Media releases | June 02, 2006

EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta will be honouring Betty Mardiros of Edmonton and Ron and Lynda Jonson of Hinton with the first annual Public Interest Awards.The Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 3rd from 3:00 - 3:30 PM in the auditorium of Barnett House (11010 - 142 St) at the Annual General meeting of PIA.The awards are given annually to up to two people and/or organizations making an exemplary contribution by effectively drawing public attention to and taking action on the importance of preserving and enhancing an element of public services, public institutions, public spaces, the public good or the public interest.Betty Mardiros has been involved in support of international social justice issues, refugees, peace and been one of the driving forces behind the Edmonton Raging Grannies. The Grannies are always ready to come out and sing their satirical songs of social significance.“Betty Mardiros is an example of life-long work and commitment to the public interest in Alberta, Canada and internationally” says Ricardo Acuna, Executive Director of Parkland Institute. “She has been an active player and participant in virtually every action that has been organized in this province in defence of the public interest for over 40 years”.Ron and Lynda Jonson are being recognized for their outstanding contribution to making Alberta a better place for all of us through their work on continuing care issues. Their commitment to raise public awareness about senior’s care issues involved visiting continuing care facilities across the province to investigate staffing levels and to hear the concerns of residents and families.Harvey Voogd, Coordinator of Friends of Medicare, says, “I nominated Ron and Lynda for the Public Interest award because they walk the talk of caring for others. They are tenacious in their pursuit of justice and willing to make the sacrifice necessary to pursue the public interest. Traveling all over Alberta for 18 months and visiting over 100 long-term and continuing care facilities on their time and money is evidence of that”.- 30 -