Township of Langley firefighters have donated $1,000 to the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society (VCDS) to honour the memory of Debbie Froese.
George Garrett, one of the founders of the society, accepted the contribution, calling it “quite a compassionate story” in a Jan. 28 posting on the VCDS website.
It is the second donation by the firefighters to VCDS.
Froese, an active community volunteer and businesswoman, was 66 when she passed away Thursday, Jan. 9. at Langley Memorial Hospital.
At her memorial service, Garrett noted, firefighters and police officers formed an honour guard.
Despite battling cancer since 2013, Froese, who was married to Langley Township mayor Jack Froese, had been involved in the community, including being one of the wives of the Mayors’ Wives Tea (now called Thanks for Caring, a Christmas Tea fundraiser) which has been an annual sell-out event supporting the Langley Christmas Bureau.
She was also a docent for the Langley Centennial Museum as well as volunteering for the Aldergrove Soccer Club, Aldergrove Rotary Club, and more.
Jack and Debbie married in 1979. Froese and her husband built up J.D. Turkey Farms from an agricultural venture to a popular agritourism operation over many years, then handed off day-to-day management to their son, Jason, aided by their daughters, Jenny and Marilyn.
She was also grandmother to nine.
Since the VCDS service was launched in February of 2016, to replace a previous service cancelled by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2015, it has grown from a handful of volunteer drivers to about210 drivers and 13 dispatchers.
Last year, they completed over 21,900 patient trips.
This year, patient requests are forecast to rise 25 per cent to more than 27,700 patient trips involving 726,000 kilometres of driving and 34,000 volunteer hours
VCDS operates in Langley, Abbotsford, Surrey, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, the North Shore, Delta, and part of New Westminster.
Township of Langley Firefighters’ Charitable Society is a registered not-for-profit society involved in a variety of initiatives including including a snack program for local students and fundraising for the Langley Hospital Foundation, the B.C. Professional Firefighters Association Burn Fund and Muscular Dystrophy Canada.