Blossom Festival News 2022

Creston Valley's Citizen's of the Year Awards for 2022

2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Retia Wigen

COTY 2022
Citizens of the Year announced at Blossom Fest
Citizen of the Year Retia Wigen accepts her award with her son by her side. (Photos by Kelsey Yates)
By Kelsey Yates
After a two-year hiatus, the opening ceremonies
of the Creston Valley Blossom
Festival were full of excitement.
On Friday, May 20, a full house was seated
at the Kootenay River Secondary School
Theatre to enjoy live entertainment from
Discover Circus and the Metre Maids.
At intermission, the much anticipated Citizen
of the Year Awards were announced by
the Creston Valley Rotary Club. Previously,
the awards had been organized by the late
John Huscroft, who was honoured in memory
at the event.
The 2022 Citizen of the Year is Retia Wigen... “She been a selfless and tireless worker for many causes throughout her life,” said presenter Jason Truscott. “To this day at age 83, is the baby three, she is still donating as much as she can. At the present time, she’s still busy knitting and crocheting baby blankets donating them to whoever needs them, including hospitals and newborn outreach programs.” Wigen is a member of one of the original founding families that settled in Creston. “She has never lost touch with her humble beginnings, as she had to work very hard as a young child to keep her family farm alive,” said Truscott.
“She’s never lost that work ethic throughout her life.” For 20 years in the Wynndel community, she organized and managed banquets at the community hall, serving over 100 guests at a time. For years, she also donated up to 80 cakes for the Wynndel Christmas sale along with many other items. She has also been very deeply involved with local golf, curling, and bowling events and was a member of the executive boards organizing the tournaments. She also aided the organizations by personally transporting members so they could participate.
Wigen was a member of the Red Cross for more than 20 years and hosted meetings in her home. Throughout her life, her generosity has known no bounds. She sold hundreds of pajamas, baby clothing items, and crafts to help raise money for the Red Cross, Creston Valley Hospital, and others. She has also sewn hundreds of beautiful quilts and donated them to hospitals, schools, and the needy. Her kindness also included donating baked goods and garden vegetables far and wide. “[Wigen] has spent much of the time in her life dedicated to helping others and not thinking much of herself,” said Truscott. “She has a habit to keep busy in her life, so she will keep giving until she can’t anymore.”


2022 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR –Nicole Cobbe

JCOTY 2022

Junior Citizen of the Year Nicole Cobbe is honoured by award presenter Nicole Nixon, (Photos by Kelsey Yates)
By Kelsey Yates

Nicole Cobbe was announced as the recipient.
“The winner of this year’s award has contributed
to the community while living with a disability, but most importantly, is just a
good kid,” said Nicole Nixon, presenting
the award on behalf of her father, Huscroft.
“One of the obstacles she has had to overcome
is missing out on so many activities, as
she has had many medical procedures and
appointments in Vancouver. Yet, she remains
upbeat. COVID has also been very difficult
for her as she has an underlying medical
condition and has been very isolated these
last few years. However, her incredible attitude
has kept her feeling positive throughout
these difficult times.”
Cobbe helps out at the local orchard with
her family by socializing with customers
along with her dog.
She’s an active participant in the Art Barn
and is also involved with Blind Beginnings,
a group of children across Canada that have
visual impairments.
“She’s loved by everyone that meets her,
and I can attest to this,” said Nixon.


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