Ontarians Honoured with Medal for Good Citizenship 2013
The Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship recognizes people who have made exceptional long-term contributions to the quality of life in the province. This year's recipients are:
Margaret Bates of Barrie is a community leader who has spent more than 37 years advocating for public health in Ontario. As a provincial nursing officer, she helped establish best practices for nurses to enhance patient care. She has volunteered with the CNIB in Barrie for 17 years, taking a hands-on approach to help people deal with vision loss.
Jeanne Bryan of Ignace is a retired school teacher known for her community work to support the disadvantaged. She has led various initiatives such as Carousel, a volunteer-run centre to collect used clothing donations; a White Elephant sale where people can shop during the holiday season for donated goods at reduced rates, and social gatherings at her home for elderly and isolated women.
Garry Cooke of Bowmanville is a dedicated leader who has worked tirelessly to enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities. Through his leadership, he helped create the Clarington Project -- an activity centre that offers recreational and educational activities for disabled people in Durham Region.
Barry McKenna of Kanata is an extraordinary volunteer and a natural born fundraiser. He implemented Evening in the Maritimes, an event to raise funds for Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa -- a community organization that matches people with developmental disabilities with community mentors.
Tracy Sacco of St. Catharines is a school principal known for her dedication to at-risk youth in Niagara Region. As principal of Port Colborne High School, she set up IMPACT, a program that pairs at-risk youth with mentors. IMPACT has grown into a force, operating in 20 other area high schools with hundreds of volunteers.
Sam Savona of Toronto is a powerful advocate in the area of transit services for people with disabilities. As a member of the Toronto Transit Commission's Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit for four terms, he diligently helped to improve Wheel Trans Services, and was instrumental in persuading Metro Council to install elevators in subway stations.
Arnon Joseph Vered of Ottawa is a community superstar for his extensive work supporting many organizations in the nation's capital. Through his successful fundraising efforts, he helped in the expansion of a multi-million dollar critical care facility for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).
Melvina Walter of Oakville has been, for more than 25 years, an advocate for women in the Halton area. She is the co-founder of the Women's Centre and its executive director. For almost two decades, she has made a difference in the lives of thousands of women overcoming abusive relationships and helping them to achieve financial security through employment programs.