2018 Awards

2018 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2017 calendar year.

2018 Spirit of Thunder Bay

 Richard Carson

Richard CarsonRichard Carson has been on the board of directors for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Volunteer Community Corporation as secretary-treasurer since 1986.  VON Thunder Bay Community Corporation raises funds to support VON’s community support programs which help individuals to remain in their homes independently for as long as possible.  The community corporation gives an annual grant to enhance and subsidize these programs and assist in developing new programs.  Richard has raised awareness in the community of the importance of home and community health care programs, together with raising funds for support services in Thunder Bay and the district.  Over the last thirty-one years Richard has also been a founding member of Girls Day Out golf event planning committee which has raised and contributed $100,000 to VON programs.  Richard is also a member of the Children’s Wish golf tournament planning committee that works to grant wishes to terminally ill children.  Richard’s belief in VON programs has helped the organization to grow and become a strong and vital health care provider in our community.

 Doreen Cummine
Doreen CummineDoreen Cummine has dedicated her time as a volunteer with the Royal Canadian Legion and ladies’ auxiliary in Thunder Bay and the district for thirty-four years.  She is an active member and leader in various positions within the auxiliary.  As president of the legion’s shuffleboard club, she organized teams, made up schedules and managed the event.  Her involvement has encouraged veterans, seniors, legion members and the public to remain active, to socialize and to develop new skills.  She worked many years at the CLE and Superior Shores Bingo to raise dollars for various Thunder Bay charities, supporting and improving the lives of many citizens.  As convener of veteran funeral receptions, she has provided crucial support to grieving families.  The Royal Canadian Legion ladies’ auxiliary and the community of Thunder Bay are indeed fortunate to have received the benefit of Doreen’s leadership, hard work and countless hours as a dedicated volunteer.
 Michelle Cvornjck
Michelle CvornjckMichelle Cvornjck is a committed, active volunteer for Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group.  In the position of Assistant Artistic Director, Michelle is a patient, organized and positive influence in teaching teenagers and adults at weekly rehearsals.  Michelle can be counted on to help with the dancers at community performances at senior and retirement homes, at Folklore and at Chaban’s annual concert rehearsals.  As a member of the executive, Michelle attends monthly meetings, organizes annual dance workshops and participates in fundraisers.  She has undertaken responsibility for Chaban’s web site and has participated in the review process of Chaban’s constitution and by-laws.  She enjoys taking on new challenges as a teacher and dancer and helping the dancers in her classes learn new skills that will benefit them not only in Chaban but in their everyday lives.  Michelle is committed to preserving Ukrainian culture and heritage.  Through instruction and performance, she is able to keep the spirit of Ukrainian dance alive while sharing her passion with fellow dancers, students and audiences alike.
 Sharon Dawson
Sharon DawsonSharon Dawson has been a dedicated volunteer with the Alzheimer Society for sixteen years.  She has held numerous positions on the board of directors, serving as director, vice president, president and past president.  These positions help to monitor the effectiveness of the organization’s programs and services as well as guide the organization to fulfill its mission.  In addition to her time on the board and chairing committees, she selflessly volunteers her time at the Alzheimer Society reception desk on a weekly basis.  She assists with incoming donations, mail-outs, client service, transferring calls and other office duties.  Sharon has provided support to individuals and families in the community and has assisted at fundraising events.  The Alzheimer Society relies heavily on donations in order to continue its mission and vision, so Sharon’s contributions to each committee creates an impact on our existence.  She is an absolute pleasure to work with, kind-hearted, genuine and reliable.  Sharon enriches the lives of staff members, volunteers and clients alike.  The Alzheimer Society is grateful for her outstanding contributions.
 Larry and Lesley Fontaine
Larry and Lesley FontaineLarry and Lesley Fontaine have been volunteers with West Thunder Community Centre for more than twenty years.  They have acted as a team throughout their volunteer service and are still very active.  Together they have dedicated much of their free time to the centre in both leadership and volunteer work.  They have held numerous positions on the board of directors.  They have coordinated fifty-plus dances and fifty-plus programs.  Larry has volunteered as a cleaner and is the “go to” guy for building projects.  Both are long-term volunteers on the set-up crew for events such as the Christmas craft fair, Canada Day, corn roasts, special events and ongoing activities.  Their contributions have helped the centre programs meet the needs and interests of the local community.  West Thunder Community Centre thanks Larry and Lesley for their leadership, dedication and longevity of service.
 Susan Jaward
Susan JawardSusan Jaward is a master gardener and has spent enormous amounts of volunteer time sharing her knowledge and skills with others.  She is a board member of Master Gardeners Thunder Bay, the Horticultural Society, Trees Thunder Bay and Earth Care Community Greening Working Group.  Susan has helped to promote the values of vegetation in Thunder Bay for more than thirty years.  She was a founding member of Earth Care and Trees Thunder Bay.  She participated in the first group of Thunder Bay’s Citizen Pruners in 2010 and has volunteered to prune city trees every year since.  Susan participated in the organization of National Tree Day with a tree planting in a Thunder Bay park.  Through her endless commitment of volunteer time she has educated citizens about how to care for plants and why they are important.  Susan’s dedication has made possible a greater appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of the greenery in our city.
 Denita Minoletti
Denita Minoletti has been the heart and soul of Special Olympics Thunder Bay for the past decade.  Officially she serves the dual roles of treasurer and special events coordinator.  She oversees all aspects of the complex budget including fundraising.  She is responsible for arranging all travel for athletes and coaches to numerous regional, provincial and national games.  Denita also organizes all special events for the athletes and plays a key role in volunteer and coach recruitment, orientation and training.  Her leadership has been the catalyst for a 200 per cent growth in the number of athletes and volunteers since 2010.  Beyond fulfilling her job description, Denita does whatever it takes to help.  She recently drove to Fort Frances to deliver uniforms to athletes travelling to the provincial games.  She has spearheaded numerous fundraising initiatives including the NHL alumni hockey game and Conquer the Fort Run.  She is an important liaison with the Law Enforcement Torch Run.  She is a fixture at many practices and competitions, and she organizes the spring and fall registration events.  Denita does all this while working full time and raising her own special needs daughter.  Denita’s outstanding dedication to the Special Olympics exemplifies the generous spirit of volunteerism.
