Diversity, inclusiveness, hard work honoured at awards night

With CBC broadcaster Fred Lee as emcee and CTV News anchor Tamara Taggart as guest speaker, the 14th annual Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards honoured some 50 nominees in seven categories on March 3 at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford.

Mission Community Services Society was there with its New to Canada team, executive director Sanjay Gulati, MCSS managers Karen Laing and Darlene  Straarup and board of directors chair Roger Dowker to recognize the work of Mission nominees who sat with MCSS, including Champion of Diversity nominee Lesley Drown and guest Ann Murdoch who both were instrumental in key volunteer roles with Congolese and Syrian refugees who arrived in the community this year.

Colin Halldorson (with his wife Denese Maharaj), coach of Mission Spartans U13 boys of Mission Soccer Club was there as a nominee for the Inclusive Environment category (medium and large organizations).  Hallorson, his team, his club and parents provided overwhelming support for the refugee children who played with the team, and helped in the integration of the families into the community.

Mission was also represented by the recipient of the Innovative Initiative Award, Emma’s Acres – L.I.N.C. Society,  nominees Cycling for Diversity,  and champion of diversity nominee, District of Mission social development manager Kirsten Hargreaves who also serves on the Mission Local Immigration Partnership Council based at MCSS.

A complete listing of award recipients can be found at this Mission City Record LINK.  

MCSS is a supporting partner with Abbotsford Community Services Society, along with New Directions Vocational Testing and Counselling Serives and Chilliwack Community Services.  Representing MCSS on the organizing team is Local Immigration Partnership coordinator Rick Rake.