Congratulations to Wayne Wood, recipient of Penticton Sunrise Rotary's Unsung Citizen!  President Alex presented Wayne with a Paul Harris Fellow for his work with the Peach City Beach Cruise and the Apex Ski Patrol.
Beach Cruise’s Wayne Wood garners Rotary Unsung Citizen Award The Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise honoured Wayne Wood, a tireless, community-minded volunteer, with the Unsung Citizen of Penticton Award at its meeting on Tuesday, April 5th. The award is given to recognize area residents who quietly undertake impactful altruistic deeds that serve to enrich our social tapestry and create a more vibrant, cohesive, and inclusive community. An awardee also becomes a ‘Paul Harris Fellow.’ The title, named to commemorate Rotary’s renowned founder, constitutes the highest distinction that the international service movement can confer on a non-member. Bestowing PHF recognition requires that our Club donate US$1,000, in the name of the recipient, to The Rotary Foundation to further its many laudable humanitarian and educational projects around the globe. First and foremost, Wood is being commended for the exceptional leadership he has provided as the longstanding President of the Penticton Historic Automobile Society – the governing body formed in 2001 by the late vintage car enthusiast Ken Paton to run the Peach City Beach Cruise. The annual event has grown increasingly in popularity with Wood’s steady hand at the tiller to become western Canada’s premier, 3-day car show. The Beach Cruise typically attracts a full house of 850 car entries and an accompanying 2,000 visitors from all over western Canada and northwest U.S and an additional 8,000 who come to enjoy one or more specific activities. Hence the event serves as a real boon to the local economy, bringing in an estimated $1.5 million to kick off the summer tourist season. “Our organization’s main goal is to hold the best car show possible with any proceeds being donated to worthy charitable groups, such as BC Children’s Hospital, SD67 Breakfast Program, Okanagan Motorcycle Riders Toy Run and SD67 Automotive Trades Bursary,” said Wood. The organization’s expressed goal has been achieved in spades with a broad family-orientated program with something for everyone. Past program highlights have included: a wine tasting tour, scenic winding backroad cruise and Ladies Walk and Shop, as well as nonstop live entertainment at Gyro Park and Old Boys with their Toys (vintage tractors and machinery display). Wood’s incredible ability to focus on the tasks at hand and provide timely, hands-on solutions to pressing issues place him at the epicenter of the Beach Cruise planning team. For example, he has routinely taken on the arduous task of serving as the main negotiator with multiple city departments in drawing up plans for each year’s event. “Clearly, Wayne is the driving force behind the highly successful Beach Cruise, but his sincere modesty and gratitude compel him to impulsively assign credit to the 12-15 directors and 350 volunteers around him. Without his endowed ability to identify and delegate tasks effectively, tirelessly recruit new top-flight directors, and inspire others, the Beach Cruise would not happen,” said Ray Lamothe, Vice-President, PHAS and Registrar, PCBC. An avid skier, Wood joined the Apex Volunteer Ski Patrol in 1998, and has had a massive impact on the program from the get-go to this very day. Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) were added to the training program at Wood’s initiation. Shortly after receiving medical approval, a person’s life was saved, thanks to having the training in place. Even when wintering in Arizona after retiring as a highly respected physics/computer sciences teacher at Pen Hi in 2006, he continued as a valued dry land instructor in the fall and would return mid-March to actively patrol until the venue closed. With his snow birding days behind him, he now volunteers for the full skiing season. “I have been with Wayne during some critical incidents and have witnessed firsthand how his quiet dignified demeanor and consummate professionalism have had a calming influence. As an exceptional first aider, the younger, less experienced patrollers have learned volumes being around him,” said Paul Hirschfield, Past Director, Apex Ski Patrol. Wood is also a greatly appreciated resident of the Sandbridge community, where he has served with distinction as Strata Council President. “I have never sat on a board with a more competent head, nor one who works so hard. Endowed with excellent communication skills, he goes the extra mile to provide full transparency in Council matters and meets personally with unhappy owners to address their problems through open dialogue,” said Colleen Lister, Treasurer, The Owners, Strata KAS 894, Sandbridge. At his very core, Wood is, above all else, a people’s person. “Volunteering affords me the pleasure of meeting and working with many interesting, like-minded people from all walks of life whose paths I would not normally cross,” said Wood. Over the years, he has provided first aid support at Grand Fondo events and Three Blind Mice Mountain Bike Competitions while he and his wife, Valerie, have eagerly helped at Ironman and, most recently, as volunteers at COVID-19 Immunization Clinics. In view of his vital role in orchestrating the Peach City Beach Cruise, Penticton’s acclaimed car show, coupled with an extensive body of other selfless community services, Wayne Wood personifies Rotary’s service-above-self guiding motto and hence is a truly worthy recipient of the Unsung Citizen of Penticton Award. Ivan McLelland, the late Alan Dawkins, Tracy Fehr, Bob Anderson, Jean Kearney, Sandra Richardson and Harvie Barker are prior recipients of the Unsung Citizen of Penticton Award.