Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat in Maple Ridge awarded a private one night stay to three winners who recognized for keeping their community safe during the pandemic. The retreat received 77 nomination. (Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat/Facebook)

Paramedics and seniors care home server awarded private lakeside retreat in Maple Ridge

Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat Centre called for nominees keeping their community safe during COVID-19

There was originally a single grand prize up for grabs, but it proved difficult to select just one winner for a night stay at a lakeside retreat, so instead Look Lake Lodge & Retreat Centre in Maple Ridge picked three winners to celebrate who have been keeping their community safe during the ongoing pandemic.

Operators of the retreat put the call out in May for nominations to celebrate an “essential somebody.”

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“We read nominations for teachers, nurses, doctors, Translink employees, care aids, retailers, an automotive mechanic that is new to Canada, and a caterer with a big heart,” said a post from the organization online. “Each nominee is going above and beyond to protect us, to care for us, to give back, pay forward, work a little harder, and selflessly volunteer a little more.”

Once the contest closed mid May organizers were left with the difficult decision to select just one winner among the 77 nominees.

“We decided that we couldn’t possibly give out just one prize, that if we could, we would try to do a little more ourselves – so we made it three. Even still, there remains so many deserving people,” the online post reads.

Justine Campbell nominated her dad Wayne Mitchell who was selected as one of the three winners.

“My dad has been a paramedic for well over 20 years,” Campbell’s nomination for her dad read online.

“He will be 63 this June, and is still working full-time,” the post continued. “With seniors being at a much higher risk for symptoms of COVID-19, our family has been very worried about our dad being on the front lines. In his typical fashion, he continues to work despite this risk and the stress in order to support the community and those in need.”

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Zenobia Wall was also selected as a winner after being nominated by her daughter Jessica Wall.

“My mom is a server inside Chartwell Willow Retirement Community which is a care home in Maple Ridge. She is a server on the lower floor and serves the most vulnerable seniors who are suffering from dementia and require maximum care,” Jessica said about her mom on the retreat’s website.

“When I asked my mom why she wouldn’t consider retiring or taking time off during this stressful period, she insisted that this just wasn’t an option. ‘The seniors need me’ she said ‘it is very stressful for them and they need comfort.’”

And finally, Asheton Finnson was nominated by her mother-in-law Gail Finnson, who says Asheton has been a full-time paramedic with BC Ambulance for more than 10 years.

READ MORE: Only British Columbians allowed to camp in provincial parks this summer amid COVID-19

“Even with two toddlers at home she continues to give her all during her 12 hours shifts,” Gail wrote about Asheton in her nomination. “She is such a dedicated, caring professional. She has transported many people struggling with COVID-19 and cares for them with great compassion. She’s looking tired, and a little break at beautiful Loon Lake would be amazing.”

The prize – valued at about $650 – includes a one-night log cabin accommodation, a fireside dinner, sunrise breakfast, access to the canoes and paddleboards, serene nature trails, and a campfire with S’mores that must be used before the end of June.


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