Attendees of the Maple Ridge Community Foundation’s Citizen of the Year awards. (Special to The News)

Attendees of the Maple Ridge Community Foundation’s Citizen of the Year awards. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge Citizens of the Year celebrated

Two winners chosen this year for Lifetime Achievement

Two winners were chosen for the Maple Ridge Community Foundation’s Citizen of the Year Lifetime Achievement award this year.

Matt DeBruyn and Sandi Temple, were both honoured with the award at the foundation’s recent gala.

The committee had a hard time to picking one winner, executive director Monica Hampu shared with a chuckle, adding that everyone at the gala had a great night.

“A lot of people were happy to be out,” she said.

Youth award winner was Mya Van Der Mey and Jesse Sokol took the Teesha Sharma Memorial Under 40 Award.

Dr. DeBruyn, an economist by profession, who moved to Maple Ridge from Edmonton in 1989 with his wife Lynda, has been involved in numerous community projects and initiatives, most notably volunteering locally, nationally and/or internationally, through Rotary.

Temple, a 40-year Maple Ridge resident, has helped raise funds for Autism Canada, the BC Cancer Society, Lupus & Lymphoma, the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society, the Alouette River Management Society, and she has also helped children and adults with disabilities receive therapy at the North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Society and sent children to camp at the Zajac Ranch.

Jesse Sokol has volunteered his time to steer people affected by substance use to helpful resources and rehabilitation. He is a co-founder of the Non-Judgemental Recovery group with Dena Jones.

Man Der Mey started running her own bake shop at age 13. At 14, she provided five dozen “cancer cookies” with proceeds going to a Camp for Cancer campaign for local families who need financial support to take time off with their loved ones. She also supported a local youth who had heart surgery and another battling cancer.

Around 130 people attended the celebration and fundraising dinner. Hampu expected more people but the night before they had many cancellations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme of the event this year was a masquerade party and the foundation was hoping to reach a $50,000 fundraising goal in the lead-up to the event.

Hampu said it was too early to have final numbers because they have yet to receive all the money from their sponsors, but online 66 donors raised $37,125.

“We did really well,” said Hampu, especially with the live auction. She added they definitely raised more than the virtual gala held in 2020.

“Having had more people, maybe we would have done a lot better. Buy, you know what, coming out of this after two years, we did really well,” she noted.

Hampu said they were grateful for everyone who did attend the gala and their sponsors and partners, and who donated the auction items.

Winners were announced at the foundation’s Masquerade Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, April 23, at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows.

READ MORE: Citizens of the Year finalists announced in Maple Ridge

ALSO: 2020 Citizens of the year for Maple Ridge named

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