Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald photo-bombs MP Ed Fast during the Philanthropy Day luncheon held Nov. 15 at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Philanthropy Day luncheon honours youth, business and volunteer of the year

Event hosted by Abbotsford Community Foundation

The Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF) recently held its eighth annual National Philanthropy Day lunch to celebrate Abbotsford as Canada’s most giving community.

The theme for the luncheon, held at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre, was Give Where you Live.

Philanthropy awards were given out in three categories – youth, business and volunteer of the year – and there were a record number of nominations received in each category.

Each winner received $500 to donate to the charity of their choice.

“The number of organizations and individuals in our community that believe in giving back is always humbling,” said Andrea Senft, ACF community grants chair.

“We are very grateful for their efforts and the various ways that they help those less fortunate in Abbotsford.”

The first award category was the Alan and Vivian Trethewey Youth Philanthropy Award, which was established to acknowledge the couple for their leadership role in starting the ACF in 1979.

This year the award was presented by J.O. and Marlene Trethewey to Aidan Schweinbenz, who graduated from Yale Secondary in June and is currently attending university in Ottawa.

Schweinbenz organized Rockin’ Abby Strong in 2018, which focused on bringing people together after some very trying times and events in Abbotsford.

RELATED: Rockin’ Abby Strong raises funds for three charities

RELATED: 2017 Philanthropy Day award recipients

Singers from each of the high schools and other Lower Mainland talent entertained about 400 people, both young and old.

Approximately $10,000 was raised, which went towards a well in Ethiopia, Const. John Davidson’s “Shine on Legacy” fund at the ACF, and the Western Institute of the Deaf.

In the category of Business Philanthropy – sponsored by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce – chamber vice-president Sara Lawson presented the award to MNP LLP, an accounting and business advisory firm.

Accepting the award on the company’s behalf was David Turchen, a partner at MNP.

MNP supports many charities in Abbotsford, including Canuck Place, the Abbotsford Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the United Way, BC Young Farmers and more.

The Volunteer of the Year award category was sponsored by Assante Wealth Management and was presented by Mark Driediger, senior financial planner, to Nikolas Venema.

His volunteerism with the University of the Fraser Valley dates to when he was a student at UFV in 2009.

However, Venema’s most significant volunteer contributions have been made within the last six years through his work as an alumnus.

In 2012, he joined the UFV Alumni Association board of directors as a volunteer director at large and became vice-chair later that year. In 2015, he became chair of the association.

Venema was instrumental in introducing the organization’s first three-year strategic plan with a focus on mentorship, engagement and fundraising.

In 2016, he spearheaded a fundraising campaign for the UFV Alumni Changing Lives Bursary Endowment called the Class Gift campaign, which raised almost $44,000 for students in need at UFV.

Keynote speaker for the Philanthropy Day lunch was Abbotsford MP Ed Fast, who encouraged the audience to give and hire where they live as a key way to contribute to a healthy community.

Next year the ACF celebrates 40 years. Since its inception, more than $10.5 million has been granted to numerous charities and to students for scholarships and bursaries.

Visit abbotsfordcf.org or contact executive director Wendy Neufeld at 604-850-3755 for more information.

 

Nikolas Venema (left) accepts the Volunteer of the Year award from Mark Driediger during the Philanthropy Day luncheon in Abbotsford on Nov. 15. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Stolen stamp collection has been returned to owners in Abbotsford

Good Samaritan found the stamps hidden away in some bushes and turned them over to police

Police find loaded rifle in car of ‘prolific offender’ prohibited from driving

Tyler Houle of Abbotsford arrested Wednesday in Chilliwack

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

George Ferguson Way apartment building goes to public hearing Monday

Bike lockers signal shift in Abbotsford developers’ thinking, Banman says

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Body found after fire at Surrey homeless camp, police say

Surrey RCMP say the body was found inside a shed after firefighters extinguished the fire

Most Read