ACS founder Walter Paetkau receives BC Achievement Award

Abbotsford man recognized for dedication to his community

Walter Paetkau has won an award from the British Columbia Achievement Foundation

Walter Paetkau has won an award from the British Columbia Achievement Foundation

An Abbotsford resident has received a big honour from the British Columbia Achievement Foundation.

Abbotsford’s Walter Paetkau was one of 26 recipients of the 2017 awards, which recognize the spirit, imagination, dedication and contribution of British Columbians to their communities.

Paetkau was the man who started Abbotsford Community Services back in 1969, and has helped it grow into the province’s largest community service organization.

The small and unfunded organization with an all-volunteer staff has transformed into a staff of 380, volunteer base of 2,000 and 23 sites. Among its 70 programs are a food bank, Meals On Wheels and the Abbotsford Recycling Depot. Thirty years ago, he also launched the first Fraser Valley United Way campaign, which now raises funds for more than 26 local charities.

The recipients of the 2017 awards will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony at Government House in Victoria on April 26. Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson.

“Today we celebrate the efforts of extraordinary British Columbians who strive to make our province a better place to live,” said BCAF president Scott McIntyre. “We thank them for their remarkable efforts through their work and volunteering.”

“What makes British Columbia a great place to call home is the generosity, dedication and commitment of British Columbians,” added Premier Christy Clark. “Thank you to the 2017 recipients for always going the extra mile for your communities, and your province.”

An independent committee selects the recipients of the British Columbia Community Achievement Awards. The 2017 selection committee members are Mayor Jack Froese of the Township of Langley, Mayor Carol Leclerc of the City of Terrace and past recipients, Sue Bauman of Vancouver, Ragwah Gopal of Kelowna and David Young of Vancouver