A record $1.63 million was raised at Coast Mental Health’s 19th annual Courage To Come Back Awards on May 16 at the Vancouver Convention Centre with over 1,500 people gathered to celebrate the extraordinary stories of triumph over adversity of the six inspiring awards recipients.

Each year, the Coast Mental Health Foundation organizes this coveted awards gala, an inspirational evening to recognize six truly remarkable British Columbians. Funds raised will go directly to Coast Mental Health to support those living with mental illness. The event was chaired by Lorne R. Segal, O.B.C., D.Litt. (Hon.), President of Kingswood Properties Ltd., and attended by many of British Columbia’s most notable business leaders and philanthropists.

After sharing their stories of how they have ‘come back to give back’ in their communities, each of the six Courage To Come Back Award recipients received a stunning glass sculpture designed by renowned Musqueam artist Susan A. Point. This year’s recipients are as follows:

  • Deborah Carter – Vancouver, BC (Addiction);
  • Esther Matsubuchi – North Vancouver, BC (Social Adversity);
  • John Westhaver – Victoria, BC (Physical Rehabilitation);
  • Stephen Scott – Vancouver, BC (Medical);
  • Rachel Fehr – Surrey, BC (Mental Health); and
  • Richard Quan – Vancouver, BC (Youth).

John Westhaver, the award recipient for Physical Rehabilitation, perfectly captured the essence of the evening: “Looking back at my life, one thing I got is that anything is possible. Often we give up on our dreams because something gets in our way or we lose sight of our dreams. I invite you to never give up on your dreams. Anything is possible. The stories you have heard tonight are living proof.”

For more inspirational stories of these six courageous individuals, visit couragetocomeback.ca/2017-recipients/.

For more on Coast Mental Health’s Courage To Come Back Awards, visit www.couragetocomeback.ca.