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.”
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
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)
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford is a fellowship of community members who volunteer their time and raise money through fundraising efforts to support and fund local community projects and services. The Rotary Club of Abbotsford annually accepts Service Project funding requests from local organizations whose requests fall within our general guidelines. Applications that fit the criteria are not automatically guaranteed funding, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford reviews applications based on our current funding priorities and available resources.
Please review the guidelines and application here. Deadline for applications is March 31, 2018.
Abbotsford, B.C.
For Immediate Release January 19, 2018
Road to Peace through Environmental Sustainability
First of Six Peacebuilding Conferences Worldwide
VANCOUVER, BC (January, 2018) Having played a key role in founding of the United Nations and led the 30-year global campaign to rid the world of polio, from 350,000 cases in 120 countries to 21 over the past year in three countries, Rotary International is highlighting opportunities to address the massive, complex challenge of peacebuilding through a series of six international conferences, the first to be held in Vancouver on February 10, 2018. The theme of this first conference is peacebuilding through environmental sustainability.
Conflict and violence displace millions of people each year. Half of those killed in conflict are children, and 90 percent are civilians. Often conflict starts and continues over long periods in competition for dwindling resources and as environmental changes force people to migrate.
The conference will examine sustainable global and local environmental practices, and their contributions to peacebuilding and peacemaking. Participants will discuss the impact of environmental issues on health, fresh air, clean water, vegetation, and food production - and how improved environmental conditions are a fundamental condition of building peace within communities. The conference will bring together global and local community leaders, youth, and representatives from the public, private, and government sectors.
This Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding Conference in Vancouver is the first in a series of six in 2018 to be held on different aspects of peacebuilding, with others scheduled for Beirut, Lebanon, Coventry, United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia, Taranto, Italy and Chicago, United States.
“The six peacebuilding conferences are designed to help us better understand the connections between Rotary’s six areas of focus – disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economy and community development – and our commitment to building peace.” says Ian Riseley, President of Rotary International. “Environmental issues have a significant and lasting impact on every one of Rotary’s six areas of focus. By addressing challenges with the environment, we can make a difference in all of those areas.”
Conference chair John Anderson says: “For over 110 years Rotary has been serving communities here at home and around the world where there is a need for support. It is an honour for Vancouver and Canada to host the first of six Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding conferences also to be held in the Middle East, Europe, Australia as well as North America. Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver are known for their leadership not only in peacekeeping, but environmental issues, so it is fitting that the theme of this first conference is peacebuilding as it relates to environmental sustainability. In the end, through this conference, we can re-focus on another way of viewing peacebuilding through the lens of protecting our environment and reducing conflict over increasing competition for dwindling resources. It’s a huge challenge, but Rotary is up to it, as we have demonstrated in pursuing other global causes of making the world a better place.”
The 1.2 million business and professional leaders as members of 35,000 Rotary clubs around the world are engaged in meeting needs of their own local communities and the shared world community, bringing together leaders who exchange ideas and take action to create positive change on priorities such as: • promoting peace • fighting disease • providing clean water • saving mothers and children • supporting education and • growing local economies.
Ian Riseley, Rotary International President 2017-18, Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia
For further information, please contact:
John Anderson, Chair                                                             Peter Roaf
Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding Conference                                  PR Chair, Rotary District 5040
Vancouver February 10, 2018                                                                                                          604-839-1465             
Environmental Sustainability and Peace
Volatile rainfall and temperature trends in many parts of the world have exerted significant pressure on available land, water and food resources leading to diminishing food stocks, inadequate water supply, mass migration and desertification, according to the United States Institute of Peace
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that rapidly changing variables in the atmosphere could expose an additional 250 million people to increased water stress in Africa by 2020, with yields from rain-fed agriculture dropping by 50%. The likelihood of flooding in Asia could rise from 10 to 40%, affecting lives and livelihood of millions. The loss of biodiversity in Latin America would have global ramifications and could precipitate mass displacement.
By 2050, water resources in Caribbean and Pacific Islands are expected to be insufficient to meet demand. Subsequently, millions will be pushed from subsistence to desperation and heightened competition for scarce resources would create flash points that could trigger violence.  These developments have dire implications for peace and sustainable economic development. 
Environmental peacebuilding examines and advocates environmental protection and cooperation as a factor in peaceful relations. Those engaged in peacebuilding aim to identify the conditions that lead beyond a temporary cessation of violence to sustainable processes of conflict management and mutual cooperation between those who have previously been adversaries.
Advocates of environmental peacebuilding examine the role of environmental factors in moving towards a sustainable peace. For instance, warfare devastates ecosystems and the livelihoods of those who depend on natural resources, and the anarchy of conflict situations leads to the uncontrolled, destructive exploitation of natural resources.
Preventing these impacts allows for an easier movement to a sustainable peace. From a more positive perspective, environmental cooperation can be one of the places where hostile parties can sustain a dialogue, and sustainable development is a prerequisite for a sustainable peace.
Rotary’s areas of focus summary next page
Rotary’s global commitment
Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever. All six areas of focus form one integrated system for a more peaceful, collaborative world all co-habitating a shared sustainable environment. In promoting peace, Rotary sponsors every year 100 peace fellowships – 50 Master’s degree and 50 certificate programs -- at Rotary Peace Centers at universities around the world, with over 1,000 graduates from the program.
Promoting peace
Rotary encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures. We train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.
Fighting disease
We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases like polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. We improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in developing areas.
Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.
Saving mothers and children
Nearly 6 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. We expand access to quality care, so mothers and their children can live and grow stronger.
Supporting education
More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.
Growing local economies
We carry out service projects that enhance economic and community development and create opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.