 Katriina Myllymaa
Katrina MyllymaaFrom more than thirty years, Katrina Myllymaa has taken on many voluntary roles.  Of Finnish heritage, Katrina coached children of the Reipas Sports Club baseball team and held various roles with the Lappe Nordic Ski Club, the 1995 World Nordic Championships and Lutheran Community Care.  For the past ten years she has served on the executive and as entertainment chair with the Thunder Bay Naval Association.  Katrina has also been a volunteer with the Royal Canadian Legion Port Arthur Branch 5.  Her ability to socially connect with legion members, veterans and the community has helped make others feel welcome and encouraged them to participate in various programs.  Katrina is a strong and caring advocate of veterans and their families, and a competent and respected volunteer with many community organizations.
 Warren Philp
Warren PhilpWarren Philip is the co-founder of the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association which has twice hosted the Under 18 Baseball World Cup, most recently in 2017.  This event contributed to a new passenger record for the Thunder Bay Airport and according to Paul Pepe, the City’s Tourism Manager, “It was a strong summer for sport tourism in 2017 and the Under 18 Baseball World Cup was a contributing factor.”  Warren also founded the CAN-AM Baseball Instructional Clinic which has been running for fifteen years for players aged 14 to 19.  Warren is also a current director of the Port Arthur Rotary Club.  As a Rotary volunteer, Warren has served several terms as a board member in various capacities and will accept the position of president in 2018.  He has volunteered with the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce and the Thunder Bay Senior Baseball league.  Warren Philip is an outstanding volunteer who consistently displays dedication and leadership. 
 Brenda Reimer
Brenda ReimerBrenda Reimer has been a valued volunteer with Diversity Thunder Bay since 1991.  She has been treasurer in the past and currently serves as secretary and communications officer.  In 2003 Brenda brought forward the concept of developing a complaint resolution mechanism where incidents of discrimination could be reported, heard and tracked.  She became chair of a working group to steer the project, and in 2017 the Incidence Reporting Initiative was launched and became a reality.  Brenda has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for the past twelve years and Age Friendly Thunder Bay since its inception in 2009.  She has volunteered with the United Way community capacity building committee and served on its steering committee.  Brenda has volunteered with the Peng You Taiji Quan Association as treasurer for the International Forum on Taijiquan and as a proposal writer and member of the fundraising committee for the Moongate project in Marina Park.  At St. Paul’s United Church Brenda has served as chair of the board, chair of the transition committee and chair of the stewardship and outreach committee.  She currently chairs the worship committee, plays in the hand bell choir and is part of the team for St. Paul’s partnership with Keewaytinook Okimnakinak secondary school support services.  Brenda’s services have included taking meals to isolated seniors, working with third world countries, providing leadership through Age Friendly Thunder Bay, working on the racism issue and welcoming new citizens to our city.  Brenda makes an exemplary contribution to our community.
Elizabeth and Gerardo Sacino
Thirty years ago, Liz and Jerry Sacino started serving at the senior banquets at St. Dominic’s Church.  Ten years later they joined the seniors club and for the past seven years Jerry has served as president and Liz as treasurer. They have guided the social activities of the parish with their welcoming and friendly nature and have increased membership to more than one hundred seniors.  With the help of others, they provide a venue where parishioners can come to play bocce ball, cards or bingo. Liz and Jerry convene Christmas and Mother’s Day dinners and dances we well as luncheons. These activities are held in the church hall where Liz usually serves her homemade pasta sauce and meatballs.  They also organize summer picnics and bocce ball tournaments. Any funds raised by these activities are donated to the church or other community charities.  As an accomplished carpenter, Jerry also volunteers to build or repair items at St. Dominic’s Church.  Liz and Jerry provide leadership and organize special events that are much appreciated by the seniors of St. Dominic’s parish.
Jo-Jo Sandberg
Jo-Jo Sandberg has been a valuable St. Joseph’s Care Group volunteer for more than thirty years.  Jo-Jo started volunteering as a meal time companion in 1985 at Bethammi Nursing Home, aiming to improve resident nutrition by actively encouraging residents to eat in a calm but sociable atmosphere.  Her gentle approach provides positive dining experiences for the residents.  Jo-Jo is also a therapeutic recreation assistant, providing support and helping residents and staff with recreation activities to increase their enjoyment of life.  Jo-Jo not only volunteers at Bethammi Nursing Home but also entertains at both the Manor House and P.R. Cook Apartments.  Jo-Jo’s piano playing and singing provide the clients and residents the opportunity to enjoy a music program that enhances their quality of life.  The participants respond favourably to her loving and caring manner and look forward to seeing her each week.  Some of the participants have dementia, and when Jo-Jo is performing they are “in the moment,” smiling, singing and clapping to the tunes they remember.  Jo-Jo’s talent and her friendly and outgoing manner promote the mission of St. Joseph’s Care Group:  care, compassion and commitment.
Pat and Henry Wielobob
Pat and Henry WielobobPat and Henry Wielobob have been host family volunteers with Wesway since 1999.  Wesway provides respite services to people of all ages with disabilities.  The responsibilities of ongoing twenty-four-hour care can be stressful and relentless.  Caregivers need breaks to “recharge their batteries” while individuals being cared for also need to socialize, develop new relationships and gain or maintain as much independence as possible.  Pat and Henry have touched the lives of many participants whom they have hosted over the years.  Currently they are hosting an adult male who lives with his mother/caregiver.  Since Pat and Henry sell homemade products at the farmers’ market, this gentleman attends the market with them to help and to enjoy a Saturday morning brunch.  Once the market is over, they head to Pat and Henry’s home where he might enjoy a movie and a snack.  His mother says that not only are Pat and Henry a great help to her, but her son always looks forward to spending time with them.  Pat and Henry have made wonderful connections with other caregivers and are described as easy-going and very caring people.  They have made genuine connections with the participants and families while developing lasting friendships.  Pat and Henry are valuable assets to the Wesway team.

