Anita Tozer Memorial Award - bestowed by Mayor & Council

Home / Our community / News & events / Civic & Community Awards / Anita Tozer Memorial Award - bestowed by Mayor & Council

Anita Tozer was best known as a humanitarian devoted to the welfare of others.  She dedicated the last third of her life to volunteering, most notably with the United Way of the Central & South Okanagan/Similkameen.  She served the United Way in almost every position over a period of 25 years.  Anita Tozer was a recipient of the Sarah Donalda Treadgold Memorial Award in 1991.

Anita Tozer passed away on July 10, 2000 at the age of 72. 

Award Criteria

The Anita Tozer Memorial Award is awarded to an individual or group in recognition of an extraordinary and positive contribution to the quality of life in Kelowna.

This award is not open to the public for nominating, as each year it is selected and presented by Mayor and Council.

2019 Anita Tozer Memorial Award Recipient

Randy Benson
When Randy Benson came to Kelowna in 1993, it was to become a youth pastor at Willow Park Church. Once established in the City and well aware of the homeless situation, when the role of executive director of the Gospel Mission opened up in 2001, Randy took it on, thinking it would only be an interim position. Fast forward 19 years to today and you’ll still find Randy there, using all the powers of his trade to help people turn their lives around.

For nearly twenty years Randy has supported Kelowna’s vulnerable population and even with the number of people experiencing homelessness growing in recent years, Randy simply does not give up hope.  In his words he says, “We serve many and we rescue some. And the fact that we do see people saved from lifestyles that are destructive and we see them get back on their feet... I really believe we’re doing important work.”

Having turned 65, Randy has announced he will retire this coming summer. He will leave some very big shoes to fill. Congratulations to Randy Benson, the 2019 winner of the Anita Tozer Memorial Award.

Past Recipients of the Award
  • 2018 - Journey Home Task Force
  • 2017 - Jimmy LeGuilloux
  • 2016 - Murli Pendharker
  • 2015 - Sharon Shepherd
  • 2014 - Arion Therapeutic Farm
  • 2013 - Gospel Mission Dental Clinic
  • 2012 - Tim Schroeder
  • 2011 - Dr. Barry Urness
  • 2010 - Beryl Itani
  • 2009 - Herb Sullivan
  • 2008 - Reverend Albert Baldeo
  • 2007 - Clarence Johnson
  • 2006 - Fernbrae Manor & Quigley Elementary
  • 2005 - Gordon Hartley
  • 2004 - Mastercard Memorial Cup 2004 Society
  • 2003 - Emergency Operations Group
  • 2002 - Mike Roberts
  • 2001 - Tom Rothery
  • 2000 - United Way of the Central & South Okanagan/Similkameen