PRESS RELEASE
 
1st Annual Abbotsford Rotary Club - Berry Blitz Event raises $5,000 for local charities!
 
March 29th, 2019 – Abbotsford, BC  ….. January 26th was a fantastic day – a few hundred folks rolled into Berryhill Foods on Mt. Lehman to pick up their boxes of fresh frozen blueberries and raspberries.    The monies raised will go to support local charities.
 
“Partnering with amazing local companies like Berryhill in support of great local Abbotsford projects is the essence of what Rotary does.  To see 100% of all donated dollars going towards important local work that would otherwise not get funding makes a real difference.   Next year we hope to do even more.”  Bruce Beck-Acting Club President
 
“Berryhill enjoyed hosting the Blueberry Blitz.  We were grateful for all of the volunteers who helped out and made the day a success.  It was a fun event; we sold lots of berries and raised $5,000 for the Abbotsford Rotary Club.    Hopefully, we raise even more money next year!”    Tim & Mike – the Berryhill Group.
 
The Abbotsford Rotary Club has supported and provided funding for the following – to name just a few of the major projects over the years:
Built and funded Rotary House – a pre-school for special needs children.
Paid off The Abbotsford Hospice Society building’s $200,000 mortgage.
Raised $200,000 for the children’s wing of the new Abbotsford hospital.
Raised $200,000 for the Holmberg House (adult hospice) on the Campus of Care.
Provides $20,000 annually in Scholarships to high school students and UFV students.
The club started and continues to support the Starfish Back-Pack Program – an annual program that provides needy elementary school children with a back-pack filled with food to help them through the
week-end. The Starfish Program now packs over 500 back-packs every Friday of the year.
 
“We are so thrilled how the community embraced this new fundraiser and we look forward to building on its success in 2020.”   Kim Hissink, PR Director.  
 
“The event was well attended by the public.  Many families purchased the blueberries and raspberries and also enjoyed coffee, donuts & smoothies donated by Berryhill.    The monies raised will be allocated to local charities.”    George Ho- Chair Fundraising Committee.
 
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford was honoured to continue its long standing support of Abbotsford students at the end of the 2018 school year.
 
“We are committed to support students to pursue further education that will make a positive difference for their future and our community. Each year our award selection committee is impressed with the humanitarianism and accomplishments of so many students.” Pat Tonn, Awards Chair.
 
A trust fund held by the Abbotsford Community Foundation for the Rotary Club of Abbotsford provides the opportunity to award outstanding students each year.   The criteria for the award includes: demonstrated leadership, volunteer service in the community or at school, consistent academic accomplishment and financial need for postsecondary education.
 
The 2018 recipients receiving $1,000 each were:
Zoey Howe – Yale Secondary School
Crystal Gegenfurtner - Bakerview Centre for Learning 
Megan Greenbank -  Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts 
Avneet Sandhu - Rick Hansen Secondary 
Jasmohit Hayer - Abbotsford Traditional Secondary 
Katelyn Ward - Mennonite Educational Institute Secondary 
Rachel Leeming - W. J. Mouat Secondary 
Neha Ravikumar - Abbotsford Senior Secondary 
Kali Lee - Robert Bateman Secondary 
 
“Congratulations to the hard working students who are the recipients of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford’s scholarship awards.  We wish them the very best in their future studies. These awards are one aspect of Rotary‘s involvement in the community.”, commented Bill Bramwell, President.   
 
 
Rotary Club of Abbotsford - Awards Chair Pat Tonn & Neha Ravikumar of Abbotsford Sr. Sec School
 
 
Club member Dave Loewen & Katelyn Ward of MEI Secondary School.
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford is pleased to announce the installation of Bill Bramwell as President for the 2018-2019 Rotary year effective July 1st.  Bill, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow award recipient, has been an active Rotarian for forty-two years serving as Director in all areas of the various clubs that he has been a member of including Treasurer, Secretary, and Past President of the Rotary Club of Ladner.
Bill a graduate of UBC in Psychology and Business is a retired professional Accountant who worked as Financial Controller for a number of corporations and was the Director of Finance for various branches of the Provincial Government. Bill also successfully negotiated the revised funding agreements for 100 privately owned mental health facilities on behalf of the Province of British Columbia.
In addition to serving as President of the Rotary Club of Ladner, Bill also served on the Board of Directors for the Delta Community Foundation. Since moving to Abbotsford Bill served on the Board of Directors for Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association and is currently the Past President of the East Abbotsford Gideon’s Chapter and is also on the finance committee at the local church he attends.
 
