The Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF) recently held its seventh annual National Philanthropy Day lunch to recognize Abbotsford as Canada’s most giving community.
Awards were given out in three categories: youth, business, and volunteer of the year.
ACF created the Alan and Vivian Trethewey Youth Philanthropy Award three years ago to acknowledge the couple for their leadership role in starting the foundation in 1979.
This year the award was presented to Elana Huget by J.O. Trethewey – the brother of the late Alan Trethewey – and his wife Marlene.
Huget is a Grade 12 student at W.J. Mouat Secondary. She was recognized for her work with the food bank, Run for Water, the Starfish Pack program, and Inside Ride, to name a few.
She was a lead organizer for Inside Ride – a children’s cancer program that has raised over $17,000 in the past two years – and is currently organizing the 2018 event for mid-February.
The award for Business Philanthropy was presented to Jack’s Towing by Allan Asaph, executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the award.
Jack’s supports many charities in Abbotsford, including the food bank, the Toys for Tots Breakfast, the Touch a Truck event, Matthew’s House, and the ACF Smart and Caring Golf Classic.
Their employees are encouraged to volunteer in a variety of ways to help with these events.
Volunteer of the Year is a new category this year and the recipient chosen was Gerri Charles.
Charles is well-known in Abbotsford as one of the founding members of the Crystal Gala and has dedicated her life to volunteering in the community.
She has sat on the the boards of the Abbotsford Police, the Abbotsford Heat Foundation and Abbotsford Restorative Justice, to name a few.
The Crystal Gala has raised more than $2 million for the Abbotsford Regional Hospital breast health clinic since 1999.
Keynote speaker was Abbotsford West MLA Michael de Jong, who spoke about the impact that philanthropy has on a community and on him personally. When he was graduating in 1981, he received an award from the ACF that enabled him to continue his education beyond high school.
The creation of the Const. John Davidson Shine On Fund was announced at the luncheon, and was inspired by the dedication and commitment of Davidson and his work with youth.
The new fund will have a youth focus. ACF has secured matching funds of up to $5,000 for all donations received for this fund.
Visit abbotsfordcf.org or contact ACF executive director Wendy Neufeld at 604-850-3755 for more information.