very grateful. Jennifer is a very smart, dedicated and humble volunteer and I thoroughly enjoy her healthy sense of humour.
The latest winner of the Blueridge Spirit Award is Graham Gilley. Colleen Dahr Mah passed the award on to him in August, and shared this:
Graham has been an active volunteer in Blueridge since moving to the
community in 2011. He has been a Blueridge Community Association
Board Member (traﬃc commitee) and helped with setting up the Blueridge
Good Neighbour Days before the pandemic. He will be the Windsor PAC
chair in 2022/23, and coordinated the annual “Tree Chip Up” fundraising
event at Blueridge Elementary for years. He is an active participant with
the North Shore Mountain Biking Association trail maintenance crew and
is a Certiﬁed First Responder. Recently he signed up to be on call to help
if there is an emergency in the neighbourhood until the ambulance
arrives. On a personal note, he generously helped my son with mountain
bike maintenance, and is always willing to give advice on a range of
topics. I would like to acknowledge Graham’s altruism in this community.
We all beneﬁt from his kindness.
Donna Sacuta and Brian Gardiner have passed the Blueridge Spirit Award to Colleen Dahr Mah.
About this choice, Donna writes:
BLUERIDGE COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
Awarded to Colleen Dahr Mah
Every three months the Blueridge Community Spirit Award is passed on from one deserving Blueridge resident to another. Recipients show passion and commitment to the community.
Brian and I have chosen Colleen as the next recipient.
Colleen was instrumental in the establishment of the Blueridge Sharing Garden. In fact, it may well have been her idea! She gained the support of the Community Association, the District of North Vancouver, the neighbours and from local businesses and community-minded groups to see it through to construction and completion in 2015. And, she continues to volunteer and contribute to our success!
This was not the first time our paths had crossed. A random question Colleen posed in the Blueridge newsletter about the property to the east of us propelled me into a year long research project and my eventual publication of the history of the Blair Rifle Range and the establishment of a heritage plaque on Mt Seymour Parkway.
We have also become good friends.
Both Donna and Brian have been much involved with our community for many years, including but not limited to the following:
Recently Brian and his Christmas Train were featured in the monthly Blueridge Bulletin, and also the subject of a Mike McCardell Last Word feature on CTV. Brian and Donna also do an exceptional job every year on their Halloween displays, for the enjoyment of us all.
Donna has been involved at Blueridge Good Neighbour Day, helping out at the BCA table several times. She has also served on the BCA Board. She’s been very involved with the Blueridge Sharing Garden and was on the executive of this group for a number of years. She is still actively involved with the BSG. In addition, Donna did extensive research and wrote a paper on the history of the Rifle Range, and was instrumental in the District erecting a plaque to honour the history of this area in our community.
Brian has also been involved with the BSG and he has been taken many pictures that have been posted on the BSG’s Facebook page, and he has also assisted with various repairs at the BSG (such as the shed).
Donna and Brian, we really appreciate all you’ve done for Blueridge. You deserve this award!
Although we are all fortunate to live in Blueridge, you are unlucky not to live near the east end of Whitman Avenue. Look up “neighbourhood spirit” in any dictionary and one would find a picture of Barb and Jim Rennie. Few, if any, residents exhibit more enthusiasm and passion for our community.
Take a walk past their Whitman home and you may see neighbours’ birthdays announced in huge letters across their front window. Free plants may await you at the curbside and in summer, fresh-cut bouquets of flowers appear for the taking on their boulevard from daughter Isobel’s garden. Barb, the red-haired Mt. Seymour Parkway runner, or Jim, the verbose, happy hiker, might be congenially conversing with passersby.
For years at Blueridge Good Neighbour Days, they volunteered running games in the tennis courts (who could forget the Seuss-ian Gack antler ring-toss). They routinely deliver the Blueridge newsletter (for which Barb has written numerous articles over the years). Mr. Rennie has built sets for the Windsor drama department and Barb frequently has some sort of themed booth for community participation perched on her front curb, most recently poppies for Remembrance
As close neighbours we frequently receive scones, pancakes and other baked goods delivered by Barb piping hot to our front doors, while Jim spends the majority of his retired time trimming Ron’s hedge, staining Perry and Caroline’s fence, cleaning Bruce and Beth’s gutters, painting Mike and Valerie’s house or shoveling snow off Chris’s driveway.
