Anne Evans receives the 2020 President’s Award from Special Olympics BC. From left to right at the home of Anne Evans are Hollie Young (volunteer with Special O), Anne Evans, Liz Riddles (funding coordinator for Special O) and Grace Todd (treasurer for Special O). (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Port Alberni’s Anne Evans awarded by Special Olympics BC

Longtime volunteer coordinator recognized with the 2020 President’s Award

Port Alberni Special Olympics volunteer coordinator Anne Evans has been recognized by Special Olympics BC with the 2020 President’s Award.

Every year, the President’s Award is presented by Special Olympics BC to a non-coaching volunteer who is dedicated to planning, organizing and operating sport programs, fundraisers or competitions.

”Anne Evans is known for her positive attitude and diverse skill set, with the ability to step into any role as the need arises,” said Special Olympics BC president and CEO Dan Howe during a special virtual award ceremony last week. “She has worked tirelessly behind the scenes, is an outstanding champion for Special Olympics and a joyful cheerleader for many athletes.”

Evans has been involved with Port Alberni’s Special Olympics chapter since its inception in 1985.

“She has been a source of knowledge and expertise from which others can draw from, graciously sharing her expertise to help with everything from athlete recognition to conflict resolution,” explained Howe.

Evans is a longtime advocate for inclusion, organizing the annual athlete banquet and awards ceremony and decorating floats for local parades. She also coordinates fundraising events throughout the year, such as a silent auction at Char’s Landing, which provides the Port Alberni chapter with additional funds to supplement their ongoing programs.

READ MORE: Port Alberni Special Olympians awarded

According to Special Olympics BC, Evans’ nominators said that she spreads positive energy to everyone she meets in the organization. “Port Alberni is fortunate to have her dedication, spirit, and commitment for all of these years,” said her nominators. “She is a gift to this organization!”

Evans thanked her nominators for the recognition.

“Port Alberni is known as the city with a heart and I have witnessed this often through Special Olympics,” she said. “During my 35 years of volunteering, it has brought so much joy to my life witnessing children with intellectual challenges become confident and respectful of others through this wonderful organization. I have spoken to parents who were so thrilled that their daughter who has autism would now leave her bedroom to socialize. This young woman has gone on to win a gold medal with her bowling team at the winter games, qualifying them to attend the 2020 National Games. The accomplishments and the camaraderie of all our athletes and volunteers have kept me motivated to continue on volunteering for this wonderful organization.”

Evans wasn’t the only one from Port Alberni to be recognized by Special Olympics BC. Port Alberni athlete Cheyenne Jokinen was also nominated for the Athletic Achievement Award this year, which is presented to an athlete who has demonstrated outstanding athletic skill in practice and competition.

The winner of this year’s Athletic Achievement Award was Tanya Norman of Powell River.

— with files from Sonja Drinkwater

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Anne Evans (right) is the 2020 President’s Award winner for Special Olympics BC. (PHOTO COURTESY SPECIAL OLYMPICS BC)

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