Her efforts have never gone unnoticed by the many people she helps on a regular basis, but now the Queen has taken note — officially at least. Jeannie Cramer was presented the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers last Friday during a ceremony held at Town Hall.
Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach had the honour of presenting the medal.
“Smithers is a community run on the volunteer power of people, residents who have incredibly big hearts, and Jeannie is one of those people,” Bachrach told the crowd of 60-plus who packed council chambers.
Family from the Smithers area and visiting for Jeannie’s son Jamie’s birthday were on hand to witness the event, including her son Daniel, husband Victor, mother Lorraine Lovestrom, sister Karen Perreault, and great nieces Hope and Shaylee Perreault. Her children Tanya and Kertus had to send their proud regards from afar.
“Before she started the Special Olympics, she also was a coach through all of her children’s lives,” pointed out her son Daniel.
“So that 20-year span probably goes over a 40-year span of volunteering within the valley … I’m glad you were my coach growing up, so thank-you mom.”
The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers replaced the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award this year. Winners must “demonstrated an exemplary commitment through their dedicated volunteerism.”
Cramer also was recognized as BC Special Olympics coach of the year this year. Parents and their Special Olympic athlete children thanked Cramer with flowers after the medal dedication.
“I’ve probably had more than 200 athletes come through over the years,” Cramer told the crowd. “All of these individuals are wonderful to work with because they give you 110 per cent, every time they’re their … you just get everything back from them.”