Over the years the Rennie household has hosted numerous neighbour gatherings for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, book signings for local authors, and even garbagemen’s birthdays. During the recent pandemic shut-downs, the Rennies have hosted two Remembrance Day services. Holiday celebrations have shifted outside to their garage.
From pet funerals to staging the Whitman Avenue Olympic Games, Barb and Jim have written the book on “neighbouring” and are worthy winners of the Blueridge Spirit Award.
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Rennie.
Beth and Bruce are always coming up with great ideas for the community like Diner en Bleu event or selling our old street signs to raise money for the BCA. They are Adopt a Street participants and frequently volunteer in the community.
Outstanding Neighbour Award — Recognizes a resident who goes above and beyond in supporting their neighbours. Residents nominate their neighbours and the BCA board selects the winner.
On a cold and rainy January Sunday the BCA’s Volunteer Coordinator, Elmira Nazar, and the current BCA chair, Eric G. Andersen, met with the new Blueridge Outstanding Neighbour Award recipient, Justin Meiklem. He was kindly nominated by his neighbour, Ali Karimi, with the following excellent explanation:
I would like to nominate our neighbour, Justin, and his family, for the Blueridge Outstanding Neighbour Award. If there is one person deserving of this award, it will be him. I’ll explain why below:
We are a senior couple who each has various physical conditions. This sometimes makes it hard for us to work around the house. Shortly after moving to our new place, Justin and his family came to see us. He told us to never hesitate to let him know if we needed help with anything. This was interesting in itself because we still don’t know some of our other neighbours.
We had assumed he is a nice and polite neighbour, which is a blessing for anyone, but Justin went beyond that. Every time he would see us working on something, he would come and ask if we needed help. This includes gardening, moving things around, and fixing things. He regularly mows our lawn without us asking him to do so. He has taken away our tree branches, makes sure the compost and garbage bins are in and out, and many other things. His family has also been very kind and helpful. His wife and children have been great. It makes me happy to see such good people living together as a family.
I feel very lucky to have a neighbour who helps us without even asking for his help. I know that there are many good people around us, but I think Justin should get recognition for all his kindness and goodness. Kindness is contagious, and I wish for every neighbourhood to have at least one person like Justin, who elevates the sense of joy around them and makes people live better lives through their kind and selfless acts.
Both Siggy and Ruth have been our neighbours for a good number of years. They are both good people dedicated to their church. I am caring for my 97 year old mother and Ruth often appears on my door with offerings of fresh bread or cookies. I know that I am not the only one she does this for. Siggy took over mowing our lawn due to my husband having knee surgery and now that my husband’s back is bad, they are taking our garbage every week. Siggy also does his neighbour’s lawn on the other side from us as she is on her own. I could not ask for more caring neighbours, I would not hesitate to go to them for help whenever needed – but I don’t even have to ask, they are always there.
Doris Behrenz – Blueridge Resident
Dedication Award — Recognizes a resident who has contributed to the community in a substantial way for a prolonged time. Residents nominate their neighbours and the BCA board selects the winner.
Marsha has always been a welcoming, humble spirit in neighbourliness for over 25 years. She has quietly and diligently been our vice block captain and gracious voice in times of strife.
Judith Jane Spencer – Blueridge Resident.
Volunteer Award — Recognizes a volunteer who makes a special contribution to the community. Residents nominate their neighbours and the BCA board selects the winner.
Sponsor Award — Recognizes a sponsor or donor who makes a special contribution to the community. Residents nominate their neighbours and the BCA board selects the winner
Judy is a local realtor and she has been a sponsor of Good Neighbour Day since 1998 and supported our Blueridge Community Care Packages as well. She also has assisted with newsletter delivery.