Dianne Miller has always been a behind-the-scenes type of helper.
So she’s understandably nervous about taking centre stage Friday night to receive community recognition all on her own as the 2018 Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year.
Dianne has been there before, but in her comfort zone as part of a group, when the Beaver Valley Blooming Society received the honour in 2013.
“I was floored when they contacted me a few weeks ago,” she said. “This was the last thing I thought was going to happen because I am not a person who stands out there (in front), whenever I go to something I usually head straight to the kitchen.”
She has a simple explanation as to what has stoked her fire for volunteering all these decades, though the affable Dianne admits she’s had to slow down this year.
“I am the sort that if it needed to be done, somebody had to do it,” Diane said.
“It was a lot of fun and I always had a crowd with me to help. I can still do the odd thing, but my knees hurt now so I’ve narrowed it down to doing not very much anymore.”
After her family moved from Rossland to the Pend D’Oreille valley almost 60 years ago, Diane, now 74, has always been involved in community initiatives that elevated the profile of robust living in the Beaver Valley.
“A most energetic, committed, and enthusiastic promoter of Fruitvale and the larger Beaver Valley, Dianne has called Fruitvale home virtually all her life,” says Grace Terness from the Citizen of the Year committee. “Her accomplishments include community development, cultural activities, civic service, and community promotion. If there was something which need to be done and Dianne was asked, she’s invariably became involved.”
The list of Dianne’s achievements is lengthy as it dates back so many years.
But some of her contributions include: 13 years of service as Director for Community Futures and sat on the Community Economic Development Committee for Fruitvale and Area A; as part of the Miller’s home-based business called Intercept Satellite Systems, she became a key member of the Fruitvale Downtown Business Association and organized Street Fest; she joined the Beaver Valley Farmers’ Market in its inaugural year and chaired the committee for 10 years until the final market in 2011; Dianne organized the first train rides to Beaver Falls in 2001 while managing the farmers market; she launched a beautification project in the village then helped transition it into an informal Communities in Bloom group before it was formalized as the Beaver Valley Blooming Society; and, as a member of the Beaver Valley and Pend d’Oreille Historical Society, is always ready to provide thoughtful suggestions and contact locals who have useful items for the group.
Having been part of so many great causes and creative enterprises, the question becomes, ‘What hasn’t Dianne done?’
“I’ve never given a speech,” she told the Times.“So I’m trying to convince myself that I won’t pass out.
“Someone said to write it out on a piece of paper and don’t look at anybody when I am standing there,” Dianne laughed. “So I think I will try that.”
The community is invited to Dianne’s award presentation on Friday, May 25 at 7 p.m. in the Beaver Valley Curling Rink. The public ceremony kicks off Beaver Valley May Days and fireworks in Haines Park will follow the event.