Businesses and individuals were recognized for their community involvement by the social planning committee.
BY MARIA RANTANEN, THE TIMES FEBRUARY 1, 2011
Two businesses and three individuals were recognized for contributing to the health and well being of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
The joint Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows social planning and advisory committee gave four Spirit of Community awards at Tuesday’s Maple Ridge council meeting.
Deddy Gees of Hagen’s Travel and Brian Bekar of Mark’s Work Wearhouse received good business awards.
Claus and Debbie Andrup were nominated in the family category for the good neighbour awards, and Gail Clarke, a Yennadon resident, received the individual good neighbour awards.
The good business award was in recognition of contributions made to community events or initiatives, for example, donations of goods and services, promotions that contribute to community building, or helping to make a positive change in the community.
Ineke Boekhorst, executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement Association, gave the awards at Tuesday’s Maple Ridge council meeting. She pointed out that Gees was one of the founders of the Caribbean Festival, an annual free festival that has been running in Maple Ridge for 10 years. He also organized a free event for the staff of Ridge Meadows Hospital to show the community’s appreciation for their local hospital.
Brian Bekar was given the award because his business fundraises for the Friends in Need Food Bank twice a year by running a barbecue. They have also held events to support breast and prostate cancer, and they help to support the Junior B hockey team the Ridge Meadows Flames.
In the family category, Claus and Debbie Andrup were nominated by their neighbours. Claus Andrup was president of the Historical Society, supports several health and social causes, for example, getting assistance for people who are homeless.
Claus and Debbie were also recognized for helping prepare the Haney Wharf for the reception of Andrew Ladd who came home to Maple Ridge last year with the Stanley Cup.
Gail Clarke was nominated by a neighbour she is well known in her Yennadon neighbourhood for making sure the environs stay clean, which has resulted in a sense of pride in the neighbourhood.
The awards are given out annually to citizens of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. This year, it just happened that all those recognized were from Maple Ridge, said Boekhorst.
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