Ashton and the Community
ASHTON SERVICE GROUP DONATES 10% OF ALL RESIDENTIAL CALLS TO SOURCES WHITE ROCK-SOUTH SURREY FOOD BANK
Brian Williams, President of Ashton Service Group presenting cheque to Denise Darrell, the Food Bank Director
Ashton Service Group tries to give back to the community it serves
and during this holiday season, Ashton Service Group has partnered up
with Sources White Rock- South Surrey Food Bank.
Brian Williams, the President of Ashton Service Group and his employees
through the months of November and December had pledged to donate 10% of
all proceeds from residential service calls in the White Rock and South
Surrey area to the food bank. Ashton Service Group along with their
customers was able to donate $1,680.42 to Jaye Murray, the Operations
and Services Coordinator at Sources White Rock-South Surrey Food Bank.
The donation will help the food bank purchase nutritious food and give
support to its community members, as well as provide school-age children
with at least two school lunches a week and diapers and formula for
Volunteering at the Union Gospel Mission on February 17th, 2013
Doing Work with BA Robinson in November 2012
Christmas Toy Drive 2012
ASHTON SERVICE GROUP DONATES PORTION OF RESIDENTIAL SERVICE CALLS TO RICHMOND CHRISTMAS FUND
Ashton Service Group recognizes the importance of community and the
spirit of giving all year round and especially around the holiday
season. Financial strains are stretched more during the holidays and
Ashton Service Group wanted to partner up with the Richmond Christmas
Fund and involve their customers at the same time.
Brian Williams, the President of Ashton Service Group and his
employees decided during the months of November and December, 10% of all
proceeds from residential service calls in Richmond will be donated to
the Richmond Christmas Fund. Thanks to all the customers who had service
calls during the two months; Ashton Service Group was able to raise
$4,509.12 to purchase grocery vouchers, toys, games and books for the
residents of Richmond.
Ashton Service Group had the opportunity to present their cheque to
the Richmond Christmas Fund during the Richmond Chamber’s Annual
Christmas luncheon that was held on Thursday December 13th 2012 at the
Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel.
Community gives Emily a new start
By Matthew Hoekstra – Richmond Review
Published: December 28, 2012 5:00 AM
It started small as most things do, but having lunch with the Man in Motion quickly changed that.
As Brian Williams sat across from Rick Hansen—the man who wheeled
around the world raising money, awareness and hope for people with
spinal cord injuries—he heard the story of Emily de Boer. Emily, a
bright, athletic 12-year-old Steveston girl, had recently lost the use
of her legs following a surgery that went wrong. On Feb. 14, 2011, an
attempt to correct a spine curvature left her a paraplegic.
Emily needed a new bathroom—something right up the alley of Williams’
Richmond-based company, Ashton Service Group. But Williams and a
growing army of volunteers decided to do one better: build the family an
entirely new house.
‘We needed to start over’
During a visit home from the hospital last year, the de Boer
family was hit with the understanding their newly-renovated Steveston
house wouldn’t be their home for much longer. It wasn’t accessible, and
alterations would be too costly.
Dad Grant carried Emily upstairs into the living room, where the
family cat found a place to rest in a familiar lap. But when the cat
darted down the hall the family fell silent.
“It was a very sad moment because she couldn’t run after the cat,”
said mom Charmis. “That night she said to (us), ‘I don’t think I can
live here.’ We needed to start over.”
They did, selling the home and buying a fixer-upper nearby. An architect drafted plans for another renovation.
Meanwhile, Williams and his wife Julie arranged to have dinner with
Emily’s parents to hear the whole story. The next day, Williams knocked
on the door of the de Boer family’s “new” house. What he saw was an old
two-storey dwelling that needed a lot of work. It had a pool—Emily took
up swimming again—but it wasn’t heated. And without an elevator, Emily
was trapped downstairs.
A caring team
Williams, a father to 1 boy and 2 girls, was moved by Emily’s story,
and shared it the next day over breakfast with a supplier, who
immediately offered to donate bathroom fixtures. That had Williams
He approached his friend and contractor Ken Johnson. The pair had
previously completed a similar renovation project for a Richmond
firefighter paralyzed from a highway accident. Johnson didn’t hesitate
to help again.
Renovation costs were tallied and the pair approached the de Boer
family a few weeks later with more than just sketches for a bathroom.
“I think we should knock it over,” Williams told them. “Go find an apartment or house close-by and give us a year.”
