Dr. John H. Redekop of Abbotsford has been named the 2019 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from University of the Fraser Valley.
Redekop has been recognized for his volunteer fundraising activities with several organizations, including the Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre beside Cultus Lake.
In the late 1990s, Redekop was asked to help revitalize the centre, which was desperately in need of replacement and renewal.
He led the volunteer board in developing a vision for a world-class camp. In addition to holding governance positions, he served as volunteer fundraiser and was responsible for generating approximately 95 per cent of the funds raised.
Redekop was able to motivate hundreds of businesses, individuals and professional agencies to donate funds or volunteer their services and expertise.
In his 1,612 person-days of volunteer time (the equivalent of six years), he raised approximately $13 million along with an additional $400,000 worth of supplies from regional suppliers and a further 5,000 person-days of donated labour.
More recently, Redekop was asked to fundraise for the Tabor Home Society, a large seniors’ home in Abbotsford.
In the 10 months ending in June 2019, he raised $3.5 million in support of the organization.
Redekop was born in Saskatchewan and moved to Abbotsford in his youth.
He attended Mennonite Educational Institute and UBC, then earned a master’s degree at Berkeley and a PhD at the University of Washington.
He taught at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario for many years, then took early retirement and became a scholar in residence and then adjunct professor at Trinity Western University.
Redekop received the award at the recent UFV retirement dinner.
“I am absolutely delighted to receive this award from our own local university,” he said. “Betty Urquhart set a great example in community service. I am both honoured and humbled to receive the award named for her.”
Betty Urquhart of Chilliwack was one of the first employees of the university in the 1970s, when it was known as Fraser Valley College, and believed strongly in volunteering and giving back to the community.
She passed away in 1995, but UFV keeps her memory alive by honouring a person exemplifying her commitment to life-long learning and community.