Mike Shepherd is an ambitious entrepreneur and successful owner of several businesses in Chilliwack. Earlier this year he was looking for something to get involved in and as luck would have it Erin Coghlan, the current board Chair, reached out and asked him to join.
When asked to describe the board Mike says the one word he would use is passionate and that it’s been an eye opener to see a group of people so self-less and committed to a cause. As he puts it “seeing someone love what they do- it’s contagious!”
He would like to start new fundraising initiatives to increase revenue for support services and MS research. As an entrepreneur, Mike likes looking outside the box and wants to develop more partnerships that link the Society with local businesses, as well as projects that would create on-going income.
Mike truly enjoys contributing to the community and has done so in many capacities, including being a mentor for the entrepreneurship students at Sardis Secondary School, as well as fundraising for BC Children’s Hospital. Looking forward, Mike’s motivated to take on a leadership position within the Society and jumpstart some new and exciting projects that will positively impact people affected by MS.
As a champion fundraiser and advocate, Joanne Craven is a key member of the Fraser Valley MS Society (MSS.) Currently as Vice-Chair for the FV Board, Joanne devotes her time to MSS fundraisers and to making Abbotsford more accessible.
Thirty years ago, Joanne was diagnosed with MS and immediately got involved with the MSS by volunteering for the Carnation campaign. Over the years she’s participated in the first Fraser Valley MS Walk and MS Bike. To mark her 30th year with MS, Joanne recruited a team of over 30 family members and friends for the Abbotsford Walk. She’s now looking forward to Muck MS, the new 5KM outdoor obstacle event happening at Dicklands Farms this October.
In addition to fundraising, Joanne’s very proud of the board’s collaboration with the Abbotsford Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) department. Recently implemented, the PRC Special Needs Access Program (SNAP) provides Abbotsford residents, who have permanent disabilities as confirmed by a physician, with a 50% discount on recreation centre drop-in admissions and memberships. Joanne is a firm believer in the benefits of staying active and she is very hopeful that this initiative will help others live a healthy lifestyle.
Looking back on the past 30 years Joanne believes the MSS has made a real difference in the lives of those affected by MS. She is thankful that the Society provides easy access to information, education, and support.
Joanne has really enjoyed working with the MSS and says the best part is “feeling like you’re helping people like yourself, by creating things and making them happen.” She looks forward to continuing to make a difference and raising much needed funds!
For complete details on the Abbotsford SNAP program, please contact the Parks, Recreation & Culture Office at 604.859.3134.