Williams and his wife formed the Ashton Caring Team—focused on
community involvement, volunteerism and corporate responsibility. The
concepts weren’t new to Ashton, but the scale of the project led the
company to organize its efforts under one umbrella.
Things started moving quickly. Williams started talking to friends
and associates and offers to help began to pour in: lumber, plywood,
roofing materials, windows, electrical supplies, kitchen cabinets,
labour. So far 30 organizations or individuals are on board to help with
what’s now being called “Project Emily.”
“The outpouring so far has been amazing,” said Williams. “Someone
yesterday sent me a very large cheque. I couldn’t even phone him because
I was so blown away by it… There’s a lot of compassion here.”
Wall of Giving
The de Boer house on Springhill Crescent—the one the family had
originally planned to renovate—was flatted Dec. 15. Planned is a new
3,400-square-foot home with wheelchair accessibility at the top of the
Williams said the house is scheduled to be finished by late 2013—and
give Emily some of her life back. Light switches will be within reach
for Emily, and she’ll be able to open the front door, go upstairs in an
elevator, make her own meals, take showers and access a heated,
barrier-free pool outside.
Williams said his goal is to build the $500,000 house with the least
amount of money from the de Boer family. His hope is to have the entire
cost covered to help the family cope with future expenses.
A four-by-eight-foot sign is scheduled to be installed this week at
the construction site to recognize donors. It will be called “Emily’s
Wall of Giving.” And as the site is prepared for a new foundation,
Project Emily is still seeking help from the community. Cash donations
are needed, as is volunteer labour. A fundraiser is planned for the new
year and a website (ashtoncaringteam.org) has been set up to co-ordinate
“If everybody just gives a little, we can really model ourselves off
the Free the Children motto, ‘From me to we,’ really quick,” said
Williams, still amazed at how the project has come together so quickly.
“I don’t go to church on Sunday, but I do figure that I’ve been pretty
blessed somehow. It’s amazing how fortunate we’ve been.”
The de Boer family is now temporarily living in an apartment. Mom
Charmis admits to nervous moments, especially seeing the flattened
landscape where their house once stood, but said it warms her heart
thinking of the support her family has—even from strangers like Brian
“He’s an angel, he really has no reason to be doing this. He just is.”
Making an impact
Williams’ company Ashton Service Group is one of the founders of the
Caring Companies Program, a joint community initiative with Volunteer
Richmond Information Services and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
The program brings together like-minded businesses wanting to make an
impact in the community, and provides the tools, resources and
connections to make it happen.
Volunteer Richmond’s executive director Elizabeth Specht said
Ashton’s commitment to the community—both the company and employees—is
“It’s just so obvious that Brian through his leadership, and now
throughout his staff has created a culture of caring,” she said. “The de
Boer project is the ultimate of culture of caring. It’s phenomenal what
Brian and others are committed to and are bringing others along to do
How to help
•Visit ashtoncaringteam.org to learn more about Project Emily and how
to help. Trades and skills are needed, along with financial donations
and general volunteers.
•For more information about the Richmond Caring Companies Program (third series begins in January) call 604-279-7020 or e-mail email@example.com.
Check out this heartwarming article about the Ashton Caring Team’s involvement in Project Emily:
Dropping the Puck for the Richmond Food Bank
They have collected 3000lbs of food for the Richmond Food Bank, over 100 gifts and almost $1000 for the Richmond Christmas Fund.
Richmond Christmas Fund Drive Thru Event, November 29th, 2012 at the Lansdowne Mall
Windows of Hope at the Richmond Auto Mall
Instead of the Richmond Auto Mall paying professionals to paint the
windows at Christmas time, volunteers paint them and raise money for
low-income Richmond residents. Last year they raised $20,000.00!!
1st Meetup Sandwich Day Oct 21st 2012
On Sunday October 21st four of the Ashton Service Group staff aka
A.C.T. (Ashton Caring Team) took it upon themselves to help the homeless
of downtown Vancouver. They first started out buying food and supplies
with their own money Sunday morning. They bought enough to make about 60
vegetarian sandwiches with carrot sticks and a juice box on the side.
They started with an assembly line to make and package everything in
brown paper bags. A few hours later they were finished and on their way
to downtown Vancouver.
Suited up in Ashton gear and Ashton Trucks the four found a place to
park on Main Street and West Pender, handed out about half of the
sandwiches in a matter of less than 10 minutes. Then they moved and
parked on the corner of Main and West Hastings and people were running
towards them for the sandwiches. They were gone in about 5 minutes!
