Chris Vlanich, president and secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Trail, (left) presents the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada’s Mel Osborne Diamond Award plaque, medallions and diamond lapel pin to Brian Pipes. (Submitted photo)

Kiwanis celebrates 75 years, presents prestigious award to Brian Pipes

Kiwanian Brian Pipes earns Mel Osborne Diamond Award for Outstanding Service to the Community.

The Kiwanis Club of Trail presented Montrose resident Brian Pipes with one of its most prestigious awards.

Kiwanis celebrated its 75th Anniversary on Sept. 22 with a barbecue in the club’s picnic area at Beaver Creek Provincial Park.

The event culminated in club president, Chris Vlanich, awarding Pipes the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada’s Mel Osborne Diamond Award for ‘Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Community.’

“It’s a nice honour to have,” said Pipes. “Happy, honoured, but really mixed feelings. Emotional, because at the end, I thought I was going to hold it together, at the end I didn’t, because back in 2004-2005, Kiwanis probably saved my life.”

The members and their volunteer work afforded Pipes the support he needed when his wife, Joyce, fell ill and passed away in 2006.

“I hate talking about this, but it gave me focus, somewhere to devote my energies to at that time, along with Babe Ruth baseball,” Pipes shared.

“Because without those two, I don’t know what I would have done.”

For almost 30 years Pipes has been a member. Through it all, the club has kept him involved and invested in the community, helped him grow and come to know the true meaning of being a ‘Kiwanian’.

“It’s not really an individual award it’s a team award, and I wouldn’t have been there if it hadn’t been for certain people.”

Pipes was also integral to a number of Kiwanis initiatives, in particular the Canada Day celebrations at Beaver Creek Provincial Park every July 1 and the annual Kiwanis Christmas tree fundraiser.

Both have been a staple of the Greater Trail community for decades.

Since taking over Beaver Creek park in 1994, Kiwanis has invested well over $400,000 in the facility including picnic tables, bathrooms, 19 campsites and a new soccer pitch.

They have made it a beautiful and tranquil escape and a favourite place for families to gather for picnics, camping, hiking, fishing and boating.

Pipes dedication to the Christmas tree fundraiser, which currently goes at Butler Park every December, is inspiring.

“This is our major fundraiser,” said Pipes in a previous Times interview. “We wouldn’t be able to support the community without Christmas tree sales.

“I would go as far as to say, that there is not a person or family in this town that has not benefited some way through the donations from Christmas tree sales, whether it is family, friends, or someone they know.”

Money raised helps support over 30 charities and non-profit organizations in Greater Trail, and is dispersed in bursaries to many of the area’s graduating students.

But philanthropy is not the only reason Pipes has volunteered hundreds of hours over the years.

“What I really get out of this, is events like Silver City Days, Canada Day, the Christmas Trees, I get to see old friends, people that I haven’t seen since last year, and putting smiles on people’s faces makes it all worthwhile.”

In addition, Pipes has received many honours through his involvement in sport and the community both in coaching, volunteering and administrative work.

The longtime coach was selected to the Home of Champions Monument twice for his contributions to Babe Ruth Baseball and girls softball.

He is also a recipient of the Pacific North West Roll of Honor Award, an elected member of the B.C. Babe Ruth Hall of Fame and Baseball BC’s Hall of Fame, where he received the prestigious Silver Diamond Award.

In 2011, Pipes was inducted into Softball BC’s Hall of Fame for outstanding meritous service.

Pipes soon turns 79 and while he’s still active, age, he says, has taken it’s toll.

These days, he takes more time to reflect and tries hard to appreciate the meaningful moments – like this one.

“Kiwanis has been very, very good to me. I hope I have been good for them.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo: Rose Karges
Blue about snow?

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size editor@trailtimes.ca

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Some amendments have been made to the bylaw since it passed first reading. File photo
Second public hearing set for Rossland chicken bylaw

Amended bylaw would now require electric fencing to be put around yards with chickens

File
Cooperation needed so minority Parliament can function smoothly

“We will continue to work with the other parties to get answers … ”

Katrine Conroy has won for the fifth time in the Kootenay West riding. Photo: Submitted
Katrine Conroy ready to tackle challenges after election

Conroy won the Kootenay West riding for the fifth time

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read