70 Manitobans were honoured on Monday with a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal and four people from the Southeast were recipients. 

Michelle Sawatzky-Koop was recognized for her years of community service and the long-time AM 1250 radio host and former Olympian says it was an incredible honour and experience.

"Having it be in celebration of her late Majesty Queen Elisabeth II's 70-year reign, 70 years of selfless giving of her self to the community, the country, to the commonwealth, really, is special. The day in 1952 when she ascended to the throne, she decided that day her life would be about service and about dedicating it to her people and that's what she did."

"I know for myself if I've ever done any coaching, mentoring, been at a fundraiser, or celebrated Manitoban's, it because others did that for me," Sawatsky-Koop says, reflecting on the community work she's done. "When I was a kid, coaches would spend countless hours in the gym, for no monetary gain I'll tell you that, but just for the reward of knowing that they are helping you accomplish a dream, you have as a young person. That they see something in you."

Sawatzky-Koop adds "There's so much amazingness in our young people in Southeastern Manitoba. People ask 'how can you keep saying yes' and it's just hard to tire of good things. It's hard to say no. Thinking now, maybe all those 'yesses' can make a difference and it's an incredible feeling."

Among those honoured were MLA Kelvin Goertzen, RCMP Staff Sargent Harold Laninga, and musician/mental health advocate Rob Nash.

Nash says he never thought something like this would happen to him. "Growing up in Kleefeld, I wasn't much of a big dreamer," he says with a laugh. "You get to meet so many wonderful people and the room was filled today with a lot of people doing selfless things. What I love about stuff like this is that you meet with other people doing great things, you get to connect and you realize that we're on the same team, and we're all trying to make the world a better place."

Getting to share the day with her husband Chris Koop was something Sawatzky-Koop will forever cherish and she adds that it's that support from family that makes everything possible.

"When I came off the stage, he was there taking pictures, we hugged, we shared emotions. There was emotion for him too because I think that as much as you see people sacrificing and some getting to be in front of people, there are those sacrificing behind the scenes. That support is absolutely essential. If you don't have a team behind you that supports what you're doing and sees the value in it as well, it just doesn't happen."

Sawatzky-Koop notes "being busy isn't always the easiest for the person in it but it's maybe even tougher for those behind the scenes supporting you along the way. It was priceless. It was a special moment for him and I. He made sure to say 'I'm really proud of you', and you know those who love you are but it can go unsaid but he made sure he said it and that meant a lot to me."