The Betty Urquhart Community Service Award recognizes those who give back to their communities, and this year, the University of the Fraser Valley has a pair of winners – two people who spend countless hours working to improve the quality of life for their neighbours.
Abbotsford’s’ Dr. Elizabeth Watt and Patricia Murakami of Hope were both nominated for the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award.
Each spring UFV presents the award to people, or groups, who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities in the region. Betty Urquhart was one of the first employees at Fraser Valley College and she continued to work at FVC, which by then was UCFV, until her retirement in 1992. She embodied the dream of lifelong learning and dedicating oneself to better one’s community.
Dr. Elizabeth Watt is busy at clinics, her medical practice, volunteering, and with her family, but still has time to help out at the Abbotsford Youth Health Centre. A fairly new entity, the health centre – operating under the umbrella of the Abbotsford Community Services – is an open access clinic to people between 12 and 24 years of age.
While Watt was thrilled to learn she has won the award, she pointed out that not just one person makes the Abbotsford Youth Centre run as smoothly as it does.
“We have had so much community support, it’s been amazing. We have included so many partner groups and we have worked with them, and the community, to make sure we are helping our targeted group.”
The second Betty Urquhart Community Service Award recipient is Patricia Murakami, who lives in Hope and is long-time volunteer in that community. Murakami founded the Tillicum Centre 40 years ago to give people in that community who were dealing with mental and physical disabilities a place where they could go and just hang out and have fun.