The Rotary Club 2016 Citizens of the Year were Stefanie Walker (third from left) and Carmen Ranta (third from right).

The Rotary Club 2016 Citizens of the Year were Stefanie Walker (third from left) and Carmen Ranta (third from right).

Rotary Club of Ashcroft and Cache Creek set to honour Citizens of the Year 2017

Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan, Andrea and Bruce Walker, and a youth from the region will be honoured on May 27.

The Rotary Club of Ashcroft and Cache Creek will be honouring its Citizens of the Year with a barbecue and ceremony on Saturday, May 27; and everyone is welcome to celebrate.

The Citizens of the Year are drawn from the South Thompson area (Savona to Spences Bridge), and are nominated by members of the public. This year’s honorees are Andrea and Bruce Walker from Ashcroft, and Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan from Spences Bridge. A youth from the area will also be honoured at the ceremony.

In the past the club has held a Thursday luncheon to celebrate the Citizens of the Year, but Rotary Club member Paché Denis says that this year they wanted a more personal experience for participants so that that people could socialize. Members of the Sage Sound Singers will also be on hand to provide entertainment. Tickets are $18 each and include the barbecue dinner; there will be a no host bar for wine and beer.

Carmen Ranta, a Citizen of the Year in 2016, nominated Varcoe-Ryan for her tireless work for the arts community in the region, her exemplary work as a trustee for School District No. 74 for the past 14 years, her role as president of, and volunteer for, the Spences Bridge Community Club, and her leadership in the creation and organization of the Desert Days music festival, now in its seventh year.

Paché Denis nominated Bruce and Andrea Walker, long-time Ashcroft residents who are significantly involved in a number of volunteer causes throughout the area. Among the causes Denis cited that the pair are involved in together are Communities in Bloom, restoration of the Ashcroft Chinese cemetery, the Ashcroft and District Fall Fair, improvements at the Heritage Park on Railway Avenue, and the pool park playground equipment project.

Denis also cited Bruce’s work with the Ashcroft Minor Hockey Association, the Friends of Historic Hat Creek, the Thompson View Lodge Society, and the Inukshuk trail. He notes that he may well have missed some of Bruce and Andrea’s contributions, and adds that while it would have been very easy to nominate either one of them separately, “the sum of this couple’s contributions is easily greater than its parts.”

Plaques acknowledging the honorees will be placed at the Royal Bank in Cache Creek (Varcoe-Ryan), Interior Savings Credit Union in Ashcroft (the Walkers), and at Desert Sands Community School (the youth honoree).

Members of the public are encouraged to come out and celebrate these outstanding community members. Anyone who wants to say a few words about any of the honorees will be able to do so during the ceremony. Tickets are available at Interior Savings Credit Union in Ashcroft, or online at

Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal