Meet Burnaby’s 2021 local heroes

Five residents have been recognized as local heroes by the City of Burnaby.

Now in its 24th year, the Local Heroes Award highlights the accomplishments of those making Burnaby a better place through their volunteer and community-based work.

“This year’s nominees, like their predecessors, show many qualities of a hero,” stated the City of Burnaby in a release. “They have made noteworthy contributions to community well-being by spending countless hours improving the health, safety and quality of life of Burnaby’s citizens.”

Meet Burnaby’s 2021 local heroes below:

Eric Berkefeld

Eric Berkefeld has volunteered to help isolated seniors in Burnaby for over a decade. He is a volunteer driver for Citizen Support Services and uses his own car to drive seniors to monthly outings and social lunch events at the Confederation Seniors Centre. He also volunteered as a Phone Buddy, connecting with local seniors over the phone to curb loneliness and isolation during the pandemic. As well, Berkefeld has committed his time to volunteer at the local food bank. As a member of the Vancouver Welshman’s Choir, Berkefeld and his fellow singers have donated performance tickets to Citizen Support Services for several years to ensure seniors have the chance to enjoy live musical performances.

Rory Tennant

Rory Tennant has volunteered his time with Burnaby schools for over 20 years, helping students with their reading, writing, and math skills and also assisting teachers with day-to-day prep and classroom organization. “Rory manifests many qualities of a hero. He is kind, patient, compassionate, reliable, hard-working, and an exemplary model. He is welcoming by nature and students are eager to seek academic and social support from him. Rory understands the importance of building meaningful relationships with students so that they feel safe, valued, and ready to learn. He always treats children with respect, and as a result, gains their respect,” said his nominators.

Winnie Cheung

Winnie Cheung has spent over 12 years volunteering with organizations in order to create a greater understanding of cultural diversity. Cheung is the founder of the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre- Museum of Migration Society (PCHC-MoM). She’s worked closely with the Burnaby Village Museum and the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre to organize events. She has held several online workshops and events for PCHC-MoM during the course of the pandemic. She is also the director and advisor for the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS), organizing the explorAsian festivals.

Teresa Rasquinha

Teresa Rasquinha is one of the creators behind Ryan’s Rainbow Emergency Food Outreach, a Burnaby-based volunteer food security program. She has been volunteering with Ryan’s Rainbow Emergency Food Outreach since 2007 as a lead organizer and has worked with volunteers to deliver food to residents in need.

Raymond Chow, MStJ

Raymond Chow has volunteered with St John Ambulance in Burnaby since 1984. Starting as a cadet, Chow went on to form and lead the SFU Division in 1993, which later joined with the Burnaby Adult Division 304. He currently supervises 105 volunteers with the Florence Burwell Cadets as the Divisional Superintendent of St. John Ambulance Burnaby Division 389. He also works with youth and runs a program that provides them with leadership training.

Want to read about more amazing Burnaby residents? Check out our Burnaby Beacon 20 Under 20 list here.

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