2018 Good Citizen

 Amanda Anderson
Amanda Anderson has touched the lives of many families in our community by dedicating more than ten years to Autism Ontario Thunder Bay and District.  Amanda began as a volunteer and then became an awareness coordinator.  She is now the chapter president.  Amanda has gone above and beyond, committing many hours volunteering to ensure children and families are supported.  She has acted as an advocate for families and children and built strong relationships with them.  She has initiated and organized events such as Autism Ontario’s annual awareness walk, the annual Christmas party, clothing fundraisers and the Zumba thon.  She also acts as a liaison between Autism Ontario and various community partners.  Amanda has become an invaluable asset to Autism Ontario.
 Audrey Debruyne
Audrey DebruyneAudrey Debruyne is an active and engaged volunteer with Club Culturel Francophone de Thunder Bay (formerly Club Canadien Francais) as a board member and now as president.  For more than five years, Audrey has energetically created diverse projects and events to celebrate francophone arts, heritage and culture in Thunder Bay.  She has developed numerous creative projects to include the general community in meaningful ways such as family fun days, concerts, games, Christmas suppers, the maple sugar cabin at Fort William Historical Park family day and many others.  Audrey develops innovative activities and events to reach people of all ages and backgrounds to share and celebrate the French language.  She has a talent for organizing people and recruiting volunteers to support these events.  Audrey is a dedicated and committed volunteer, and Club Culturel Francophone applauds her contribution.
 Dianne Eaton
Dianne EatonDianne Eaton volunteers at CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) as a sales assistant in the CNIB shop.  She has faithfully dedicated five years and many hours to assist people who are blind or partially sighted to find products that will help with day-to-day activities.  These products include magnifiers, talking watches, contrast sunglasses and other aids.  Dianne is knowledgeable about CNIB’s products and services and offers wisdom, patience and kindness to our clients.  She always greets people with respect and a willingness to find the best solution for the person she is assisting.  Clients and customers can always expect excellent customer service when dealing with Dianne who also trains other CNIB shop volunteers and assists in other roles as needed.  Dianne is a tremendous asset to CNIB’s shop and front reception.
 Big Band Klown Band
Big Band Klown BandThe Big Band Klown Band (formerly the Elks Klown Band) has been entertaining seniors and children in the community for eighty years and have been valued volunteers with the Life Enrichment Program at Hogarth Riverview Manor, a long-term care facility, for more than ten years.  The band members share their passion for music and song, bringing the magic of music to our residents and to many others in senior homes in our community.  The volunteers in the Big Band Klown Band dance with residents, sing to them individually on their birthdays, and most importantly make them laugh and smile.  These talented musicians spend hours preparing and organizing their excellent performances.  They play familiar tunes with a big band sound that encourages the residents to sing, dance and tap along.  Everyone looks forward to the thoroughly enjoyable events that the Big Band Klown Band provide.  Hogarth Riverview Manor is grateful to them for bringing music, laughter and joy to our residents.
 Kelly Fettes
Kelly FettesKelly Fettes has helped Leadership Thunder Bay, a community-based leadership program, to grow and flourish during her tenures as director, vice-president and president.  As president, she oversaw the largest graduating class in the program’s history.  Kelly was also a driving force behind the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program, helping to lead the program to great success.  As chair of the events committee, she has seen many event ideas come to successful fruition.  As an example, Kelly’s skills and innovation led the Turkey Drive which raised $2,000.  Kelly fostered Leadercast which is a fruitful partnership between Leadership Thunder Bay and the Chamber of Commerce.  Leadership Thunder Bay values Kelly as an exceptional contributor to its goals.
 Stephanie Fimognari
Stephanie FimognariStephanie Fimognari has been a mentor volunteer with the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay for five years.  She has been a constant support, companion and friend to two siblings, ensuring that they stay connected by maintaining regular weekly contact.  Stephanie plans outings that engage the children in active, fun and healthy recreational activities.  She has attended case conferences, inter-unit meetings and placement meetings providing valuable input and being an advocate for her charges.  She is an exemplary volunteer who has provided more than five hundred hours of service, and she is someone on whom the children rely.  Stephanie has significantly improved the quality of their lives, and the Children’s Aid Society is grateful for her commitment.
 Friends of the Thunder Bay Public Library
Friends of the Thunder Bay Public LibraryThe Friends of the Thunder Bay Public Library celebrated their thirtieth anniversary in 2017.  The organization was first established in 1987 as a grass roots volunteer, fundraising and advocacy group.  Over the past thirty years, the Friends have assisted the library to refurbish and renovate the Mary J.L. Black Library, build a new Mary J.L. Black branch, build a new County Park Library and relocate this branch within County Fair Mall.  Currently the Friends have two used book store locations which are volunteer staffed from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  The Friends have held numerous fundraisers and raffles over the years including Definition Quest, Computer Friendly Raffle, Dream Travel raffle and others.  They have supported programs such as the Readers are Leaders program, a one-to-one early literacy program, and a home delivery service that brings books to library members who cannot physically visit the library.  The Friends also assist by volunteering for library displays and events in the community.  In the last thirty years, the Friends have helped the library system to innovate and grow, having raised and donated more than $861,000.  The Thunder Bay Public Library thanks and applauds the Friends for their support and dedication.
 John Glazier
John GlazierJohn Glazier has been a dedicated hospice and palliative care volunteer with Hospice Northwest and also a volunteer with his therapy dog Bella at Dawson Court and Pioneer Ridge since 2012.  John has offered kindness, compassion and advocacy to those journeying through the end stages of their life-limiting illness. His commitment to his work takes him to people’s homes, local hospitals and long-term care facilities where Bella often accompanies him so they can work their magic together.  John and Bella’s regular visits help those residents who are not able to spend time with their own pets or who would benefit from social interaction and stimulation.  John also assists with presentations and is an eloquent public speaker, enlightening listeners about palliative care and the services of Hospice Northwest.  He is willing to serve in any way possible.  Hospice Northwest thanks and salutes John and Bella for their unique and special contribution to our community.
 Jennifer Hill
Jennifer HillOver the past twenty years, Jennifer Hill has volunteered with numerous charities and organizations including West Thunder Community Centre, Dragon Boat Race Festival, Benny Birch’s Birthday Party and Thunder Bay Children’s Festival.  For the past five years she has initiated and developed the annual Mingle and Jingle with Santa which supports a different charity annually.  The event has raised money for the Regional Food Distribution Association, PRO Kids, Precious Bundles, Friends of Olivia and Blessings in a Backpack.  The events that Jennifer plans focus on creating memorable experiences for families and individuals.  She always puts others first and has made a deep impact on our community through her dedication, commitment and involvement.  Jennifer is an inspiration and model for good will.
 Linda Hoard
Linda HoardLinda Hoard has committed a considerable amount of time to keeping our community safe through her involvement with Operation Red Nose and St. John Ambulance.  For more than nine years, she has volunteered as a committee member, dispatcher, telephone operator and in-house manager with Operation Red Nose.  Her dedication to ensuring the success of this important and vital program have benefitted the community by keeping the roads safe.  Linda has also contributed her time to help with St. John Ambulance car seat clinics, trailer draws and other projects as needed.  Linda is always willing to help and she works tirelessly.  St. John Ambulance is grateful for her valuable services.
 Veijo Holopainen
Veijo HolopainenFor the past twenty-two years, Veijo Holopainen has been a committed friendly visitor and walk-a-bit volunteer with the Thunder Bay 55-Plus Centre’s support services program.  Veijo has provided friendship and support to many homebound older adults in our community by visiting them weekly in their own homes to provide companionship.  He shares social and leisure activities that help to decrease social isolation and loneliness in frail seniors.  Veijo is always willing to do the little extras for people such as reading to his friend who is legally blind, bringing books from the library or visiting people in the hospital.  His assistance also provides relief and support to the caregivers who are grateful for a much-needed break.  Veijo has always been reliable, caring and dedicated to the people he visits.  He is a valuable asset to our elder community.
 Toni Hudyma