Ending polio forever Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for over 30 years, and our goal of ridding the earth of this disease is in sight. We started in 1979 with vaccinations for 6 million children in the Philippines. Today, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the only countries where polio remains endemic.
The three Rotary clubs in Abbotsford gathered on Thursday, November 16th to honour their respective ‘Rotarians of the Year’ at the annual Don Funk Awards Evening. Mayor Henry Braun attended as the guest speaker and spoke about the value of volunteers in the community and how the City of Abbotsford is one of the most giving cities in all of Canada.
The Don Funk Awards were established in honour of the late Don Funk of the Abbotsford Rotary Club who was an outstanding Rotarian and had been awarded the prestigious Rotary International “Service Above Self” award for arranging a large shipments of medical equipment to third world countries.
Receiving the awards this year were Stewart Greaves of the Abbotsford-Matsqui club, Michael Adkins of the Abbotsford-Sumas Club and Henry Savard of the Abbotsford Club.
Stewart Greaves is a dedicated Rotarian in the Abbotsford-Matsqui club joining the club in 2012, having previously been a member of the Salmon Arm Club. He has worked tirelessly behind the scenes in the role of treasurer for the club since 2013. He exemplifies Service Above Self in quietly taking on any task asked of him and always with a smile. Stuart has also contributed to the community outside of Rotary in his role as manager at the Aldergrove Credit Union, supporting many downtown Abbotsford activities.
Michael Adkins, a 23-year Rotarian and member of the Abbotsford-Sumas club has served the club as trustee, board member, committee chair and a mentor.  He also serves on charities such as Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, the institute for Canadian Citizenship, Literacy Matters Abbotsford, Community in Bloom, the Salvation Army, Little Free Library, and Cottage/Worthington Pavilion. He and his wife have been recognized as major donors to the Rotary Foundation. He currently serves as Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 5050.
Henry Savard of the Abbotsford Rotary Club has been a Rotarian since 1973, the majority with the Abbotsford Club. He has served as President, Treasurer and as a member of the club’s board of directors for many years. He has Chaired and sat on multiple club committees working diligently to keep the club on track to reach its goals each year. Henry is a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow and has always given of his time, treasure and talent in so many ways. He demonstrates dedication to community and Service Above Self.  He is respected by all fellow club members, is a truly wonderful person, who is kind hearted, loyal and most deserving of this prestigious award.
Photo L-R are: Mayor Henry Braun, Velma Braun, Henry Savard - Abbotsford Rotary Club, Stewart Greaves - Abbotsford-Matsqui Rotary Club, Stacey Irwin - President Abbotsford Rotary Club, Rick Barkwell - President Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club, Alexis Eagles - President Abbotsford-Matsqui Club, Mike Adkins - Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club
Rotary Club of Abbotsford President Stacey Irwin welcomed District Governor Lindagene Coyle to the club’s meeting. District Governor Coyle’s concise but inspirational message focused on the strategic goals of Rotary and District 5050 which included: service to community; club collaboration; membership renewal and engagement, and the power of Rotary to make a difference. “Think of your involvement in Rotary and donations made to the Rotary Foundation as investing in a better world.” This was the District Governor’s salient challenge to a room filled with Rotarians, community partners, business leaders, and friends of Rotary. Following this two cheque presentations were made to the Abbotsford Food Bank for the Abbotsford Starfish Pack Program.
Ron Kelly, Partner of Baker Newby Lawyers and fellow Abbotsford Rotarian shared this before presenting his cheque. “To honour Baker Newby’s 80th anniversary of providing legal services to the communities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, our partners decided to make a significant contribution back to those communities in a way that would benefit those in need and who is more in need of assistance than hungry children.  As a result we decided to donate $80,000 this year to the Starfish Backpack program - $40,000 to the Abbotsford program and $40,000 to the Chilliwack program. So, today’s donation by the Rotary Club of Abbotsford of $7,450 is being matched by an equal amount from Baker Newby. As this was a matching grant program that has been going on for several months now, I am pleased to announce that other donors in Abbotsford have collectively donated over $40,000 to the Abbotsford Starfish Backpack program, and as such, Baker Newby is pleased to present matching funds to the Abbotsford Starfish Pack Program with a cheque totaling $40,000.”
Rotary Club of Abbotsford, President Stacey Irwin, a passionate and caring community champion was very pleased as she recognized the community partners and Rotarians who had helped to make Rotary’s cheque presentation possible. “This represents a combination of funds that were raised this year through our clubs participation in Foam Fest, the Big Truck Event at FraserGlen’s Driving Range Grand Re-Opening, sponsorships made by Berryhill Foods and FraserGlen Golf Course, other community members, and the Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club.  Wow, what a convergence of goodwill for such an amazing cause. It is days like this that I am so very proud to be part of this community and a local network of Rotarians who are making a difference!”
Upon receiving the cheques Rod Santiago, Executive Director of Abbotsford Community Services was all smiles as he realized that the combined efforts and donations of many, meant that many more needy school children would have backpacks filled with nutritional foods each weekend to take home and they wouldn’t go hungry! Reflecting on this Santiago expressed, “A huge, heartfelt thank you to my fellow Rotarians and for today’s boundless generosity that helps children come back to school every Monday and be better able to learn, grow and succeed.”
Photo 1 (L-R): District 5050 Governor Lindagene Coyle, Assistant Governor Mike Adkins, Rotary Club of Abbotsford President Stacey Irwin, Neil Stark from Abbotsford Community Services, and from Berryhill Foods Heidi Avery and Tim Phillips

Photo 2 (L-R): Ron Kelly – Partner of Baker Newby Lawyers, Neil Stark, and Rod Santiago of  Abbotsford Community Services representing the Abbotsford Food Bank – Starfish Pack Program.