Linda Van Alphen was honoured for her dedication and support to the community as she received the Citizen of the Year award on Saturday, April 1.
The award was one of 16 presented at the 83rd annual Summerland Business and Community Excellence Awards.
Van Alphen, who has lived in Summerland since 1988, operates the Penticton Farmers Market and the Rotary Summerland, Sunday Market.
She is also involved with the Penny Lane Packs food program in Summerland and the Seed to Feed program.
In 2018, she set up the Summerland Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Sharing Stand, which she continues to manage. The stand is open each Tuesday at the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre, providing surplus food from farmers and gardeners to those who need it.
In 2022, the stand distributed more than 4,000 kilograms (9,000 pounds) of food, with an estimated value of $24,000.
Van Alphen has also served as one of the two Summerland trustees on the Okanagan Skaha school board. She has been on the school board for the past 21 years.
“How lucky am I? I get to do what I love to do in the town that I love, in a town that we purposely chose to come to,” she said as she received her award. “How lucky am I that I’m able to help out in the community in some way, shape or form.”
In 2017, Van Alphen received her certificate in community economic development from Simon Fraser University. She owns and operates Colibri Community Economic Development in Summerland, where she is able to put her economic development knowledge to use.
In 2022, she received a Level 2 Paul Harris Fellowship Recognition from the Rotary Club of Summerland.
The award was given for her ongoing service to the community.
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