2016 June Callwood Award Recipients
Eleven individuals and eight organizations from across Ontario received the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism:
Joanne Armstrong of Ignace has served her community for more than 30 years. As a member of the local Lions Club, she spearheaded many projects to provide her remote community with much-needed resources, including assisting a Canadian National Institute for the Blind eye van to travel there annually to conduct eye exams. She also helped launch a bike helmet safety program and helped co-ordinate efforts to build a preschool community playground, family resource centre and toy library.
Roxie Baker of Stratford spent 23 years as president of the Canadian Auto Workers Local 1325, leading the way for protections around sexual harassment, equal pay and maternity and adoption leave benefits. She has contributed her time and skills to various organizations and causes, including local women's shelter Optimism Place, the Perth County Drug and Alcohol Addiction Council, the Stratford Art Gallery Council, Amnesty International and Stratford Democracy Watch.
Joan Banbury of Oro-Medonte has served her community for more than 40 years as a member of the Hawkestone Women's Institute, which offers support and advocacy for those in need. She organized a project to provide women and children at Green Haven women's shelter with care bags. She also volunteers with the Retired Teachers of Ontario and continues to tutor students who need extra help.
Wendy Belcher of Oakville spearheaded her church's Committee for Social Justice, which supports the local women's shelter, food bank, youth detention centre, and settlement organizations for new immigrants. She is also a long-standing volunteer with the Oakville Historical Society, Chair and co-founder of the Oakville chapter of Amnesty International, and Chair of Bronte Grandmothers for Africa.
Lina M. Bowden of London uses her financial services expertise to create opportunities for her community. She was instrumental in establishing Innovation Works, a centre for social innovation, and VERGE Capital, London's first financial intermediary that connects socially-minded investors with social entrepreneurs to help start their social purpose businesses. She also volunteers with Heart-Links to address poverty in Peru.
Rick Campanelli of North York has been a World Vision ambassador for almost 20 years. He has raised awareness and funds for international development projects, including participating with a team that climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and raised over $140,000 in support of girls forced into dangerous jobs. He has also acted as an emcee and has spoken at several local charity events to support various causes ranging from children's health to poverty reduction and education.
Jeff Edwards of Whitby has volunteered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation since 2007, raising funds through door-to-door canvassing, local "Big Bike" events, the annual "Hockey for Hearts" tournament, and the "Pucks for Heart" event. He also organized a community event for a local three-year-old girl in need of a bone marrow transplant. Thanks to his efforts, two matches were found and the girl was able to have successful surgery.
Josephine (Jo) Evans of Leamington became involved with Leamington Junior Athletic Club in 1948 and helped the club become inclusive of female athletes. She has spent more than two decades as an organizer with the Special Olympics and almost 25 years with the Salvation Army. She also served as Vice-President and President of the local hospital auxiliary, drove cancer patients to their appointments, and delivered Meals on Wheels.
Alison Jackson of Cambridge has volunteered for more than 30 years with the Friends of Waterloo Region Museum, a foundation that supports the museum and contributes to the preservation of local heritage and culture. Alison also volunteers with many other local heritage organizations, as well as the Canadian Embroiderers' Guild Guelph, the Victorian Order of Nurses, United Way, and Family and Children Services.
Jan (Dutchie) Loman of Ear Falls has been involved with the Ear Falls Museum for 50 years, where he served as chairman of the board, curator, and organizer of projects to recover historical artifacts from closed gold mines in the area. He participated on Chukuni Communities Development Corporation's business development committee for more than 20 years. Jan has also supported Theatre 105, an annual dinner theatre event that is also a key fundraising initiative for the local hospital auxiliary.
Sheila McMahon of Fort Frances is the president of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. She has helped shape the Friendship Centre movement in Ontario for more than 20 years. She supports Aboriginal youth by teaching beading, cooking and other traditional activities. She also advocates for the inclusion of Indigenous languages as part of the curriculum at the Aboriginal Alternative School at the United Native Friendship Centre.
Carefor Volunteer Drivers of Pembroke is a volunteer-based transportation program that provides escorted transportation to and from essential services for seniors or disabled persons, taking them to local or out-of-town medical appointments. Volunteers completed more than 227,000 trips for close to 13,000 individuals last year, covering 3.7 million kilometres.
Community Support Centre of Essex County of Belle River has provided community services in Belle River and Essex County for more than 32 years. Its hundreds of volunteers stock the shelves of the community food pantry, drive clients to medical treatments, deliver meals and visit those who are unable to leave their homes easily. Volunteers also assist with the Centre's seasonal programs and fundraising events.
Friends of the Woodstock Art Gallery of Woodstock has supported the Woodstock Art Gallery since 1966. The volunteer organization's contributions include assisting with front of house operations and visitor services, managing the gift shop and catering receptions, in addition to numerous fundraising activities. Volunteers also help run the museum's popular monthly See You at the Movies program, which brings internationally acclaimed movies to Woodstock through the Toronto International Film Circuit.
Hospice Toronto's Complementary Therapy Volunteer Team of Toronto supports individuals and their families who are coping with a life-threatening illness. The Complementary Therapy Program provides clients with access to therapies such as massage, reiki and reflexology, which have a positive impact on their well-being. The therapies are provided at no cost by a team of professionals who volunteer their time and skills.
Ideal Way of London is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and motivating people with intellectual disabilities. Founders Robert Pio Hajjar and his aunt, Addie Daabous, had a mission to make all people with an intellectual disability feel IDEAL: Included, Deserving, Equal, Appreciated and Loved. They deliver their I Can; You Can presentation around North America and motivate participants to recognize their abilities and work towards setting and achieving their own goals.
Maitland Trail Association of Goderich has created and maintains more than 80 kilometers of hiking trails in the Goderich community. They organize and host dozens of community events throughout the year, including hiking, skiing and snowshoeing outings. The association's guiding principles include protecting the natural environment of the Maitland River Valley and providing the community with safe and accessible opportunities for physical activity, nature appreciation and recreation.
Red Ribbon Café of Windsorprovides a hot and nutritious meal weekly to people living with HIV to support them in adopting a healthier lifestyle as part of their treatment regime. Volunteers have run the Hot Lunch Program for the past three years at the AIDS Committee of Windsor's Red Ribbon Café. The program doubles as a way for people to engage with the community, avoid social isolation and stigmatization, and meet others in similar life situations.
Youth at Risk Development (YARD) Mentors of Hamilton is a community-based program that steers youth away from high-risk behaviours and toward positive change. Each mentor is matched with a young participant, and works with them to determine how best to assist. The volunteers' respectful approach to communication and relationship-building regularly results in significant transformation in the lives of many youth.