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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Abbotsford Police target 30 school zones in 30 hours

‘30 in 30’ project runs Thursday and Friday at all elementary schools

Gunmen arrested after holdup of marijuana dispensary in Abbotsford

Two 18-year-old males demanded cash and weed before taking off on foot

Mistrial declared in Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth impersonator underage sex case

David Kuntz-Angel convicted in August but BC Supreme Court Justice’s ‘mental faculties’ questioned

Globetrotter competes at Abbotsford celebrity wheelchair basketball game

Zeus McClurkin one of several top athletes who hit the court at Rick Hansen Secondary

White Rock woman seeks fellow hockey players for BC 55+ Games

Sue Rittinger aiming to put Zone 3 women’s team together in time for September event

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Fraser Valley poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

Most Read