Six Kamloops residents to receive awards from Governor General

By James Peters
March 2, 2016 - 11:34am Updated: March 2, 2016 - 5:03pm

KAMLOOPS — It was a frightening hostage taking that resulted in a 7 hour police standoff, and ended in a major explosion and fire. Now, the girl who rescued two children from this Dufferin home nearly 4 years ago, is being recognized for her bravery that day.

"There was a big fire cracker sound and smoke coming out of a present box when I went downstairs, and so I'm like, okay, something's not right," says Shannon Young.

Leading Air Cadet Shannon Young is being awarded with a Decoration for Bravery by the Governor General, it's not the first time this Kamloops teen has been honoured for her quick actions in the face of danger. On May 17th, 2012 a distraught man stormed into her family's home on Cannel Drive, armed with explosives he fired a shotgun into the ceiling and took Shannon's mother hostage. The then 13 year old, hid her younger sister and a friend in an upstairs room, until it was safe to guide them out. 

"I went to go get them and I told them it was a spy mission, so they would be quiet and I got them out of the house," says Young.

Shannon Young is one of 6 Kamloops residents who will receive awards presented by Governor General David Johnston this week. A medal of bravery will also be given to the 3 men, who's quick thinking led to a dramatic rescue saving a woman from drowning in the icy waters of the Thompson River. 

"We had to make sure we didn't have 2 catastrophe's and that basically is what was going through my mind, but in that kind of situation you do exactly what has to be done and that's what we did," says Bob Reid.

On January 23rd, 2013 Tom Blair, Bert Kent, and Bob Reid had just finished a hockey game, when they noticed a woman had fallen through the ice. They jumped into action, ran towards the riverbank and formed a human chain on the thin, fragile ice, to pull the woman and her two dogs to safety.

"As we were trying to pull her in, Bobby had my feet, Bert had her by the side and she was caught on the ice so we were having a hard time pulling her up the edge, but we got her up," says Tom Blair.

Paul and Linda Blanchet will receive Caring Canadian Awards for their work volunteering with the Alzheimer Society of Canada. For the past 3 years, Linda has been living with the disease, she served as the face of the 2014 Walk for Memories, and raised over $30,000. Linda and her husband Paul, work tirelessly to reduce the stigma and support people living with dementia. 

"The disease is terminal, we don't know how long, we don't know how fast, what I know today is that I can enjoy today with Linda and my family," says Paul Blanchet.

The Governor General presents honours on behalf of all Canadians in communities across the country to share inspiring stories, and celebrate tremendous contributions to society.

Three other Kamloops-area residents will also be honoured.

Betty Doberstein of Merritt will receive a Caring Canadian Award for her work with the Nicola Valley Health Care Auxiliary.

Duncan Barnett of 150 Mile House will receive a Caring Canadian Award for his work to protect agricultural lands.

And Lori Fry of 150 Mile will receive a Caring Canadian Award for her work with the Canadian Council of the Blind.

All of the honorees will be given their awards during a ceremony Friday in Vancouver.

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