Michael Adkins, Betty Johnston, Kevin Murray and the Abbotsford Division of Family Practice are being honoured for their contributions to the community at the annual Archway Community Builders Awards.
A small in-person event following health guidelines will be held Oct. 28 at Archway Community Services and the event will be streamed live at 6:30 p.m. for anyone interested in viewing.
“We invite the community to join us online to celebrate these local community builders,” said Pamela Chatry, an Archway board member and committee chair. “Their contributions have had a lasting impact and helped create a safer, more inclusive, and overall better community for all of us.”
Those interested in attending virtually can RSVP at Archway.ca/CBA. The public is encouraged to leave notes of congratulations for the recipients at the same link.
Adkins’ decades of volunteer work supports newcomers, youth, health care, literacy and more. He volunteers with Archway’s Employment Mentors program, sits on several boards and has won multiple awards, including the 2018 Champion of Diversity Award.
Adkins was a driving force behind the Little Free Libraries which – since launching in 2014 – has expanded to 15 locations throughout Abbotsford. He has personally stocked over 100,000 children’s books at the Mill Lake location.
“I believe everyone should try to be that pebble that lands in calm waters and the effect it makes by the ripples, reaching out to touch others and the opportunity it creates for positive, impactful change,” he said.
Johnston is a long-time board member of SARA for Women and helped champion the Christine Lamb Residence, which opened in 2012.
She was a key organizer and participant in Abbotsford’s slo-pitch and curling communities. She used her sports experience at elite levels to help develop the teams and supported large sporting tournaments in Abbotsford.
Johnston is also a photographer who lends her talents to various organizations including Archway programs and the annual Archway charity golf tournament.
“Organizations such as Archway make our community a great place to live for so many people and I’m happy to be able to support that work,”she says.
Sgt. Kevin Murray is a police officer and community advocate who helps increase access to justice for vulnerable community members.
He has led the Abbotsford Police Department to be the first police agency to offer opioid agonist treatment services to people in cells.
He also provided leadership on such issues as harm reduction and overdose prevention sites and developing the CEDAR Outreach Society.
Murray helped advise residents of the Hearthstone Place, a supportive housing project at Archway, on their legal rights and how to protect themselves from victimization.
He was also a detective in the domestic violence unit, a collaborative partnership with Archway’s Specialized Victim Assistant Program, where he assisted victims of high-risk intimate partner violence, and the liaison to the Archway Stop Exploiting Youth program.
“I am so thankful for all the wonderful community partnerships. Without these trusting relationships, none of these initiatives would have been possible. Abbotsford is blessed with some fabulous people,” Murray said.
The Abbotsford Division of Family Practice (ADOFP) is a non-profit health-care society that supports family physicians and works to enhance patient care through innovative, culturally sensitive and community-minded methods.
When COVID began, the division quickly set up a COVID Assessment and Response unit and ran information campaigns about vaccines and other COVID safety measure.
South Asian physicians helped create COVID articles and videos in Punjabi. The division also began the Patient Advisory Council with diverse volunteers to gain patients’ perspectives on the future of health care in Abbotsford.
The ADOFP has partnered with Archway on the Abbotsford Youth Health Centre, establishing Foundry Abbotsford as well as helping promote the Social Prescribing program to their physicians and local seniors.
“The Abbotsford Division is extremely proud of our physician members. Their passion for the community was and continues to be evidenced in every action they take to keep our community safe and informed throughout the pandemic,” said Monica Mamut, the Executive Director of the ADOFP.