Two individuals and three community projects were recognized during the sixth Annual Mayor’s Community Safety Awards ceremony for their work to make Thunder Bay a safer community.
“I wish to offer my sincerest congratulations and thanks to each of this year’s recipients,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs.
“This year’s recipients are setting an example through their outstanding efforts to make our community safer and more welcoming for everyone. I hope we can all look at these recipients as inspirations as we work together to make our own changes to better our community.”
Sponsor: Apex Investigation and Security
Michael Quibell is a local food producer, cook and volunteer who is committed to the community through his work with local organizations that support homeless and other vulnerable populations. Through his work with the RFDA, Shelter House, Dew Drop Inn and Grace Place, Michael understands the importance of increasing food security and meeting the basic needs of all people in our community with dignity and respect.
Chantal Petit quickly stood out as a young person who was committed to making Thunder Bay a safer place for everyone. She has been a member of the Thunder Bay Police Service’s Zone Watch Program since October 2015 and was a leader in developing a road safety campaign that focused on bringing awareness to the dangers of texting and driving. Chantal also sits on the Crime Prevention Council as a Youth Representative. She has eagerly taken on the responsibility of chairing the Public Education Working Group, and regularly attends community safety events to support and engage the community in the task of preventing crime.
Sponsor: Mac’s Convenience Stores
Senior Fraud Stoppers is a group of dedicated retirees who volunteer their time to teach seniors and others in the community how to keep seniors safe from financial abuse. The group includes Pauline Vranesich, Maria Bilyk, and Gloria McKay, three seniors who have been working together for over 12 years. As members of the Community Elder Abuse Prevention Committee, the group has been very effective at raising awareness about elder abuse in the region. Lee Stones, past-Chair of the Community Elder Abuse Prevention Committee, continues to provide support.
Sponsor: Union Gas
Stand Up! Against Racism is an annual event that brings the community together to stand up against racism, while encouraging unity and respect among people of all nations. Ashley Nurmela created the event in 2015, with support from her fellow students in the Native Child and Family Services at Confederation College. It was created in response to racially motivated Facebook posts targeting the city’s Aboriginal population. The Stand Up! Against Racism initiative has helped raise awareness about the issue of racism and has challenged the community’s way of thinking about Indigenous peoples.
Sponsor: Thunder Bay Police Services Board
For the past four years, Juan Baztarrica, creator of the Thunder Bay Swimming Holes group, has raised awareness in the community about the safety issues of litter and broken glass at some of Thunder Bay’s most cherished summertime swimming holes. He formed the Thunder Bay Swimming Holes group, and has made a commitment to restore these areas natural beauty for everyone to safely enjoy, and to inspire local residents to take action to clean-up naturally beautiful areas, and to help change the mentality of individuals who leave litter behind.