The Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF) presented awards in four categories during its ninth annual National Philanthropy Day lunch on Nov. 7.
Rick Hansen – also known as the Man in Motion – was the keynote speaker at the sold-out event at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford. This year’s theme was Give Where You Live.
Hansen spoke of some of the adventures he had during the Man in Motion World Tour that began in B.C. in 1985 to raise money for spinal cord research and awareness of the potential of people with disabilities.
Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation and a former Abbotsford resident, also spoke about the importance of giving where you live.
“I feel grateful that I was nurtured in this amazing community, where I was supported by teachers, coaches, mentors and neighbours who all played a role in helping me be the best that I could be,” he said.
Recipients of the philanthropy awards each received $500 to donate to the charity of their choice. They also received a signed copy of the book Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour: 30 Years Later.
The Alan and Vivian Trethewey Youth Philanthropy Award was presented by J.O. Trethewey – the brother of the late Alan Trethewey – to Samreet Makkar, a Grade 12 student at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Makkar helped organize a fundraising banquet for BC Children’s Hospital that raised over $30,000. He also took the lead in creating a mental health awareness committee and a Mental Health Day initiative at his school.
In the category of Business Philanthropy, sponsored by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, chamber executive director Katerina Anastasiadis presented the award to Innovative Fitness Abbotsford. Owner Yoshia Burton accepted the award on their behalf.
The company supports many charities in Abbotsford, including the Archway Food Bank with a $9,000 donation for the Starfish Pack program from their annual Train the Trainer event.
They also raised $13,000 for KidSport over the past year, bringing the total amount to $106,000 raised for children in Abbotsford to play organized sports.
The Volunteer of the Year award was sponsored by Assante Wealth Management and was presented by Mark Driediger, senior financial planner with Assante, to long-time volunteer Jake Dyck.
Dyck is a dedicated volunteer at the Archway Food Bank and also helps serve breakfast at Alexander Elementary,.
The School Group award category, sponsored by Co-operators Insurance/Vandeven Financial, is a new category in 2019.
The award was presented by Shawna Vandeven of Vandeven Financial to the Eugene Reimer Middle School leadership class, Character Crew.
The group raises funds through various initiatives for the Terry Fox Foundation and Archway Food Bank.
Sue Duggan and one of her leadership students accepted the award on behalf of the school, which is named for Eugene Reimer, who was a good friend and mentor to Rick Hansen.
This year the ACF is celebrating 40 years of giving in the Abbotsford community. The founding donor to the ACF, Vivian Trethewey, was in attendance and recognized for her contributions to the success of the foundation.
Visit abbotsfordcf.org or contact executive director Wendy Neufeld at 604-850-3755 for more information.