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Lil Mack of Williams Lake honoured with BC Achievement Community Award

Mack has been an ever-present, quietly powerful literacy force in Williams Lake for several decades
Aside from being a retired librarian and member of the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy, Lil Mack advocates for literacy with her own little book box out front at her Ninth Avenue North home. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A longtime Williams Lake resident has been named as a recipient of this year’s BC Achievement Community Award.

Now in its 18th year offering the program, award recipients were announced May 10 by Premier John Horgan and Annie Giardini, OC, OBC, QC and Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, after an independent committee reviewed nominations.

“This year’s community awardees are, without exception, remarkable British Columbians who have strengthened their communities during challenging times,” Horgan said.

“As a result of their commitments to causes beyond themselves, they have ensured that B.C. is a better province for all of us.”

Mack has been an ever-present, quietly powerful literacy force in Williams Lake for several decades.

As one of the founders of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy in 1997, Mack continues to keep literacy front and centre, promoting early childhood, adult and financial literacy.

With her late husband, Bruce, Mack implemented the ‘Bright Red Bookshelf,’ a book-sharing platform with shelves all over Williams Lake.

Her own home has become a mini library with a ‘Take a Book’ box in the front yard.

Mack has initiated various festivals for families over the years including: Baby Fest, Children’s Fest and Family Fest, where she staffed a table to give away free books, packed in homemade book bags.

She was also instrumental in the first Relay for Life cancer fundraiser held in Williams Lake in 2005.

Lil and her daughter, Rana, brought the Roots of Empathy program to the community in an effort to address residential school-based inter-generational trauma.

Mack’s ‘no job is too big’ motto helped grow the group to 26 facilitators across the region.

READ MORE: Advocating for literacy

“It is a particular honour this year to recognize these 24 outstanding British Columbians,” Giardini said.

“This year’s recipients exemplify the spirit of the Community Award. Celebrating their achievements honours the very best of our province and inspires us all to public service and excellence.”

Community Award recipients are traditionally recognized in a formal presentation ceremony in Victoria in the presence of the Houn. Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of B.C. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021 awardees will instead be celebrated online and through BC Achievement’s digital #shinethelightbc campaign.

Each recipient receives a certificate and a medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson, OC honouring their achievements.

The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established in 2003 whose mission is to honour excellence to inspire achievement. The Community Award was the first initiative of the foundation.

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