If there’s one thing Chilliwack’s Patti MacAhonic knows, it’s how to get things done regardless of how difficult they may seem. And those efforts, which have often lead to positive community change, are now being recognized by the Province of British Columbia.
On Friday, Nov. 2, MacAhonic, along with four others, was presented with a Community Safety and Crime Prevention Award by Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for her efforts to better the lives of society’s most vulnerable.
The awards ceremony kicked off the 21st Annual Crime Prevention Week, which runs Nov. 1 to 7, and aims to prevent crime through awareness campaigns that teach people how to achieve safer and healthier communities.
This year, the work towards creating a safe, healthy, and victim-free B.C. done by four community leaders and a police officer was celebrated at the awards as Mohammed Imtiaz Asin from Richmond won the Youth Leadership Award, Delta’s Michael Grandia was given the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Award, and Brenda Lochhead from Vancouver took home the Services to Victims Award.
As for Chilliwack’s Patti MacAhonic, she was given the Award of Distinction for her more than three decades of work spent reducing crime, enhancing community safety and supporting victims of crime and violence.
She’s also fallen prey to a system full of holes. After her husband died at work, MacAhonic saw firsthand how frustrating it could be navigating the bureaucracy that was supposed to help her and her children.
“I just felt like I needed to change the system and how workplace injuries and fatalities affect the families left behind,” she told The Progress previously.
So after decades of lobbying, MacAhonic became a key facilitator of the substantial changes made to provincial Bill C-37, which aids survivors and children of workplace fatalities.
But she didn’t stop there. Since 2013, MacAhonic’s been the executive director of the Ann Davis Transition Society, where she’s seen to the implementation of temporary shelter housing for more than 135 women this year, as well as an increase to the amount of resources and services the Society can offer the community.
A key activist in raising awareness for domestic violence, women’s homelessness, women’s equality and prevention work, the Award of Distinction acknowledges MacAhonic’s tireless effort to reduce crime, violence, and victimization in our community.
“These awards show everyone that each of us can make a difference to prevent crime, help victims of violence and make our communities safer,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“On behalf of the Province, I want to thank each of our award winners for the perseverance, commitment and passion they bring to their work.”