The Community Builder Award criteria: “Someone who has taken the initiative to engage a variety of local residents in an innovative or new community project or event. The initiative may assist different groups to work together, address a gap in community participation, or result in a more inclusive, engaged community.”
The 2020 Community Builder Award, sponsored by Prestige Local Alarm Monitoring Station, goes to Jo Berry:
The face of RunClub and Boogie the Bridge, Jo Berry is grateful to be honoured with KTW’s Community Leadership Award in the Community Builder category.
“I always see leadership as being a support person, so I’m honoured,” she said. “It’s really humbling and really sweet. I’m really thankful for the recognition. I’m a big believer in service.”
Berry was one of four founders of Boogie the Bridge in 1998. It started as a way to raise money for the community, and it’s grown into one of Kamloops’ most popular annual events — and one of the city’s most successful community fundraisers.
RunClub members and Boogie participants have described Berry’s enthusiasm as infectious. Anyone who has heard Berry speak likely knows what they mean.
In recent years, Boogie participation has been near the 3,000 mark. Berry said she hopes to see the event continue to grow — up to about 6,000 participants annually.
The 2020 Boogie was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Berry is still looking for ways to help.
“A community builder is someone who brings community together, and during this pandemic was a super important time to reach out and reach in for our community,” she said.
“I think a community builder is someone who drives community development projects that bring that energy and that synergy together to help people. It’s someone who loves to bring people together and, for me, personally, it’s all about personal health and well-being — just developing projects that help people.”