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June Callwood Awards: 2011 Recipients

Archived Backgrounder

June Callwood Awards: 2011 Recipients

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Twelve individuals and eight groups from across the province are being recognized with the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism. 

This year's recipients are:

Elizabeth R. McMaster Birnie of Erin was instrumental in the planning and building of Bethell House, Caledon's first hospice facility.

Suzanne Bonneville of Ottawa is the founder of the Association francophone de parents d'enfants dyslexiques (AFPED), the only French-language association of its kind in Ontario, which supports parents with dyslexic children and children with other learning difficulties.

Darlene Coulson of Ear Falls has been an active volunteer for 55 years.  She has been involved with the Hospital Auxiliary, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 238, the Brownies and Guides, the Ear Falls hockey arena, as well as providing support to youth and the elderly through numerous community activities.

Bob Coyne of Brantford has served as a volunteer member on different committees, coaching, and organizing hockey teams, and advocating for an expansion of Brantford's sports infrastructure. He has been instrumental in bringing many sporting events to Brantford, and promoting Brantford, locally and internationally, as a tourism destination.

Tina Hu of Oshawa is a university student who has dedicated more than 2,000 hours volunteering with the elderly and those affected by mental health problems.  She has volunteered with many organizations, including the Beverley House, the St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital and the Memory Disorders Clinic, where she worked with patients at risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Ashfaq (Kash) Husain of London is an advocate for people with disabilities.  He has volunteered with a number of committees, including the London Diversity and Race Relations Committee, London Chapter of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act and London's Accessibility Advisory Committee to help city council become more familiar with issues related to physical disabilities, and develop policy and plans to increase accessibility.

Robert C.W. McDonald of North Bay has enhanced his experience as a police officer by volunteering with many community organizations such as the Rorab Shrine Club to support Shriners Children Hospital, the North Bay chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and the Risk Watch, an injury prevention program for children in preschool to grade eight. 

Katherine McKeever of Vineland Station is the founder of the Owl Foundation that houses more than 120 injured wild owls, and rehabilitates and releases 100 owls every year.  For more than 40 years she has worked for the survival of these birds, educating the public and sharing her knowledge about owls through her writing and speaking engagements.

Kinga Njilas of Guelph is committed to raising awareness and funds to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  She was instrumental in the development of the ALS Society of Canada initiative to engage youth who have had or have a parent diagnosed with the disease to implement a national program that addresses peer support.

Barry W. Phippen of New Liskeard is founder and organizer of the Bikers Reunion, a fund raising event for local cancer care that brings the community together for a noble cause.

Narine Dat Sookram of Kitchener is the founder of the Active Vision Charity Association, a group that aims to provide text books and other supplies to school children in Guyana.  He also has volunteered 17 years helping newcomers to get employment opportunities and their driver's licence.

Aline Rose Tousignant of Cochrane is a lifetime volunteer.  She has spent 55 years as the manager of Cochrane's Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary gift shop and is the friendly face who welcomes everyone coming into the hospital.

Barb Tahir and Monique McIntyre of Toronto were instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Neighbourhood Watch Community Block Captain program in the Toronto Community Housing Corporation neighbourhood, and the Kids and Cops group at University Settlement Recreation Centre. Barb and Monique have mobilized youth, parents and police officers in their community to address safety concerns.

The Volunteers of the Loonie Lunch Program of Ignace is a hot soup program for 182 students at Ignace Public School. For 12 years, the Loonie Lunch volunteers have worked thousands of hours to prepare and serve nutritious lunches to help nourish students and support them to do better in school.

Meaford Scarecrow Invasion & Family Festival of Meaford is an event created and organized by more than 250 committed volunteers to encourage tourism in the area. With about 6,000 people attending the event, the volunteers' work has contributed to promoting tourism in the municipality.

Oakville Trafalgar High School "Lunch Buddies Club" of Oakville is a partnership program between student volunteers and students with developmental disabilities. The school program enables students to make their school more inclusive, a place where students of all abilities can learn together.

Stephen and Carol Goff of Waterford are committed to raising awareness about aphasia, and the people who suffer from this disorder.  They were instrumental in setting up the first Aphasia Camp in Canada, the only one of its kind in North America, which offers social, recreational and social activities for people with aphasia and their families.

The Inn of the Good Shepherd of Sarnia has mobilized more than 400 volunteers to serve those affected by the recession and difficult economic times for 30 years.  Volunteers do multiple tasks, including working at the Inn's food bank, a soup kitchen, two emergency shelters for youth and adults, a free clothing and household items store, and providing rent and utility assistance for those at risk of eviction and utility disconnections.

The Wales Family of Komoka has been a long time supporter of youth activity in their community.  In 1960, they donated 20.9 acres of land to establish Camp Kee-mo-kee, a not-for-profit camp that welcomes more than 600 campers and 800 students, and provides resources to children with special needs and offers subsidies to single parents. 

Women of Halton Action Movement (WHAM) of Oakville has raised awareness about women's issues, locally and internationally, for 30 years.  The volunteer-driven organization has advocated to improve the status and condition of women, and has been instrumental in lobbying against the use of any religious arbitration in matters of family law.

Media Contacts

  • Indira Naidoo-Harris

    Minister's Office



  • Elizabeth Meneses Del Castillo

    Communications Branch