Dr. Biju Mathew won for Lifetime Achievement.

Maple Ridge citizen of the year awards handed out

Dr. Biju Mathew and Teesha Sharma announced winners.

The Maple Ridge Community Foundation’s annual Citizen of the Year awards were announced Saturday, with Dr. Biju Mathew winning for Lifetime Achievement.

Teesha Sharma earned the Under-40 award.

Mathew was nominated for his volunteer work with the Ridge Meadows South Asian Cultural Society, Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, Youth Wellness Centre, Nurse Practitioner program and MRCF’s 25/40 Campaign.

He donates all proceeds from his best-selling book, Super 30 – the Anand Kumar story, to the Super 30 teaching program in India.

“Today, to me, all tonight’s nominees are winners, and so are all the people assembled here,” Mathew said.

“We are all here to give back to the community. Thank you so much.”

Julie Koehn and Kim Dumore were also up for Lifetime Achievement.

Koehn was nominated for her volunteer efforts with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, Maple Ridge Historical Society, Community Heritage Commission, Alouette Correctional Centre Citizen Advisory Board, SPEC, Earth Day, Girl Guides of Canada, Family Education Centre, Webster’s Corners Community Association. She was a founding director of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, and served on the board of directors for 30 years.

Dumore was nominated for her selfless volunteer work throughout the community, including Cythera Store, PLEA, Youth Unlimited, Humans of Maple Ridge event, Maple Ridge Opioid Overdose Response Task Group, Golden Ears Kiwanis Club, Maple Ridge Arts Council, Friends in Need Food Bank and Puttin’ on the Glitz. She is the current chair of the school system’s District Parent Advisory Committee.

This was the first year there were three award categories: Lifetime Achievement, Under 40, and Youth.

Sharma won for Under 40 for her volunteer outreach work in the community. Sharma commits herself to local homeless youth by preparing them daily meals, administering first-aid, and providing personal support. She is on the board of the Golden Ears Transition Initiative and is a founding member of the Youth Wellness Centre.

“Thank you. “Chelsea and Cheryl, you guys are also amazing,” Sharma said.

Chelsea Keenan was nominated in Under 40 for her dedication to teaching yoga classes with a charitable twist. After taking a self-exploration journey, which led her to exciting places around the world and obtaining her yoga teacher certification, Keenan’s generous spirit called to her to return home, and give back to her community by increasing engagement in wellness. She has developed a series of donation-based yoga classes dedicated to a variety of Maple Ridge charities.

Cheryl Zandbergen was also nominated in Under 40 for creating and leading the Moms Gone Wild group in Maple Ridge. Established to create a comfortable space for mothers to join activities in a judgment-free, supportive environment, Moms Gone Wild hosts several events each week. Zandbergen leads this group to participate in many fundraisers, including the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper and fundraising for local families facing hard times, illness or crisis.

The Youth award winner was announced last month, and Ryder Moore, an eight-year-old who has established the Ryder’s Rainboots charity to help give homeless people rain gear, is the winner.

The other nominees were Marlowe Evans and Gurleen Goraya.

The award is for people 18 and under.

The foundation is now in its 27th year of issuing the awards, and for the first time the executive wanted to add more categories.

The theme for this year’s awards was “Fully, Completely Maple Ridge.”

The foundation’s goal is to recognize people who serve their community without regard to personal gain.

 

Just Posted

MacDuff’s Call: Respecting Christ as part of Christmas

Tradition of helping people less fortunate is huge part of season.

Wrestlers rally to save Ramblers team

Loss of MRSS annex threatens successful program

Ryder helping others stay dry for holiday season

Raised more than $4,200 to purchase boots and winter gear for people living in poverty in Maple Ridge.

Maple Ridge wants second look at EV charging station bylaw

Council favours roughing in only, of future stations

Ridge hospital foundation helps with mental health

Donates a possible $500k for youth wellness

VIDEO: Giants winning streak halts against Everett Friday at home in Langley

Following their first loss since November, G-Men hope to regroup and defeat Victoria on Saturday.

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

MAP: Christmas light displays in the Lower Mainland

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read