One Busy Woman of the Year

“If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Kelowna’s Shaun Bos is one of those busy people and her efforts were recently recognized with the Sarah Donalda Treadgold Memorial Award as Kelowna’s Woman of the Year.

Shaun Bos

Photo by Karla Rosalin Photography

As a child, Shaun moved around quite a bit. She actually lived in Kelowna several times until finally, in 1998, she moved here with her son and settled down. One day she decided to help a friend at a fundraiser. “I went out to help Romany Runnels at the beer hole at the Edgecombe Builders golf tourney for the SPCA. We had so much fun! You do it once, and then people find out what you can do and they ask you to help. I had a hard time saying no,” she says.

In 2012 alone, Shaun volunteered for 15 different events. Looking back, she’s a bit shocked at how much of her time was spent helping others. “I guess if you add it all up, I’ve put in almost 5,000 volunteer hours.” To anyone else, that’s a serious amount of time; to Shaun, it’s how she lives her life. “When I found out I was nominated for Women of the Year, I burst into tears,” she says. “It was unreal that I was being nominated for just doing what I do.”

An incomplete list of her causes includes the SPCA, Rock the Dress for Breast Cancer, Help Portraits, Gospel Mission, Women’s Shelter and NOW Canada. She’s also president of the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council (COPAC).

Shaun, single mother of a teenage boy, does all of this plus three jobs. “I love to tell people I shoot women,” she laughs, referring to her business, Shaun Bos Photography. “I get to play dress up with women in the studio. It’s a tough job, eating chocolates and drinking sparkling wine while laughing with women and taking their photos.”

In 1998, although she had a fine arts degree and had studied fashion design, Shaun went back to school and became a registered massage therapist. She still works with select clients through NuDepth Therapeutic Massage—when she’s not shooting women, teaching at CATO (Centre for Arts and Technology) or volunteering.

“This year I am focusing my volunteer hours in one place,” says Shaun. She is now a director with the Wish Come True Society (WCTS), whose mission is to build a children’s respite/hospice house here in Kelowna.

“Two years ago I met Markus Smythe, a nine-year-old kid on his third bout with cancer. We raised enough money through a WCTS golf tournament to get him and his family to a Vancouver hospice house. All Markus wanted was to be near his puppy and he couldn’t be. He died in Vancouver six weeks after the tournament and he never got to see his dog again,” she wipes away a tear. “If we’d had a place here, he could have visited his home, seen his friends and his puppy. It touched me so deeply when I found out how many children out there need something like this respite centre/hospice house. That’s the single mission of the WCTS. Our next event is the eighth annual Ugly Jacket contest presented by Bellamy Homes and country 100.7 on July 24 at the Harvest Golf Club.”

So if you want something done, you’re going to have to ask a different busy person. Shaun’s all booked up for 2013.