We’re so fortunate to work with some amazing people and businesses who share our vision for “Justice, opportunities and equitable access for all.”
Each year we recognize some of the most dedicated individuals and organizations who work tirelessly, passionately and collaboratively to make Abbotsford a better place to live. This year, two individuals and two business were honoured with Community Builders’ Awards in a presentation at The Reach Gallery Museum on October 25th, 2018.
The 2018 Community Builders’ Award recipients are Kathy Doerksen, Marina Gibson, Envision Financial and Memento Mori Studios.
Kathy Doerksen developed the Abbotsford Community Law office and has advocated against elder abuse throughout BC. She worked at ACS for almost 40 years, completing her career as the Program Director of the Anti-Poverty, Advocacy, Legal Aid and Addictions Division. She is also a member of the Soroptimist International of Abbotsford-Mission and on the Communitas Supportive Care Society’s Board of Directors.
During Kathy’s acceptance speech, she explained that after she began volunteering at ACS in 1972, she never looked back. “I just loved being involved at the beginning stages and being part of developing a service in the community that was going to serve others and really look at social justice issues in the Abbotsford Area. It gave me my passion for the work that I do and still continue to do. “
Marina Gibson was honoured for volunteering hundreds of hours to run the ACS Garden Project, which helps educate and bring people closer to their food source. She has also donated her time to the New Beginnings Young Parent program, Cyrus Centre, and the Vancouver crisis line.
“This partnership has been a blessing,” shared Gibson as she thanked ACS for being willing to jump on board with her garden idea and providing support, materials and encouragement.
Envision Financial supports a diverse collection of initiatives in Abbotsford through sponsorships, their community crew and providing staff with paid volunteer time. They have been a major sponsor of Quality Hotel’s Toys for Tots event benefiting the ACS Christmas Bureau since the first year and collect food bank donations year-round through their signature cause program, The Full Cupboard.
Branch manager, Harpreet Grewal accepted the award on behalf of Envision Financial and shared that, “we’re very proud of our community involvement. It’s something that is wired into our company’s DNA.”
Memento Mori Studio was chosen for their commitment to supporting and volunteering with various local non-profits, such as Wilma’s Transition House and the BCSPCA, and embodying the ACS statement of diversity. For the past 8 years, they have offered anchor tattoos at the Anchor August event with all proceeds going to the ACS Food Bank.
Memento Mori president Chris Gauthier said, “Ultimately, doing good, feels good, and we’re going to continue giving back to the community that supports us. It’s not our intention to gain recognition but this recognition does mean the world to us.”
The Community Builders’ Awards were established in 2006 by the ACS Board of Directors to acknowledge outstanding individuals and has since grown to also include other non-profits and businesses.
Mayor Henry Braun spoke on the value of volunteers and Chris Silver conducted the traditional welcome and acknowledgment of the gathering on unceded territory.
Appetizers and sweets were supplied by Delish Catering, which employs newcomers to Canada and “Employing People in the Community” clients provided set-up and take-down services. Live music was performed by Chris and Karen Savage.