Even though they fed only about 60 of the hundreds of homeless, they
will keep going with their work and spreading the good deed all around
the community. Keep an eye out for the Ashton Caring Team at a
neighbourhood near you.
Check out the E-Connections September 2012 Electric Bulletin of Volunteer Richmond Information Services!
Click below to download the PDF:
Roundtable Meeting with Hon. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance
Thursday, August 2, 2012 Richmond BC. The Richmond Chamber of
Commerce (RCC) hosted a Roundtable Meeting this morning with the Hon.
Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. The Hon. Alice Wong, Minister of
State for Seniors, MP Richmond and Kerry-Lynne Findlay MP for Delta
Richmond East were also in attendance.
Thirty leaders of the business community from all facets industry
attended and had the opportunity to speak to the Minister of Finance
about some of the significant issues we face, and ideas that can help
business flourish in our region and in Canada as a whole.
The Richmond Chamber of Commerce is a broad-based non-profit
membership association, celebrating over 87 years of commitment to make
Richmond the most prosperous and favorable place to do business.
For more information contact: Craig Jones Executive Director Richmond Chamber of Commerce D 604-278-2822 ext. 108 E firstname.lastname@example.org
In Support of The Rick Hansen Foundation
May 8, 2012
I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your
support of the 25th Anniversary Relay. Thank you for joining the team
and making our world healthier and more inclusive. To show my gratitude,
I have enclosed a special medal – a small token of my appreciation for
the impact you make.
I’ve met so many amazing individuals who are energizing the 25th
Anniversary Relay in their own way. In communities all across Canada,
determined and motivated difference makers like you who are taking
positive action every day, and are helping to shape a vision for the
future that we all share. What an honour to be connected to the personal
journeys of difference makers. I am truly humbled by the stories as
they demonstrate the limitless power of many in motion.
In the spirit of sharing gratitude, I’d like you to consider the many
people in your life who have made a positive difference. I encourage
you pass on the medal included in this email to your own personal
difference makers, and let the people you care about know how much they
have impacted your life. A symbol of gratitude, this medal serves as a
reminder that we all have the power to be difference makers in our own
Thank you again for joining me on my journey. Together, anything is possible.
To send your Rick Hansen Medal to your own difference maker, please
click the link below. For more information on how to send additional
medals, please visit rickhansen.com/medal
The Rick Hansen Foundation addresses urgent needs within the spinal
cord injury and disability communities by helping to fund research that
has provided better care and outcomes for those who sustain an injury,
and contributing to accessibility initiatives that foster inclusivity
for people with disabilities. A culmination of Rick’s dream for
collaboration in the SCI community, the Rick Hansen Institute is a
not-for-profit organization made up of 200 academic, health, service and
policy-making groups that focus on addressing the priority needs of
people who live with SCI and other disabilities.
A “Thank You” from Kids Up Front Foundation
Thank you on behalf of Kids Up Front Foundation (Vancouver) for your
generous donation of tickets to a Vancouver Giants hockey game. The
recipients were thrilled to have the opportunity to cheer on the home
team live at the arena, an experience otherwise inaccessible without
Kids Up Front currently partners with 108 child-serving agencies
across Greater Vancouver. Our partner agencies provide the basic
essentials of life, typically identified as minimum levels of food,
clothing and shelter, while Kids Up Front provides the often neglected
nourishment of spirit, another crucial element for healthy development.
Kids Up Front continues to make a powerful, positive impact on
thousands of local kids and families. Since we opened our doors in
Vancouver in June 2004, Kids Up Front has provided more than 221,000
quality experiences to kids and families in need at a total value that
surpasses $6.2 million dollars.
Please find enclosed a thank you card from the grateful beneficiaries
of your gift, as well as our brochure and a current list of our partner
agencies, so you an see the types of organizations that are assisted by
Brian, many thanks for your support. We look forward to working with
you again in the future. Together we can help boost a child’s spirit and
make a measurable difference in their world.
View the special thank you cards below:
Program Gives Business Tools to Volunteer
Richmond Caring Companies Program benefits business, their employees and volunteer groups.
A program connecting business and non-profit organizations is quietly changing the community for the better.
The Richmond Caring Companies Program is a joint initiative of
Volunteer Richmond Information services, the Richmond Chamber of
Commerce and the Ashton service Group.
Through a series of workshops and consultations, business that take
part in the program receive the resources and guidance they need to
start – or grow- an employer-supported volunteer program.