Toni HudymaThroughout her fifteen years of service, Toni Hudyma has been a dedicated volunteer to Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay.  She has volunteered at the Restore, on the salvage crew and with the home builds.  Her work at the Restore and on the salvage crew has assisted to effectively raise money for our cause.  Toni has been instrumental in putting fifteen families, including thirty-seven children, into their own homes.  She has helped to break the cycle of poverty by getting families into home ownership.  During build season, Toni contributes many hours, volunteering five to six days a week.  With fifteen home builds, Toni has developed an exceptional skill set that she uses as a team leader to teach new volunteers basic carpentry and construction.  Toni is a dependable and committed volunteer who has made an impact on the quality of life of families in our community.
 Jennifer Koval
Jennifer KovalJennifer Koval is often quoted as saying that volunteering is not something she feels obligated to do; it is something she loves to do.  She has been volunteering for many years with the Girls Guides of Canada, Precious Bundles, Wesway as a respite worker, the Catholic Women’s League of St. Peter’s Parish, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation as secretary-treasurer, the Thunder Bay Museum and the Thunder Bay Health Unit.  She believes in the importance of each of the charitable organizations for which she volunteers her time, skills and energy.  Jennifer’s optimism is infectious and her dedication to volunteering is exemplary.
 Sandi Krasowski
Sandi KrasowskiSandi Krasowski is well known in Thunder Bay as a journalist and photographer, but she is also an exemplary volunteer who works with children.  At St. Anthony’s parish, Sandi has led the Sunday children’s liturgy and planned the Christmas Eve children’s Mass for about twenty-five years.  Every Sunday she is prepared with a craft for the youth and a lesson on the gospel.  Sandi leads up to sixty children, encouraging them to love others and to give back to the community.  She has touched the lives of many children who not only return every week to hear her teach but also come back to visit and volunteer many years after they have grown to be young adults.  Through leadership and dedication, Sandi helps to nurture youth to become loving, caring and respectful member of society.
 Lisa Laco
Lisa LacoLisa Laco has volunteered her expertise as a host and master of ceremonies for many community events and fundraisers for more than twenty years.  As a volunteer emcee, Lisa has supported the annual Influential Women of Northern Ontario awards, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s gala art auction, the International Festival of Authors, the Raag Rung Music Circle and many other events.  She has also supported regional cancer care, mental health, the Thunder Bay Food Bank, Thunder Bay Victim Services and the Salvation Army.  In her role as emcee, Lisa is able to guide proceedings over the course of the evening to ensure the success of the event.  It is Lisa’s preparation, her professional delivery and her confidence on stage that help many groups to achieve their goals.  Lisa is generous with her time, supporting many organizations that work to improve lives in our community.
 Lakehead Search and Rescue
Lakehead Search and RescueLakehead Search and Rescue is a volunteer-based non-profit organization with a group of dedicated volunteers who assist local police agencies in finding people who are lost or stranded.  They have been serving the Thunder Bay area for more than fifty years.  Lakehead Search and Rescue’s forty plus trained volunteers are search ready and on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Members meet monthly and training is ongoing to prepare for mandatory provincial yearly examinations.  Lakehead Search and Rescue is strongly committed to building a safe and healthy community, and safety and environmental education are at the core of all endeavours.  Unit members provide training programs to various groups such as outdoor survival skills to aviation students at Confederation College and Hug-a-Tree and Survive presentations to young children.  Their trained volunteers are providers of Project Lifesaver which helps to save the lives of wandering individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, those with other forms of dementia and children with autism.  Over the last few years, an extensive fundraising campaign has taken place and Lakehead Search and Rescue has raised enough to purchase a new mobile command centre that will increase its efficiency and better serve the citizens of Thunder Bay.
 Isaac Neekan
Isaac NeekanIsaac Neekan has volunteered with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for 10 years. Isaac is a friendly visitor in the Renal Unit and throughout the hospital. His kind, gentle, patient, compassionate nature has surely helped many Indigenous patients and their family members from Northern Communities who are unfamiliar with our hospital and community. Isaac always makes himself available when hospital staff let us know there is a patient who would benefit from Ojibwe speaking visitor. Isaac has demonstrated his dedication to patient care is=n many ways over the years. Isaac is a valuable asset to the hospital.
 Dean Oikonen
Dean OikonenDean Oikonen is a founding member of Zorya Ukrainen Dance Association and has volunteered his time for 21 years. Dean has held Executive positions, has studied to become a Dance Instructor and a Dance Choreographer and is also a Dancer himself. Dean is always very willing to assist another instructor if needed and lend a helping hand at the Studio when required. Dean is always ready to do the best job he can. Dean has taught all age levels with the dance school, including his peers. As an instructor he teaches and prepares dancers to perform with confidence and pride. Dean’s choreography knowledge offers the necessary know how of Ukrainian culture and tradition. As a dancer Dean performs with skill, expertise and showmanship. Dean’s performances in Ukrainian Festivals have taken him throughout Northwestern Ontario, to British Columbia and the United States. He performs annually at Malanka, a celebration of Ukrainian New Years Eve, Ukrainian weddings, anniversaries and special events. He has been involved in performances such as Folklore Festival, Canada Celebrations and Senior’s homes. He is an excellent role model for young parents and the young dancers he has instructed. His commitment and leadership has made the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association grow into the successful dance group it is today.
 Amanda Orr
Amanda OrrAmanda has been volunteering with Wesway since 2012. As a Community Friend volunteer, Amanda has touched the life of an older woman who is unable to leave her home to get out into the community. They have developed a close bond and a wonderful relationship. Amanda has been, and continues to be, a constant part of this woman’s life. She spends her time weekly socializing and providing companionship while her husband is able to go out and enjoy some respite. Amanda’s volunteer activities also includes the Children’s Aid Society, Operation Red Nose and Grandview Lodge. In 2012, Amanda was involved with the International Student Volunteers, with the KWO Modwola Conservation/Community Project in South Africa. Amanda is dedicated to human services and helping to enhance the quality of life for people.
 Susan (Sue) Peever
Sue PeeverSusan Peever has been a volunteer for Christmas Cheer Thunder Bay for more than 15 years. This charity is a large part of our community during the festive period and has touched the lives of many people every year. Susan gathers and sorts clothing and food items for the less fortunate. Susan has also donated her time Lakehead School Board groups, fundraising organizations, golf tournaments, donating her time for those less fortunate. Susan gathers all of the lost and found items from the public schools. She ensures that hundreds of articles are cleaned and then sorted. These items are donated to worthy causes, with a large portion going back into the elementary school system for children in need. She has also spent many years constantly gathering various items for our local shelter house.   Susan always puts others before herself. Susan’s dedication has made an impact on our community and to the many people she has helped.
 Mary Poulter
Mary PoulterMary Poulter has been a vital member of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation board of directors and the finance and audit committee for nine years.  She has contributed countless hours as a board and committee member, not only managing the foundation’s investments but also sharing her personal battle with breast cancer.  Her ongoing commitment to good stewardship of the dedicated funds of the foundation has proven how important she considers the trust placed in her.  She continues year after year to manage the investments in the best way possible and plays a vital role on the board of directors.  Mary has spoken about her journey with cancer at multiple events such as the Bachelor for Hope charity auction, the Luncheon of Hope and the Think Pink basketball game.  Mary’s management of the foundation’s investments and her willingness to share her health story have been valuable assets to the foundation.
 Kristine Quaid
Kristine QuaidKristine Quaid has been a peer supporter with the Northwestern Ontario Peer Council, Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, St. Joseph’s Care Group for five years.  She offers peer support to others experiencing challenges with mental health and/or addictions.  She makes herself available to anyone who needs to talk or needs support in their day-to-day lives.  Kristine’s 5,618 hours of volunteer time reflect her commitment and dedication.  She builds relationships based on trust, care, understanding and acceptance, allowing peers to share thoughts and feelings.  She is flexible and non-judgmental and she tries to connect members to community resources that could offer further support.  Kristine is provincial chair on the Ontario Peer Development Initiative.  She is a member of the Client and Family Council and the Comprehensive Community Support Team with St. Joseph’s Care Group.  As well, she is a member of Health Quality Ontario, the Copeland Centre and Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada.  St. Joseph’s Care Group is grateful for Kristine’s exemplary work and dedication.
