This National Volunteer Week, we’re thanking the volunteers who make our work possible

April 7 - 13 is National Volunteer Week and this year’s theme is “The volunteer factor – Lifting communities.” The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s more than 750 volunteers in programs and services, events and advocacy lift people affected by dementia in communities across the province every day. We are grateful to the volunteers who give their time to help provide support for the estimated 70,000 British Columbians living with dementia and their families. 

As a part of National Volunteer Week, we’re looking back at the recipients of our 2018 Alzheimer Society of B.C. Volunteer Recognition Awards: four individuals who went above and beyond to show people affected by dementia in their communities that they’re not alone. 

“This was a perfect way for me to give back and add value by providing support to the front-line staff in Kelowna and help them help as many people as possible,” said Wendy Landree, Award of Merit recipient who had been looking for opportunities to support seniors in her community when she retired in 2015 and began volunteering in the Kelowna Resource Centre. “Not only to ensure that no one with dementia feels isolated or alone, but also to support the caregivers and help guide them along in their journey with that person they are caring for.”

Elise Willson received the Award of Community Service, inspired by Lola Turik. The award honours volunteers who have demonstrated leadership through their volunteer work at the grassroots level in rural or small municipalities. Elise has been volunteering for the Society for over 12 years, starting the first caregiver support group in Qualicum Beach. She went on to co-found the Oceanside Dementia Education Task Team (ODETT), which has been organizing viewings of dementia-related videos several times per month since 2009.

Wendy Landree received the Award of Merit, inspired by Twigg White. The award honours volunteers who demonstrate commitment to the cause, empathy towards the needs of caregivers and a sense of humour in the face of obstacles. Wendy became a mainstay at the Kelowna Resource Centre, racking up over 1,000 hours in just the last three years to provide essential front and back office support. 

Doug McMorland received the Award of Hope, inspired by Mike Crowe. The award honours volunteers who are living with dementia and have demonstrated courage, leadership and support for others, as well as having acted as a role model while raising awareness. Doug was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2002 and went on to become a co-facilitator of one of our longest-running early stage support groups and a frequent speaker for our Shaping the Journey workshops. Doug’s courage and openness in sharing his journey with others has sparked hope and possibility for countless others.

Ron Angell received the Award of Leadership, inspired by Clyde and Lanny Slade. The award honours volunteers who have demonstrated strong leadership and vision, and have been agents for long-term change. Ron has contributed nine years as a caregiver support group facilitator and has been the Chair of the Chilliwack/Fraser Valley IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s for almost as long. 

We’re grateful for all of the volunteers whose constant dedication furthers our work for British Columbians affected by dementia, including all those committed individuals nominated for volunteer recognition awards in 2018.

To learn more about our current volunteer opportunities, visit

Pictured above, Doug McMorland receives the Award of Hope at the Alzheimer's Awareness Month open house at our Fraser Resource Centre in January. Doug is joined by (from left) Alzheimer Society of B.C. Volunteer Board Chair Robert Piasentin, Avalon Tournier, Support and Education Coordinator, First Link®, and Sara Wagner, North Fraser Regional Manager.

Last Updated: 04/05/2019