“Richmond is full of community-minded business,” said Elizabeth
Specht, Volunteer Richmond executive director, at the program’s launch
last fall. “Through this program, they’ll receive the tools and
resources they need to take their community involvement to the next
The program benefits many. Non-profit groups get access to a diverse
group of skilled volunteers. Businesses get recognition and benefit from
increased employee morale, productivity and loyalty.
Employees learn new skills through volunteering – and gain a sense of pride and accomplishment.
“Everyone involved – businesses, their employees, and non-profit
organizations – comes out ahead. Most importantly, so does the
community,” said Specht.
“Businesses that are currently participating in the program include
Beavis Wong and Associates, Misty Mountain Specialties, Richmond Funeral
Home, Back in Motion, Scotiabank and Ashton Service Group.
As well, the following non-profit organizations are taking part:
Canadian Mental Health Association, Richmond Family Place, Touchstone
Family Association and MOSAIC
This year marks an annual event when Richmond Caring Companies come
together for the Richmond Day of Caring. Scheduled for July, the event
is a day of volunteering in which employees will work with local
non-profit organizations on community projects.
To learn more about the program, call 604-279-7020 or e-mail email@example.com.
By Don Fennell – Richmond Review
Published: January 26, 2012 1:00 AM
Updated: January 26, 2012 1:30 PM
The top team in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League will lock
horns with several members of its predecessors Saturday at Minoru
The Richmond Sockeyes (30-6-0-0 in the PIJHL) will face off against
former Sockeyes in the 10th annual Sockeyes Alumni Game at 5:30 p.m.
The game is being presented by the Ashton Service Group and the Richmond
Tickets are available for $10 at the door, and there will be a beer
garden and silent auction. Proceeds go to the Sockeye Alumni Scholarship
This year’s Sockeyes
includes Kootenay Alder ((sporting a PIJHL best 1.81 goals-against
average), Jeremy Hamaguchi (whose 56 points are second-best in the
PIJHL) and Carter Popoff (fourth in PIJHL scoring with 49 points). The
Alumni roster features the likes of Judd Lambert, head coach of the
current PIJHL leaders in net, Ron Popoff, (Carter.s dad) on defence,
and Sean Thorsteinson (whose brother Rudi plays for the current PIJHL
Many of my friends and colleagues have been touched in some way by
cancer. Twenty years ago I joined the ranks of those who fought and
survived. We are all either survivors; we are fighting our way through
the disease; we have lost loved ones, or we are caring for loved ones
with cancer. No matter where we are in this picture we know a cure has
to be found.
I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 260 kilometer
cycling adventure through the Pacific Northwest to raise money for
cancer research. I am writing you because I believe that you would agree
with me that even modest headways in research give us hope for the
I would like to share with you my thoughts and invite you to check out my webpage at http://www.conquercancer.ca/goto/BrianWilliams.
You will see a description of The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. I
want you to know that I so appreciate those who join with me in this
small effort to help. We all do our part when we can and when we.re
able, therefore even good wishes are appreciated. For the next few weeks
I will be riding my bike to get into shape and hopefully raise the
money promised as a participant. My thanks for anything you can
Vancouver Sun – Published: Monday, April 07, 2008
Ashton Service Group and several associates have supplied and
installed an air conditioner and heating unit for Union Gospel Mission’s
New Westminster Drop-in Centre. The centre is an “oasis” for the men,
women and youth in the area who are in need of a helping hand.
Fire Prevention Week
We support early signs of cancer research and detection. We encourage
our viewers to check out this site for information on detection and
Union Gospel Mission
Service Group have actively supported UGM and we are thankful that we
are able to do so. Our business friends and associates have so willingly
joined in our effort to provide Christmas hampers, toys and meals for
Way to go Union Gospel Mission!
grown up in the community, and played sports my entire life, I know how
important it is to keep recreational and competitive leagues running
for our children. I also know how difficult and expensive it can be. In
an attempt to give back to the community that supported me growing up,
we sponsor a number of sports teams, including: the Semiahmoo Predators,
Semiahmoo Ravens, Flying Blue Camels (all of which I also help coach),
the Vipers, and the Richmond Sockeyes hockey teams, as well as the
Ashton Mechanical Men’s soccer team.
The time and energy that my wife and I put into these teams has paid
back ten-fold every time we see the smiles on the players’ faces as they
are given their new jerseys, or when they score the last second goal to
win the game. With sports playing such a strong role in my life growing
up, and my children’s lives now, it seems like the least we can do.