Forget all that garbage, Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan still gives the city true rock ’n’ roll star status and is the perfect local hero heading into the Olympics. Injured in a skiing accident at 19, this SFU grad still participates in more sports than most and speaks several languages, including Cantonese. Plus he’s cute too.

Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are a delight-mare to behold and a gold mine for those of us in the media.

After all, when you’re the emotional equivalent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the headlines come quick and fast — but the world turns a little differently for those of us who don’t live in Disneyland.

To celebrate the new year, I’m proposing a new list of heroes. No, they’re not movie stars or sports legends, but they do dwell among us and could teach us all about the finer points of charity, character and living a life fulfilled. My Top 10 nominees for heroes of the year are…

Five-time Olympian Charmaine Crooks, seen here with husband Anders, will no doubt keep her winning track record intact in 2008 as a VANOC board member. The 1984 silver-medalist was the first woman ever to run the 800 metres in under two minutes and adds big glam to the games.

ForestEthics star Tzeporah Berman is giving Al Gore a run for his money. Her green carpet gala at the Leonardo DiCaprio premiere of The 11th Hour lends a local thrust to this environmental must.

Raising money for breast cancer since 1998, Tammy Preast (pictured) and partner Sharon Chan, of Ask A Women Enterprises Ltd., said it's time to stop running after a cure. Sit down and have a cup of tea instead at their Pret-a-Pour-Tea event 2008 and drink your Earl Grey the girlie way.

Artist Tiko Kerr has captured Vancouver’s beauty on canvas, but never so poignantly as when he painted his own likeness on a canvas bed of injection vials and syringes.

The Chip Wilson family (wife Shannon, son Brett), of Lululemon fame, believe in healthy mind and body. Together with some influential friends, they gave $10 million to the imagine1day project and the Sefffo Community School Project in Ethiopia.

There would be a lot less glam in this town if it weren’t for Walter Daroshin and his team who, some 10 years ago, decided to produce the Leo Awards in honour of those in the B.C. film and television industry. The red carpet rolls out for the 10th anniversary celebrations in May 2008.

Delta Group CEO Bruce Langereis, left, and his new Private Residences at the Hotel Georgia are the sign of good changes to come in Vancouver. Restaurateur David Aisenstat, of Hy’s and Keg fame, is also peppering the landscape with new upscale dining venues like the Shore Club and more.

Twenty years on the golf course, and 10 in the spa, make Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, seen here with Premier Gordon Campbell, one of this year’s top picks. Her tireless work to make dreams come true for sick kids is a highlight of the annual Ladies Media Golf tourney.

MPS (Mucopolysaccharide) was so rare that former NHL player Todd Harkins and wife Kirsten didn’t know what to do when their son Nicklas was diagnosed a few years ago. Today, many families rely on them to help raise funds through their annual MPS Fantasy Hockey Game and Gala.

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