Richmond's community heroes honoured at Volunteers are Stars

Tyler Lorenz receives a star with his father Ted’s name for Volunteer Richmond executive director Elizabeth Specht. - Rob Newell
Tyler Lorenz receives a star with his father Ted’s name for Volunteer Richmond executive director Elizabeth Specht.
— image credit: Rob Newell

As many of Richmond's most noble citizens were honoured Wednesday at the 13th annual Volunteers are Stars Gala Dinner and Awards at River Rock Casino Resort, a star was dedicated in memory of one of its longest serving and distinguished volunteers.

The star, listed with the International Star Registry, celebrates the life of Ted Lorenz who dedicated 60-plus years to bettering his community.

"He served a lengthy career with the fire department but he never retired from volunteering. His handprints are everywhere," said Elizabeth Specht, executive director of Volunteer Richmond which hosts the annual awards celebrating the individual and group accomplishments of volunteers, non-profit groups and caring companies.

Accepting on behalf of his father, who passed away Feb. 20 at the age of 81, Tyler Lorenz said his dad was always happy to do his part to leave the community a bit better than he found it.

"He left a beautiful garden in bloom and we are the new gardeners," said Tyler.

Four Constellation Awards recognized individuals and groups for their community service: Jim Lamond, Linda Wong, the Richmond Restorative Justice Program and the Nite of Hope committee.

Winning Shooting Star Awards for youth were Steven Chen and Hans Choi, while the Nova Star Award for innovation was presented to RichCity Idol. The Shining Star Award, recognizing caring companies, was awarded to Lansdowne Centre, and the Milan Ilich Award for leadership was presented to Barbara Goodwin.

As the lifeblood of any community, volunteers have the capacity to help shape the future. It's on this foundation that the Canadian Museum of Human Rights looks to help build a better tomorrow.

"(Volunteers) are living proof that each of us has the ability to transform the world we live in," keynote speaker Pauline Rafferty told the audience.

Rafferty, who is a trustee with the museum scheduled to open Sept. 20 in Winnipeg, said the museum will be "one of a kind."

"It will be a place to explore human rights from a Canadian perspective and to inspire change," she said. "It will be a beacon of hope for people around the world."

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