 Ian Robson
Ian RobsonIan Robson has been involved with the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps for the past fifteen years.  He started as a volunteer commanding officer, and as a retired police officer he has been able to use his policing knowledge and experience to teach the cadets how to become positive role models in the community.  Ian is involved with many cadet activities including public speaking.  The new recruits might start out shy and reluctant to speak in front of their peers, but with Ian’s help they gain the confidence to stand up and speak in a room full of dignitaries.  Ian’s   quick wit and humorous approach have made him popular with the cadets.  When Ian stepped away from the position of commanding officer, he joined the board of directors and in 2016 became chair of the board.  Ian will help with the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps 25th Anniversary celebration this year.  He also volunteers with Heart and Stroke and the Power Sails Squadron.  Ian is a well-respected member of our community and The Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps is appreciative of his valuable volunteer involvement.
 George Romick
George RomickFor more than thirty years, George Romick has willingly and extensively volunteered in our community.  Many organizations have benefitted from his volunteer services.  Since 1988 he has service in various capacities with St. John Ambulance, and he has been active with the Royal Canadian Legion for thirty-nine years.  George has been a coach and/or convener with Grandview Recreational Hockey Association since 1996, and he has been with the North End Recreational Centre Soccer Association since 1988.  He has been a beaver, cub and scout leader and coach at Volunteer pool.  Through the Knights of Columbus, George assists with charity events and with repairs to church and cathedral bells.  Since 2014 he has been an advisory member at the Thunder Bay Military Family Resource Centre.  George has enhanced the lives of numerous citizens and influenced many youths to develop good citizenship, strong civic responsibility, life skills and a positive sports attitude.  George has made an exceptional contribution to our community.
 Reggie Shasko
Reggie ShaskoReggie Shasko volunteers in various ways for a number of organizations.  Reggie was a Special Olympics athlete in the 1980s and he volunteers with other special needs people.  For sixteen years he has helped with the Dew Drop Inn kitchen, welcoming volunteers with his favourite brewed coffee.  For Summer in the Parks, he has distributed flyers and interacted with people for more than fifteen years.  He has sung in the special St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic church choir for ten years, and he has been an usher and greeter at Magnus Theatre for four years.  At the Festa Italiana in midsummer he can be seen giving a helping hand to servers in the food booths.  His photographic memory enables him to remember names, places, songs and stories so that he can entertain people and show them that he cares.  Reggie’s outgoing personality and willingness to help make him a valued and special citizen of our community.
 Shirley Szychter
Shirley Szychter has been a member of Oliver Road Community Centre since 2008.  She joined the ladies’ auxiliary, has faithfully attended the monthly meetings and has served as vice president.  Shirley makes perogies, meatballs and sandwiches and also works the canteen.  She donates to the bake table and canvasses for prizes.  She volunteers for special events such as the ladies’ auxiliary spring tea, the annual spring and fall yard sales, the children’s Christmas party and the annual winter carnival.  Her cooking, baking, canvassing and board leadership are much appreciated.  The Oliver Road Community Centre is grateful for Shirley’s hard work and commitment.
 Keith Taylor
Keith TaylorKeith Taylor has volunteered extensively for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and also with the New Hope Dog Rescue, Our Kids Count and the Arthritis Society of Northwestern Ontario.  At TBRHSC Keith is co-chair of the Patient Family Advisory Council, and he was instrumental in introducing “NOD,” a protocol whereby when staff meet a patient they state their name, occupation and what they are going to do.  Keith’s dedication to “Patients first” and the NOD protocol have enabled TBRHSC to become the only hospital in Canada to be awarded a Leading Practice designation for patient and family centre care.  Through New Hope Dog Rescue, Keith has united hundreds of dogs with new owners.  He is also active with the Red River Rumble Show, a motorcycle event that raises funds for Our Kids Count.  While Keith has been board chair of the Arthritis Society, the donation rate per capita has been the highest in Ontario.  Keith is an exemplary and exceptional volunteer.
 Janice Trush
Janice Trush has volunteered her time for more than twenty years to the sport of swimming in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.  She is a member of Thunderbolts Swim Club and volunteers as a meet referee, officials mentor and educator.  Janice’s achievements in the world of officiating for swimming has allowed the swim clubs of Thunder Bay and region to host swim meets to the benefits of the swimmers, coaches and other officials.  She has been instrumental in swimming’s popularity and swimmers’ love for the sport as they experience competing in well-run meets.  Janice has instructed and mentored many new officials, ensuring that all participants have a strong understanding of the sport and its rules.  Janice’s enthusiasm for officiating and sharing her knowledge is a vital resource for the next generation of competitive swimmers.  Janice is an invaluable asset to the great sport of swimming in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.
 Olga Turk
Olga TurkOlga Turk has been a North McIntyre Recreation Centre volunteer since 1978.  She organizes the ladies’ auxiliary for perogy making to help support the centre.  Funds raised from perogy sales help keep the recreation centre open.  This activity not only raises funds for the centre but allow for other volunteers to come out and socialize with friends.  Olga’s volunteer involvement includes planning, organizing and implementing teen dances, 55 plus dances, New Year’s Eve dances and the winter carnival.  Olga does the pre-event activities and works hard in set-up and clean-up of events.  Olga has just been re-elected as treasurer of the centre.  The North McIntyre Recreation Centre values immensely all of Olga’s work and tireless commitment.
 Valerie Van Diest
Valerie Van DiestFor more than ten years, Valerie Van Diest has been volunteering at Hogarth Riverview Manor. She assists residents at meal time and in any other way she can.  Valerie escorts residents to the salon, chapel services, the gift shop and the coffee shop.  When there is live entertainment in the “town hall,” she can be seen socializing with the seniors – singing, dancing and laughing.  Valerie shares her precious gift of time every day by getting to know the residents and their needs.  She ensures that the people she visits are happy and content.  Valerie often spends much of her time with residents who have no other visitors.  They appreciate the time and caring that she so freely gives.  Her daily committed volunteer work contributes greatly to the quality of life of residents of Hogarth Riverview Manor.
 Donna Veley
Donna VeleyLong-term care facility Lakehead Manor celebrates Donna Veley for her innovative program called “Dinner with Donna.”  Once a month, Donna prepares a home-cooked meal for ten to twelve residents.  She buys all the food supplies, does the cooking and brings mouth-watering meals for the seniors to enjoy.  Over the years she has cooked a great variety of homemade meals, but some favourites are lasagna, shepherd’s pie, liver and onions, jellied salads and many desserts.  Each month, Donna asks a group of residents what they would like her to cook and then she decides on a menu, complete with salad and dessert.  In coordination with the recreation department, the monthly date is set and the council room is decorated with tablecloths, napkins and centerpieces.  “Dinner with Donna” is greatly appreciated by Lakehead Manor and is a highlight of the seniors’ lives.
 Jonathan Watts
Jonathan WattsJonathan Watts is active with the Lakehead Shrine Club, the Canadian Ski Patrol and the Masonic Lodge.  For the Shrine Club he is director of past presidents and the equipment manager for the Shrine Club Cycos mini cars.  At various venues in the summer, Jon drives the Shrine train to raise funds for hospital care for sick children.  He has also worked at the annual Shrine Circus and many other Shrine fundraising projects.  For the past eight years, Jon has been a first responder with the Canadian Ski Patrol and he is Past Master at Port Arthur Masonic Lodge 499 which supports the Child Identification Program and other activities.  Jon has volunteered for the Christmas Cheer Fund, sponsored co-op students, participated in Eco Superior’s cause and helped with the annual Salvation Army kettle drive.  Jonathan has truly given back to the community with exemplary volunteer work.
 Susan Wright
Susan WrightSusan Wright has been a dedicated Our Kids Count volunteer since early 2012.  During that time, she has contributed generously with more than four hundred volunteer hours.  Her busiest role is serving as team leader for the Our Kids Count face painting team.  In that role she regularly takes on many responsibilities at events around the community.  She is a warm, positive and energetic leader to other face painters.  Susan is particularly skilled at engaging the children who participate.  She assists with anything that will benefit the Our Kids Count organization including fundraising, special events and assistance with the older children during the “Every Parent” group functions.  At these functions, parents and care givers have an opportunity to take time for themselves in an adult setting to learn new skills such as cooking, child development, positive discipline and self-esteem.  The Our Kids Count organization is very grateful for Susan’s extraordinary volunteer help.

