Posted on Nov 02, 2017
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.