Long-time volunteer and foster parent Neil Cook was officially honoured on Thursday night for the Order of British Columbia award he earned in 2020.
B.C. government officials said Thursday night’s ceremony recognized 31 B.C. residents who were recipients of the award from 2020 and 2021.
The event was delayed for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cook has been recognized for his volunteer efforts in the community.
“Cook has clearly demonstrated selfless dedication to making his community a better place for all residents. He has made a positive, life-long impact through the lives of the three children he and his wife, Marilynne, adopted, in addition to the 24 foster children they welcomed into their home and their hearts,” said the B.C. government.
He has a long list of accomplishments under his belt, such as being the founding president of the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation in 2003, now known as the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies.
“I was doing a campaign for the United Way. There had been an approach on how community funds and the United Way work together across the country,” explained Cook. “It’s taken on a life of its own. I’m totally amazed at the growth and the interest in the foundation.”
Cook has been a volunteer and supporter for many community events and fundraisers, including the SPCA, Cranbrook Children’s Festival, Canadian Cancer Society, and volunteered with the Cranbrook Community Christmas Dinner for 22 years.
“The first year we were here, I was driving around town the Thursday before Christmas, and they were calling for volunteers to come help with the food prep and serving,” said Cook. ” I just went over and pretty soon I was peeling potatoes and helping get dinner ready.”
Cook’s list of accomplishments includes being an active member of several local clubs, including three years with the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary, two years with the Cranbrook Rotary and seven years with Kinsmen.
Cook was previously recognized with the Medal of Good Citizenship in 2019.
Singer Michael Bublé and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry were also recognized in Thursday night’s Order of B.C. ceremony.
The entirety of the award ceremony can be found below. Neil Cook’s award presentation can be seen from 42:02 to 43:15.