2018 Youth

 Kevin Bai
Kevin BaiKevin Bai has touched the lives of many young children as a helper, teacher and mentor.  For the past two and a half years, he has been volunteering for the Lakehead Public School’s International Heritage Languages Program every Sunday, teaching students from grade one through eight how to speak, read and write Mandarin Chinese.  Kevin is developing a web site for the Thunder Bay Chinese-Canadian Association.  This web site will have a great impact on the association by bringing together the Chinese community through a platform of communication and information-sharing.  Kevin also volunteered at the Superior Science summer camp in 2015 where he helped campers participate in science activities daily for four weeks.  Kevin endeavours to promote multiculturalism in Thunder Bay.  His dedication to volunteer work has contributed to the education of children and youth in our community.
 Thomas Brassard
Thomas BrassardThomas Brassard is a grade twelve French immersion student at St. Patrick’s High School.  His many volunteer activities include work with Shelter House, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Staal Foundation golf tournament, Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association, St. Anthony’s Church “Children Helping Children” program, the Canada Games Complex and others.  He also organized the “My # Make 150 Count Public Skating Event” with participants being encouraged to donate used hockey equipment to northern reserves and/or non-perishable food items to the Regional Food Distribution Association.  Tom serves as a student trustee for the Thunder Bay District School Board, is a member of the Ontario Student Trustee Association and has participated in many programs across Canada such as Encounters with Canada and the Explore Program.  Thomas has volunteered more than five hundred hours in the school and community and is an exemplary youth leader.
 Abbie Houlding
Abbie HouldingAbbie Holding, through volunteering at Fort William Historical Park, showcases and preserves the unique cultural history of the region by learning, practicing and sharing heritage food, games and traditional crafts with park visitors.  Abbie has volunteered at a number of Fort William Historical Park annual events including Haunted Fort Night, Canada Day, Voyageurs Winter Carnival and the Battle of Fort William.  During the latter she engages and submerges visitors in the terrors of war during the historic battle tactics showcased at the event.  Abbie’s dedication to volunteering has inspired other youth to become engaged in the community, and her enthusiasm for our cultural history has contributed to the enjoyment and education of park visitors.
 Allison Jones
Allison JonesAllison Jones is an exceptional community volunteer. She has served as the co-chair for the United Way of Thunder Bay’s Youth Granting Committee. In that role, she planned and executed meetings with agencies within the community which demonstrated financial need. The funds raised were distributed to various agencies including employment services and local food banks. One area of special interest to Allison which benefited from this initiative was the Community Clothing Assistance not-for-profit organization. Allison has expressed that this experience has taught her both humility and profound appreciation for all that she has. Allison has been an advocate for the Student Voice throughout her high school career. She has been in positions of leadership in the Northwestern Ontario Secondary Schools Student Association. She was voted by the Student Cabinet to be one of eight executive members, specifically, Minister of Leadership Development. In this role, she selected 60 student leaders to run the annual conference. Allison has been an active community volunteer throughout her high school career, and is an outstanding candidate for the Youth Award.
 Sarah Kajorinne
Sarah KajorinneSarah Kajorinne is a strong leader in her school and community and is dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of others.  Since seventh grade she has used her musical talents to assist in organizing and performing at multiple events and fundraisers, raising more than $20,000 for local and international charities.  She serves hundreds of hours volunteering at Redwood Park Church, Shelter House, the Canadian Cancer Society, Urban Abbey and the United Way.  She has also dedicated a significant amount of time as a spiritual care giver at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre where she is able to use her musical talents to bring peace and comfort to patients and their loved ones.  Sarah is a vital member of her school community, advocating for others   She has been pivotal in the development and coordination of a grade nine orientation program called “Come as you Are.”  She is an executive member of her school’s government and has initiated, planned and coordinated events such as a community bonfire, fall ball and others.  Sarah’s strong work ethic and dedication to the community through the arts and volunteer work have deeply enriched the lives of others.
 Lahama Naeem
Lahama NaeemLahama Naeem has dedicated herself to serving her community.  She has volunteered hundreds of hours with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre helping with the Elder Life program and in the pediatric ward.  She has also volunteered for the United Way and Shelter House.  Lahama is an advocate for youth, serving as a student trustee for Lakehead Public Schools.  She works hard to be a voice for students who are marginalized or disengaged from school.  As a young Muslim woman, Lahama has dedicated herself to raising awareness about the Muslim faith and combatting Islamophobia in our community.  She is an active member of the Thunder Bay Masjid and Lakehead University Muslim Students Association.  Lahama’s work has helped Thunder Bay to become a more inclusive and welcoming community which celebrates diversity. 
 Ishaan Sachdeva
Ishaan SachdevaIshaan Sachdeva has been involved in the community in a multitude of ways throughout his three years in secondary school.  He volunteered fifteen hundred hours of his time to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Children’s Aid Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.  Ishaan helped form a committee of dedicated teens when he heard that the Canadian Cancer Society was cancelling the Relay for Life.  In response, he and his committee organized a Relay for Life at his school, Sir Winston Churchill CVI.  Ishaan also demonstrated his leadership and dedication as a coach and mentor, and in his involvement in the Churchill student government.  Ishaan is a model of youth leadership and commitment to community.
 Hafsa Siddiqui
Hafsa SiddiquiHafsa Siddiqui has been volunteering for eight years with the Canadian Cancer Society, the Blue Sky Community Hearing Centre, Hope and the City and Frontier College.  She began undertaking leadership positions at the age of sixteen when she joined the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life planning committee where she served for six years.  As chair of the Rites of Passage project, she helped to organize youth-led cultural events designed to facilitate understanding and cross-cultural exchange between different groups in the city.  Hafsa oversaw the erection of a traditional Indigenous teaching lodge at the 2017 Canada Day event.  Hafsa initiated, planned and implemented the creation of Do or Diabetes, an organization dedicated to helping diabetics living in the north to improve their personal management of the disease.  Hafsa exemplifies the value of youth who are dedicated to community improvement.
 Erick Werner
Erick WernerErick Werner volunteers with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre as an emergency department volunteer.  He offers help and friendly visiting to patients in one of the busiest emergency departments in Canada.  In addition to providing comforts such as pillows, blankets and refreshments to patients, Erick also provides assistance to the department’s support workers, helping to distribute meals and providing other help such as making splints.  Erick has demonstrated his commitment through his two years of service, faithfully reporting for weekly scheduled shifts and completing volunteer training.  He is a valuable asset to the hospital’s emergency department.
 2017 Awards

2017 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2016 calendar year.

2017 Spirit of Thunder Bay

Dianna Atkinson

Dianna AtkinsonAs a board member of the Caribbean and African Multicultural Association, of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, Dianna is continually finding ways to emphasize dialogue, transparency and nurture ideas to foster inclusion. She assists in the forging of partnerships between multicultural groups, resulting in the exchange of ideas and cultural practices, helping to bolster inclusion among community members. Dianna helps to spearhead volunteer opportunities for local youth of Afro-Caribbean descent. She has assisted in the coordination of local events such as the Black History Month Dinner and Awards Gala and the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association Folklore Festival. Dianna is recognized for her efforts in respecting and strengthening the bonds of diversity in Thunder Bay.

Arnold (Arnie) Bortolussi

As one of the founding members of the local chapter of Cystic Fibrosis, Arnie has served as the CF chapter treasurer for an incredible 48 years! He has kept the Chapter books and completed all reports meticulously and accurately for both the city and national CF office. Arnie volunteered for numerous activities such as the Kinsmen CF telethon, endless bingos, CF walks, and many other fundraisers. He has also dedicated time and energy with Port Arthur Minor Hockey for 10 years, Corpus Christie Church for 20 years, and the KC Leo Council 1130 for over 30 years! Arnie has enriched the community and the many organizations that he assisted through his exceptional volunteer contributions.

Eric Boutin

Eric BoutinEric is currently the Vice President of the Thunder Bay Judo Dojo which is a non-profit volunteer organization that promotes health, fitness and community spirit through the study of Judo. Eric has been a member of the club since 1994 and a member of the executive for over 20 years. He has been involved in numerous club activities such as: the Adopt a Road program; he has raised money for the Special Olympics participating in the Polar Plunge, and has volunteered with Murillo Fair to raise money for the club. Eric also offers his time and energy teaching at the club and referees at regional tournaments. Eric is a certified NCCP level one coach in Judo and has been selected to be a member on the Provincial Grading Board.