This past week, Past President Stacey Irwin passed the gavel to President Bill Bramwell which has been a long-standing traditional since 1950 when the club was first chartered. Bill shared some brief history of his time with Rotary and his passion for the work of Rotarians around the world, noting that “Rotary Internationals theme this year is to ‘Be the Inspiration’ and urged Rotarians to utilize their influence and energy to do just that.” In closing Bill said, “As your President I want to remind everyone here that we along with the 1.2 million Rotarians around the world have a unique responsibility to help those less fortunate, in our community and around the world. My goal in Rotary has always been change combined with a vision for a more unified world, a world that comes together for the good of all people. As your President I am thanking you for the opportunity to serve.  I seek to serve you, the members of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford, our community and humanity. Together let’s make this a memorable and productive year.”
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Also inducted to the Board of Directors were: Stacey Irwin; Bruce Beck; Doris Woodman-McMillan; Blaine Bailey; Dan Denis; Milt Walker; Yvonne Douma; Dave Loewen; Lyn Dirom; Kim Hissink; and
Kolby Hughes.
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford had a full house on Tuesday, as cheques were presented to the 4 community charities being awarded funding to help support local initiatives that will benefit children, youth, and at-risk sectors of our community. Each year the Rotary Club of Abbotsford accepts service project funding nominations/applications from local organizations. ”Determining the recipients, is always a difficult decision as Abbotsford is fortunate to have many worthy not-for-profit groups serving our community. After reviewing the applications and considering our key criteria the following organizations were selected” said Amy Badesha, Chair of Community Service Grants for the club.   
 
B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation - This organization works with educators to bring local agriculture to B.C. students. The funds that were awarded will be put towards the development of the ‘Spuds in Tubs program.’

Abbotsford Restorative Justice (ARJAA) works with youth in conflict with the law as they are held accountable for how they have harmed victims and the community. The funds being awarded will be used to enhance their Restorative Mentoring Program for at-risk youth by providing opportunities for them to participate in summer day camps with their Mentors to further engage and support the youth throughout the summer months.
 
L.I.F.E. Recovery- This organization’s name stands for ‘Living in Freedom Everyday’. They support at-risk women and provide residential housing for them. The funds will be put towards purchasing a much needed generator.
 
JOSHUA House- An organization that supports men with addictions and provides residential housing. The funds awarded will be used towards remodelling a kitchen.
 
“This past September, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford’s President’s Night – ‘Viva Las Rotary’ was a huge success and raised the funds that are now supporting these local Rotary service projects here in Abbotsford. We are so grateful to our sponsors, community partners, guests, and Rotarians who supported this event to raise much needed funds for these terrific community service projects and organizations that will go on to make a difference in the lives of many in our community, said Rotary Club of Abbotsford President, Stacey Irwin.”
 
Left to right: Amy Badesha, Rotary Chair of Community Service Grants; Justin Hohne, Mentoring Program Coordinator and Joanne Field, Executive Director from Abbotsford Restorative Justice; Angie Korkowski, Executive Director and Eric Hoogenraad, Board Chair from Joshua House; Stacey Irwin, Rotary Club of Abbotsford President; Glenda Johnston, BC Agriculture in the Classroom Program Coordinator; Marian Vanderwal, Board Chair and Jeanne Murko-Wust, Executive Director with L.I.F.E Recovery Association
NEWS RELEASE
 
For Immediate Release - May 31, 2018
 
Prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Awarded to Tim Philips and Chris Dominato
 
(Abbotsford)  Rotary Club of Abbotsford’s President, Stacey Irwin presented Tim Philips of Berry Hills Foods and Chris Dominato, VP of Finance of Woodtone Industries with the prestigious Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award. “I am so pleased to be able to be make these presentations on behalf of our club. Both Tim and Chris demonstrate the very “heart” of Rotary and are shining examples of good people who are contributing greatly to our community to help make our communities a better place for all to live.”
 
Nominated by Past President Sara Lawson, Tim Phillips of Berry Hill Foods is receiving this award in recognition of his ‘service above self’ approach to his work and giving back to community. Now as a newly adopted member of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford he and Berry Hill Foods are continuing to expand their commitment.
 
Chris Dominato VP of Finance at Woodtone Industries and the newest director on the Abbotsford Police Board was nominated by Past President Leslie McConnell and is equally deserving of this award exemplifying the spirit of giving, community involvement and representing an organization where giving back to community forms a big part of Woodtone’s corporate culture including being donors of a large Playhouse to help raise funds for the Starfish Pack Program to feed hungry school kids in Abbotsford.
 
Left to right: Bill Bramwell (President-Elect), Sara Lawson (Past President), Tim Phillips (Plant Manager of Berry Hill Foods), Stacey Irwin (President), and Ron Kelly (Rotary Club Foundation Chair)
 
 
Left to right: Sara Lawson (Past President), Stacey Irwin (President), Chris Dominato (VP of Finance - Woodtone Industries), Leslie McConnell, (Past President), Ron Kelly (Rotary Club Foundation Chair) and Bill Bramwell (President-Elect)