Selfless service

Dorothy Kostrzewa was a passionate champion of giving back to the community – something we can learn from.

There is a saying, that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. That was certainly the case for Dorothy Kostrzewa.

The former city councillor and longtime Chilliwack champion passed away Friday, sparking a flood of tributes that continued throughout the weekend.

Flags at city council, where she spent 31 years representing the interests of the community, were lowered to half staff in her honour.

Kostrzewa retired from politics in 2008, leaving behind a legacy of hard work, dedication and an unstinting commitment to make things better.

There was hardly a department, committee or subcommittee, that didn’t feel the charge of her energy. As former mayor Clint Hames remembered, “there was never a job too small for her to consider. She would attack every challenge with the same amount of class and enthusiasm, even if it was a job that nobody else wanted.” (See story, front page.)

Indeed, even after she retired from public life, she remained active in the community, particularly in the arts community which she loved.

Her accomplishments are many. Recipient of the Order of Chilliwack, Millennium Woman of the Year, Sportsman of the Year, Paul Harris recipient. The list goes on.

But all these accolades were the result of her efforts – not the motivation behind them.

Her energy was only surpassed by her humility.

And perhaps that is her true legacy to Chilliwack.

In a world where politics and public life draw their share of criticism, Kostrzewa remains to many an example of selfless service.

It is a model we can only hope for in our elected officials.

But one we have the opportunity to aspire to in our daily lives as citizens of this city.

Dorothy Kostrzewa showed us how.

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