Michelle Bouvier

Michelle BouvierMichelle Bouvier has been a volunteer with Wesway for 36 years. Her positive attitude and adventurous spirit makes her an asset to Thunder Bay. Michelle invites a gentleman with a disability who has significant care needs into her home and steps into the shoes of caregiver. This gentleman's parents are able to receive the break they deserve which enriches their quality of life and allows them to recharge their care giving. Michelle is our longest standing volunteer at Wesway. Michelle is an extremely dedicated volunteer, having welcomed more than 20 different participants in her home. Michelle has dedicated her life to reaching out to children and adults with special needs and making them feel welcome both in the community and her home. His family is able to enjoy their respite with the reassurance that their loved one is not only safe, but having fun, knowing that he has become a part of Michelle's family. Thank you Michelle for all that you do for Wesway, the people you support and helping to make our community an inclusive and more enjoyable place.

Pauline Cernigoj

Pauline CernigojPauline Cernigoj has been involved with the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Northern Superior Chapter for more than 26 years. She has been active in Kidney Foundation events such as door to door canvassing, education booths, and raising funds to carry on programs and services.

In 2001, Pauline had a vision to organize a local renal patient support group where renal patients and families could get together to talk with others who have "been there." After a number of years the Kidney Connect Peer Support Group Program and One-to-One Peer Program were developed in the community and region. With Pauline's dedication and determination these initiatives have grown, giving kidney patients much needed support from their peers. Pauline's volunteer work has been invaluable to renal patients, their families and the Kidney Foundation.

Robert Cutbush

Robert CutbushSince 2003, Robert Cutbush has been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Port Arthur Branch #5 and was elected president and CEO from 2012-2015. Under Robert's leadership, innovation, commitment and countless hours of volunteering, the Legion overcame many challenges and today, it has become a viable organization with a growing membership.

Robert is a dedicated volunteer who accepts key responsibilities within a number of organizations. He has been involved with the Royal Canadian Legion, Reipas Sports Club, Tapiola Sports Complex, Thunder Bay Yacht Club and is a member of the Thunder Bay Naval Association. Robert Cutbush has volunteered for over 20 years in various capacities and has made an exceptional difference to Veterans, citizens and many lives in our community.

Daniella Hacio

Daniella HacioDaniella has been an active, dedicated and reliable volunteer of St. Joseph's Hospital for over 15 years. She is currently the president of the Auxiliary and her role encompasses the overall function and planning, both financial and marketing of the auxiliary and its volunteers. She works together with the St. Joseph's Care Group staff, St. Joseph's Foundation as well as the Care Group's Volunteer Services, to help strengthen the efforts and outcomes of the auxiliary. Daniella has chaired numerous fundraisers and gives generous amounts of her time while raising a family and working full time. Her volunteer involvement in the community also includes the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the United Way, Arthritis Society and the Alzheimer's Society. Daniella is truly a leader in our community serving Thunder Bay citizens relentlessly.

 Greg Hookham

Greg HookhamGreg has been the Chair of the Parking Authority Board for over 15 years. He deals with sensitive issues such as budget deficits, parking programs such as free parking at Christmas and during special events as well as attending council meetings from time to time in support of Board recommendations to City Council. As the Chair, Greg deals with sensitive budget matters and gains Board consensus on the future financial direction of operation. He has helped the Parking Authority move forward with planning and budgeting for the replacement of old, outdated operating equipment with more customer friendly equipment recognizing changes in the industry. Greg is committed to be the Chair after retiring from his jobs, using his senior management level skills to help direct the Parking Authority into the future.

Reg Jones

Reg JonesReg is the embodiment of a good citizen. Over the many decades, he has selflessly given his time, talents and skills as a dedicated and compassionate leader promoting the arts, music, education, healthcare and social awareness. He has been a board member on numerous committees including the Arrowhead Foundation, Community Auditorium, Thunder Bay Fringe Festival, Northwestern Ontario Technology Centre, to name a few. Reg's involvement in the City of Thunder Bay Walk a Mile Project inspired him to organize the conference "Walking Together - The Journey of Reconciliation." In September 2015, Reg responded quickly to a world crisis and took immediate action to lead a team to sponsor a Syrian family to Thunder Bay. Reg's leadership abilities, his deep compassion and empathy, make him an ideal "Spirit Award" recipient.

James Kingston

James KingstonJames (Jim) Kingston has been a member of Shuniah Masonic Lodge #287 for over 40 years. He has served as Master of the Lodge, the District Deputy Grand Master for the District of Algoma and an executive member of the Provincial Board for Ontario.

As a member of the Khartum Shrine and the Lakehead Shrine Club, Jim has worked tirelessly with the annual Shrine Circus and many other fundraising projects. Many of the fundraising efforts Jim has assisted the club with are toward paying for the transportation and accommodations of local children with their parents to many of the 22 Shriners Hospitals were they are provided advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate at no charge to the patients. With the dedicated lifetime service of members like Jim Kingston, the Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education which over 70 Thunder Bay and area children per year participate and benefit from.

Audrey McDonagh

Audrey McDonaghAudrey presently volunteers for the Royal Canadian Legion Port Arthur Branch #5, as a strong advocate for Veterans and their families. Audrey has served as a Civilian Cadet Instructor, Commanding Officer as well as President for the Navy League of Canada. She has been a Foster Parent for the Children's Aid Society and in 1993 joined the Royal Canadian Legion, Port Arthur Branch #5 Ladies Auxiliary. She is an extremely hard worker, dedicated to ensuring excellence and positive outcomes in all aspects of her involvement. Her leadership, experience, caring attitude and managing skills have positively influenced the success of organizations and helped many of our citizens move on toward a better life. Our community is extremely fortunate to reap the benefits of Audrey's countless volunteer hours. She is a true example of Thunder Bay's Giant Heart.

Enid McKenzie

Enid McKenzieAs an active member of the Soroptimist International for over 30 years, Enid has held many different roles from member to executive to President. The mission of Soroptimist International is to transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities. The Thunder Bay chapter supports a wide variety of women's programs, scholarships, charitable organizations and community programs. Enid is also active with the Senior Music Makers as a piano player and leader for over 14 years. She coordinates the music and schedules the performances in many community organizations and senior's homes. Her leadership and commitment is a testimony of her dedication to others and to the City of Thunder Bay.

Jack Oliphant

Jack OliphantJack Oliphant is a true community builder in the City of Thunder Bay. His expertise in the areas of accounting and information technology has benefitted many organizations and volunteer groups. He has worked with countless organizations but three of the most notable are the Thunder Bay Symphony, St Dominic's Church, and one of his longest and most cherished endeavours was his 25 years with the Seniors Income Tax Program at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus and Herb Carroll Centres. Jack was the driving force in the creation and development of computerizing the Seniors Income Tax program and was the first volunteer to coordinate an e-filing program with Canada Revenue. He has inspired many who have had the opportunity to work/volunteer with him. He is a true innovator and a leader who has had a tremendous impact on bettering the community.

Sean Shorrock

Sean ShorrockSean has been a volunteer with the Thunder Bay Police Youth corps since 1998. He has dedicated the past 19 years helping to make this a great program. He joined the Youth corps while attending Confederation College in the Police Foundations program and in 2006, Sean became a member of the Thunder Bay Police Service. As a member of the Thunder Bay Police Service, he has shown great leadership by bringing knowledge about policing to the cadets. He has taught numerous programs and has organized many presentations. Sean has been a supervisor at the Nova Scotia training camp that is attended by the youth corps and he is responsible for the firearms training program. Sean is a well- respected member of the community and his countless volunteer contributions make him a valued member of the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corp.

