History records a life: when we were born, our family connections, when we die a life-span of numbers, told in statistics. This is an easy means to chronicle who we are, yet it is the individual's contributions which tell what the person has achieved.
Since her departure this year, much has been written about the life and deeds of Anita Bennett Tozer daughter and sister of BC Premiers, married into a local pioneer family, and a well-known Kelowna-ite who contributed much to our community. At her funeral, she was eloquently eulogized by friends and colleagues who cited all that Anita had achieved in her years on this earth. A teacher by profession, Anita was perhaps best known as a humanitarian a person devoted to the welfare of others, and no where was this more evident than in her work with the United Way.
Anita dedicated one third of her life to working with the United Way. She served in almost every position, and over the last 25 years served as President (1981) and twice chaired the annual campaign, when it raised $380,076 in 1990, and the following year when she co-chaired the campaign with Colin Elliot and raised $396,000. Many thousands of donors over the years have received a letter thanking them for their donation personally signed by Anita. Many hundreds more received their letter, but with a personal note from her as well.
Dorothy Zoellner, a good friend of Anita's and a life-long volunteer herself, writes: "The quote to describe Anita's life comes to mind: 'May I live by the side of the road, and be a friend to man.' (author unknown). How Anita would have laughed and given me the name of the author!"
May we all learn from her example, and strive to emulate it in our own lives. Her gift of love, labour and time brought so much to so many, and most will never know how their lives have been touched by her selfless dedication.
Thank you, Anita.