Clinton’s 2018 Citizen of the Year Alfreda Westcott (second from l) with (from l) Andy May, Sandi Burrage, and Yvette May. Photo: Raven Nyman.

The Rundown: Clinton News

Clinton’s Citizen of the Year for 2018 is revealed, plus information about a prescribed burn

By Raven Nyman

Notice: Prescribed burn

The Clinton Volunteer Fire Department will undertake a prescribed burn in the Village that is set to begin on April 8 and will continue for several weeks at the north end of town. As a safety precaution, the Fennell Trail will be closed to residents during this time.

Citizen of the Year announced at Volunteer Appreciation event

The Volunteer Appreciation and Citizen of the Year Reception took place at the Clinton Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 23 and was attended by about 65 people. In the past, the Citizen of the Year (COTY) award has also been called the “Good Citizen Award”, and was once overseen by the Chamber of Commerce. The award has been handed out in Clinton since 1972.

These days a wine and cheese reception is hosted by the Spirit of Clinton Committee to recognize the efforts of local volunteers. In 2016 the Citizens of the Year were Rolly and Carol Higginbottom, and the 2017 Citizens of the Year were Andy and Yvette May. For the first time in three years, a single resident was awarded the Village honour on Saturday night.

Doors opened at 6:30 but the event officially got underway at 7 p.m. Village of Clinton councillor Sandi Burrage was the Director of Ceremonies, and also led the prize draws that took place throughout the evening.

Burrage likened the act of volunteering to the act of voting. To volunteer, she said, “Is the ultimate exercise in democracy,” for it is a sure way to commit to making a difference day after day.

Burrage also announced that the COTY committee will be making changes to the annual event. Starting in 2020, awards for the previous year will be presented in four categories. In addition to an “adult” Citizen of the Year recipient, a youth Citizen will also be recognized, along with a worthy business and a not-for-profit organization.

Mayor Susan Swan gave welcoming remarks, noting how significantly our volunteers contribute to the quality of life in and around the Village. She noted the 20 or more volunteer organizations in the community, and pointed out that without volunteers, Clinton would be without a Community Forest, a Volunteer Fire Department, an Annual Ball, rodeo weekend, or Canada Day celebration.

Without volunteers, Clinton would find itself without groomed ski trails, free children’s and family events, and a Food Bank. If you ever want to thank a worthy member of your community, thank a volunteer—or consider becoming one yourself.

“Can you imagine life without these volunteers?” Swan asked. “This very event is the result of the efforts of our volunteers.” She also drew attention to some of the most important volunteers of all: the unsung heroes who go quietly about their good deeds, seeking the opposite of fame or fortune. Acts of altruism are alive and well in the Village of Clinton, and the 2018 Citizen of the Year is a perfect example of that. Congratulations to Alfreda Westcott!

Westcott is a familiar face to many, as she can often be found around town with her contagious smile, taking a gang of her senior pals to lunch, or playing taxi driver for a friend in need. At home, Westcott is a fan of Elvis Presley and the Canucks, but most obviously she is a fan of helping others.

Westcott is deserving of the title of 2018 Citizen of the Year not only for the genuine kindness she extends towards others, but also because of her commitment to community involvement. She has been a member of the Clinton Cleavages and the Clinton and District Outdoor Sportsmen Association for years.

She is a common figure at community events, more often as a volunteer than as a guest. You may have spotted her handing out tickets or drinks at the Clinton Memorial Hall, or you might run into her at a family outing. She is not only an active volunteer, but a mother of four and a grandmother of six.

Andy and Yvette May presented Westcott with a bouquet of flowers and her commemorative plaque. Westcott was smiling but speechless as she accepted her award.

On behalf of all Clintonites, we must thank Alfreda for all she has done and continues to do for our little Village. Her efforts are a testament to the positive impact one individual can have on their community.

As always, thank you to the organizers of the event, including the many sponsors who donated door prizes. A special thanks to Dina Connon and Alice Crosson.

The Volunteer Appreciation and Citizen of the Year Reception is hosted annually by the Spirit of Clinton Committee. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Hall, and everyone is welcome to join our collaborative group of volunteers.

Most of the community organizations in Clinton are looking for members. It’s never too late to discover a new club that piques your interest and get involved. As Mayor Swan advised in her address, “Local government can provide the infrastructure [a community needs], but it is the volunteers who provide the heart.”

Sponsors for the evening included Bubbles Blossom and Design, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, the Cariboo Lodge, Home Hardware, Petro-Canada, Gardenside Pottery, Gold Mountain Restaurant, Junctions Coffee House, Kit Haourt Massage, Peace Within Holistic Therapy, Mayor Susan Swan, TNRD Director Sally Watson, True Consulting, the Village of Clinton, West Fraser Chasm, and many more.

Seedy Sunday Recap

Clinton’s Communities in Bloom Committee saw another Seedy Sunday pass by with success and a little sunshine, too. The event ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 24 at the Memorial Hall and was attended by community members young and old. The composting workshop hosted at 11 a.m. was a highlight of the event.

Volunteers served up chill, homemade soup, and cornbread at the concession, but there were also free samples to taste onsite, such as freshly rooted sun-chokes and cured pork sausage, available from vendors inside and outside the Hall.

Information for gardeners and would-be gardeners was abundant at Seedy Sunday. There were booths from Master Gardeners and compost experts, as well as produce for sale and seed exchanges, too. Field guides on noxious weeds and invasive plants were provided, and Mayor Susan Swan had lots of useful information to share at her booth. Other gardeners shared tips on how to plan your garden or regenerate soil for the season, while some locals sat at tables to enjoy food and a chat.

Visitors could have come away from Seedy Sunday with a sack full of seeds and a carton of farm fresh eggs—like I did—or perhaps leave with a new gardening apron and a bag of organic soil. There was plenty on display—from honey to spice rubs—and plenty more to take home from the event, new knowledge included.

If you are interested in learning more about the Clinton Communities in Bloom Committee and Gardening Club, feel free to contact Yvette May at (250) 459-7725. The group is always seeking new members who would like to contribute to the beautification of the Village through garden projects, special events, and more.

Do you have Clinton news? Contact Raven Nyman at

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