2015 June Callwood Award Recipients
Fifteen individuals and three organizations from across Ontario are receiving the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism:
Audrey Beedie of Brockville has been helping seniors in her community for more than 70 years. She has provided transportation to medical appointments, run errands like grocery shopping or banking, visited seniors who are unable to leave their homes, and helped out in the kitchen at community social luncheons.
Peggy Bell of Niagara-on-the-Lake is co-founder of the Garden Club of Niagara where she helped raise funds for annual bursaries for two students at the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture. She also co-founded the Shaw Garden Tour to raise funds for the theatre and leads a team of volunteer gardeners in maintaining the theatre’s pristine landscape.
Eloise Bucholtz of Peterborough has contributed her time and skills to over 20 different organizations and causes, both in her community and around the world, including coordinating 1,500 volunteers for the annual Festival of Trees in support of Peterborough hospitals and Hospice Peterborough; raising money to provide financial aid for victims of the 2004 flood in Peterborough; and spending a month volunteering in a South African orphanage.
Rhonda B. Cohen of Toronto is a long-time volunteer with the Hot Docs and Toronto Fringe film festivals as well as with the inpatient program at Casey House, a specialty hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS, where she helps with recreation therapy and has taken a leadership role in several fundraising events.
Louise Cooke of Burlington has served the Art Gallery of Burlington in many capacities including recruiting volunteers, soliciting new donors, connecting with local businesses and facilitating new acquisitions for the gallery’s collection. Louise also volunteers with several other local organizations including the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Plains Road Village Vision, and Art in Public Spaces.
Donette Grant-Anderson of Kanata is a passionate ambassador for the Jamaican community in the Ottawa region. She has volunteered countless hours of her time with various Jamaican community organizations including four years with Jamaican Scholarship Support Funds assisting postsecondary students in Canada and Jamaica with financial assistance.
Peter Gray of Bright is a hydrogeologist who, in 1994, organized the first Children’s Groundwater Festival, giving students the opportunity to get out of the classroom and experience hands-on learning in a natural environment. These festivals now take place across the province and, to date, have educated more than half a million students in Ontario about the importance of groundwater protection and conservation.
Catherine Grondin of St. Thomas has spent almost 40 years at the forefront of several important local initiatives. She has given generously of her time, insight and leadership and been instrumental in organizing community responses to poverty, homelessness, at-risk-teens and women and children facing violence at home.
Lynn Lindsay of Pembroke has been working on behalf of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. In 1967, Lynn campaigned for almost a year to start a local SPCA to care for lost and abandoned animals. Later she joined a local community organization as a volunteer driver, regularly driving cancer and dialysis patients to treatment both in Pembroke and beyond.
Soul-R Damon Maraj of Scarborough is a community leader, advocate, social activist and visionary who founded the non-profit organization, IMPACT two and a half years ago, as a way to promote community safety, opportunities for youth and violence prevention. He continues to counsel and mentor former gang members, supporting them in finding training and employment opportunities.
Tom McBride of Barrie has contributed his innovative leadership skills in support of several organizations that have had a significant impact on his community. This includes overseeing the construction of the MacLaren Art Centre and its subsequent move to a new state-of-the-art facility in the downtown core, and the construction of a clubhouse for Gilda's Club Simcoe Muskoka for people living with cancer. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Board of Georgian College.
Norma Monahan of Matheson has spent decades volunteering with organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society and the Bingham Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, where her fundraising efforts have allowed the hospital to purchase televisions for patient rooms, new hospital beds, IV dispensers, blood pressure monitors and to renovate the palliative care room.
Willard Pine of Garden River is a healer, teacher and mentor. An Elder from the Garden River First Nation, Willard is always there to support his community in times of celebration, sickness and despair. He is regularly called upon to perform smudging ceremonies, sweats, traditional burials and Pow-wows.
Pierrette Vezina of Ottawa is the Volunteer Coordinator at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. Under her leadership, the volunteer program at Wabano has grown from 14 active volunteers to 206. She has created a welcoming program where volunteers feel supported and appreciated and she has actively worked to reduce barriers for volunteers with disabilities.
Sally Wismer of Richards Landing is a member of the local hospital auxiliary, Seniors Chair at her Legion Branch, and also the Legion representative on the Seniors Advisory Committee of the Dr. Harold S. Trefry Centre. She has had a significant impact on the development and delivery of local services for seniors including healthy living programs and social events.
Merrymount Children’s Centre (Board of Directors, Past and Present) of London provides support and crisis care for children and families. Merrymount’s volunteer Board of Directors has provided strong leadership and governance throughout the organization’s 140-year history, ensuring that the services and support the agency provides remain relevant and reactive to the changing and diverse needs of the families who access their services.
Neebing Fire and Rescue Association of Neebing helps raise funds to assist Neebing Emergency Services with the purchase of the equipment they need to keep the people of Neebing safe. Despite the small size of the community, over the past 10 years, the Neebing Fire and Rescue Association has managed to raise more than $200,000 from community events.Rise Investment Committee of Toronto is responsible for the lending decisions at Rise Asset Development. Rise is a registered charity that provides low-interest small business loans, free training and mentorship to individuals with a history of mental health and addiction challenges interested in pursuing self-employment.