Brave hearts and lifesavers were honoured Thursday at the annual awards night hosted by the Abbotsford Addictions Centre crew, which allowed clients to say thanks to counselors, friends and families who have stuck by them.
The program also recognized two women who have made a difference in the community.
A Life Saver Award was presented to Dr. Elizabeth Watt, who provided non-judgmental medical services to addicted women at the residential Peardonville House for 20 years until 2010, and who has worked with female inmates at the federal Fraser Valley Institute.
Watt now offers medical services to young people at the Youth Health Centre, which just marked its second anniversary at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
The AAC also gave a Brave Heart Award to Laurie Mossey, whose son Tyler Miller died one year ago at the age of 20 after taking the drug ecstasy during a house party.
"She has been an incredible resource and inspiration," said Josie Kane, an AAC counsellor, by sharing Tyler's story with young adults and her experiences with other parents.
"I don't feel like I have a brave heart at all. I have a broken heart," Mossey said during her emotional acceptance.
But she continues to support parents and educate kids about drugs "because it's the right thing to do," she said.
During the heartwarming evening, several recovering clients also had the chance to thank their counselors or loved ones for their work and their support.
The AAC gave a special recognition to longtime counsellor Diane Robinson who succumbed to cancer last year - her daughter Christina accepted the roses and thanks.
? The AAC is one of close to 130 programs and services offered by Abbotsford Community Services. Operating for 24 years, the AAC also works in collaboration with other agencies, such as Fraser Health on a number of issues to support the community including mental health, homelessness, multicultural, FASD, suicide prevention, sexual exploitation prevention and anti-bullying.