Look up, and who do you see? With friends like Laurie Shopland, Diane Delves and Tony deWaal, how can anyone go wrong in Abbotsford?
Read the press release below to see what I'm talking about.
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Offenders repay $7,000; Canuck Place receives donaton
Quantum Properties, Abbotsford Restorative Justice
Partner After Building Vandalized
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – A night of drinking, a dangerous rooftop game of Twister, and a costly vandalism spree that could have ended tragically for four young adults at an Abbotsford construction site has an unexpected end to it a year later.
Because of a mediation process involving Quantum Properties president and CEO Diane Delves, Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association (ARJAA), and the four offenders, Canuck Place is now the recipient of a $7,000 donation.
Tony deWaal, ARJAA executive director, said provincial court costs for each of the offenders would have been $5,000, but after the four were apprehended when a security guard witnessed them exiting the construction site, the police referred the case to ARJAA, an organization that brings victims and offenders together for healing and restitution.
“I’m impressed a busy business person like Diane Delves was willing to invest the time in these young adults, giving them an opportunity to repair the harm that was done,” said deWaal.
DeWaal said pre-mediation meetings were first conducted with Delves and the offenders to educate them about the process and to ensure no further harm was experienced. This case was one of 161 handled by ARJAA last year, 98 referred by police and 63 from local schools.
As a result of the successful meeting between Delves and the young adults, the offenders agreed to repay the $7,000 cost of repairing the damage caused at the Quantum project and to write a research paper on the value of Canuck Place Children's Hospice. Delves decided that the $7,000 restitution would be donated to charity.
“I felt that encouraging these young people to learn about children with life limiting illnesses would give them a better appreciation of their own lives. They are essentially good people who just made an extremely bad choice. As they took responsibility for their actions and were keen on making amends, I wanted to encourage them to be a positive influence in the community.” said Delves.
Laurie Shopland, campaign manager for Canuck Place, said Delves and ARJAA turned a unique situation into a positive one, resulting in a wonderful outcome for Canuck Place. “We are so thankful for Diane’s continued support. What a great story!”
Already Delves has committed a significant donation to Canuck Place resulting in the Great Room at the new facility being named after Quantum Properties.
Delves said the ARJAA experience showed everyone involved the power of respect and healing after offenders make bad decisions. “The program helps restore relationships, repair harm and rebuild community.”
Canuck Place Children’s Hospice provides specialized pediatric palliative care to more than 400 children and families across B.C. each year. The $10 million, 10-bed Abbotsford facility will feature five family suites.
Of course, the anatomy of a cheque presentation can be an interesting study when so many media are involved, from Vancouver and Fraser Valley radio stations, online publications and bloggers, to the local and ethnic newspapers in Abbotsford and Vancouver. Every media needs something a little different. In the picture above, the wind started howling.
My good-hearted trio posed patiently early one morning on the grounds of Quantum Properties.
Some media prefer no cheque, so we made sure the images, like the one below, are available. At the same time we can tweet them out or post on Facebook to tease to our announcement. We can ask a question like: Why are these three people so friendly today? It's not a good idea to let the cat out of the bag if the media haven't had an opportunity to be "first" with your story.
You may know that Diane's company is creating Mahogany at Mill Lake, the tallest building in Abbotsford at 26 storeys. It will also be the tallest high-rise between Surrey and Calgary and should be complete in another few years.
While waiting for the crew to assemble for the restorative justice/Canuck Place photos above, the image and model below of what's in store at the corner of Bevan Avenue and Gladwin Street in Abbotsford caught my eye.
Below is an artist's rendering of the plaza leading to the high-rise's grand lobby. Impressive.
Thanks Diane, Laurie and Tony for bearing with me the other day. And thanks Diane for deciding the outcome of a bad night for four young adults. Like you said, they are good kids who made a bad decision. By avoiding the courts, the four young people do not have criminal records and had an opportunity to understand the importance of Abbotsford Canuck Place Children's Hospice.
Thanks for sharing your story. Cheers.