Bruno Valente

Bruno ValenteBruno spent 32 years as a teacher at Hammarskjold. During the 32 years, he volunteered as a coach to many of the school athletic teams leading many to championships. He retired in 2007 but continued to run the boys soccer program for another 9 years. That's 41 years volunteering in the school athletic programs! Bruno took the challenge to develop an outdoor soccer program and in 1980, SSSAA accepted soccer as an official sport. Bruno was also the soccer convenor for 14 years. His responsibilities included recruiting referees, developing playing schedules, arranging transportation to games and supervising city playoffs. His love of all sport and his enthusiasm in coaching young people has shown extraordinary leadership in our community.

Robert Young

Robert YoungRobert Young has provided outstanding leadership and guidance to the Victorian Order of Nurses, Thunder Bay's development over the last 34 years. He has been part of the Board that ensures VON addresses the needs of the community as well as raising awareness of the importance of home and community health care in the District of Thunder Bay. Robert has seen VON Thunder Bay grow from a home health care organization with very few employees to an organization with over 125 employees, providing care in homes, schools and programmes that keep people independent for as long as possible. Robert's commitment to VON Thunder Bay is exceptional.

2017 Good Citizen

Leigh Abthorpe

Leigh AbthorpeLeigh is a fantastic contributor to the interpretive and heritage programs at Fort William Historical Park (FWHP). She provides continuous support to many FWHP events. One example is the Haunted Fort Night where Leigh prepares and provides refreshments during this event. Leigh also participates in historical re-enactments, such as The Great Rendezvous and Fort Under Siege. Leigh is a member of the Neebing Voyageur Brigade which promotes the preservation of fur-trade history through presentations and demonstrations within Thunder Bay and surrounding areas. Leigh began volunteering in 1989 and since then has not only augmented the day-to-day interpretive program but also fulfils crucial functions in many successful FWHP events such as the Winter Carnival. FWHP is proud to nominate Leigh for the Good Citizen Award.

Gerald (Jerry) Chony

Jerry ChonyJerry has been a member of the Zorya Ukrainian Dancers as Secretary/Treasurer for 19 years. He uses his design and computer knowledge to keep the dance school finances in order, create the annual concert program and posters, and to assist teachers with their music. Jerry also does the regular maintenance and upkeep at the dance studio. As a result of his efforts, the dancers are able to: perform at local charity fund raisers, share the Ukrainian Culture within our community, and support local events (e.g. Canada Day Celebrations).By sharing his talents, Jerry's involvement has helped bring the Zora Ukrainian Dancers too many community events within Thunder Bay. His dedication has definitely provided Thunder Bay with a meaningful voluntary contribution and the Zora Dancers are blessed to have him as an integral part of their organization.

Michael Conway

Michael ConwayMichael is a valued volunteer with St. Joseph's Care Group. He has volunteered as a Friendly Visitor at St. Joseph's Hospital and is currently a Mealtime Companion at Bethammi Nursing Home. Michael joined the volunteer team at Hogarth Riverview Manor to assist residents moving from the City of Thunder Bay's Homes for the Aged to their new home at Hogarth Riverview Manor. He has served on several Boards of Directors including the position of President of the Thunder Bay Big Brothers Association, Crossroads Centre Inc., Wesway, Catholic Family Development Centre, Junior Achievement of Thunder Bay and Corpus Christi Parish Council. Michael continues to be an active volunteer, committed to both St. Joseph's Care Group and Corpus Christi Church Food Bank. This past fall, Michael assisted residents living at Bethammi Nursing Home with completing Client Satisfaction Surveys which help to improve the care and services residents receive.

Roz Cox

Roz CoxRoz Cox has been volunteering with Wesway for the last 15 years. Roz is not afraid of a challenge. She provides respite to an adult with significant challenges whose needs are extensive and can exhibit behaviours others might find difficult to cope with. While Roz provides respite, the family/caregivers are about to take a rest from care giving. The family often tells me how much they appreciate Roz and the time the family has to themselves to reconnect and recharge their batteries. Because of Roz, the family takes this opportunity to spend time with the other children and enjoy their hobbies and activities that come sometimes be difficult to do with their family. Roz is a retired teacher for children with special needs. She gives her time and expertise as a host family volunteer. Roz has been specifically requested as a host family volunteer to a child whom she worked with in the school setting, teaching her socially appropriate behaviour. Roz has made a real difference in the lives of not only the participant she hosts, but also the participant's family and caregivers.

Ken Crooks

Ken has been a dedicated volunteer for the George Jeffery Children's Foundation for 14 years contributing hundreds of hours to support and promote the Foundation. He has assisted in organizing various fundraising events, from Car Shows, to Soapbox Races, Car Raffles, and Family Fun Fairs among others. Ken has strongly been involved in the Patrick Sharp Hockey Raffle dedicating much of his summer delivering and selling tickets. In addition, he is the first volunteer on the course for the Hometown Hero's Children's Charity Golf Classic. As a member of the Lakehead Antique Car Club, Ken recruits fellow members to volunteer their time for the Foundation. It is volunteers like Ken that enable George Jeffery Children's Foundation to successfully raise the necessary funds to assist the George Jeffery Children's Centre in fulfilling its mission to enrich the lives of children and youth in our community with special needs. Ken is most worthy of receiving the Good Citizen Award.

Elaine Curtis

Elaine CurtisFor over 30 years, Elaine Curtis has been volunteering with the arts and crafts program for the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition. She is responsible to contact local craftspeople and to organize the demonstrations in the Dove Building. This is a very large undertaking that Elaine works at throughout the year. She also volunteers with the Current River Food Bank, contributing time, money and food as well as hand-made crafts. The people of this area also know Elaine for her efforts at the Current River United Church where she helps organize teas, bazaars plus other fund raising activities. Elaine has dedicated many years of her life in the service of others by driving to meetings, picking people up, getting to events early to set up and leaving late to take things down. No matter what is required, she is there to lend a hand. Thunder Bay benefits from the many contributions people make. Elaine volunteers her time and energy because she loves our city and it citizens. She is an asset to our community and is an excellent example of what a good citizen looks like.

Diane Delin

Diane has been a dedicated and professional volunteer at the Alzheimer Society for 16 years. As a family support volunteer, she speaks directly with clients and care partners. She works closely with people who are going through difficult situations and her professional and respectful demeanor have a remarkable effect on clients, staff and caregivers. Diane spends hours making hundreds of phone calls to clients, assists in fund-raising events such as Walk for Alzheimer's, and the annual Coffee Break Campaign. Diane acts as an ambassador within the community to bring awareness of the disease and to reduce the stigma associated with a diagnosis. Her selfless generosity has made a difference at the Alzheimer Society and, by extension, the City of Thunder Bay.

Theresa Furick

Theresa FurickTheresa Furick has been an executive member of the Slovak Legion, Branch 129, for over 20 years and the Ladies Auxiliary from 1986 to the present. She regularly visits Legion members who are hospitalized, in Nursing homes and shut-ins. These visits mean a lot to these people and their families. Theresa also works at the Legion's popular spaghetti take outs held twice a month and organizes other catering committees. She goes out of her way to help people. Theresa is always willing to lend a hand.

Jim Green

Jim GreenJim has been a member of the Board of Directors at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre for seven years, currently serving as its President. He has spearheaded a number of new initiatives, the most recent being the upgrading of technology throughout the centre. One example is the display of information (e.g. programs, cafe menu), on television screens instead of print on paper. Jim has worked tirelessly to bring a new inventory and cash register system online for the centre gift shop. Jim and his wife came in on weekends and evenings to input the entire inventory into the new system. Jim has also trained all the volunteers on using a new touch screen cash register. Jim has shown his commitment to the centre in his role as President and in various ways. He is just an email away when help is needed. Jim's tenure with the 55 Plus Center is far from over and everyone is excited to see what his next idea might bring. Jim is very deserving of the Good Citizen Award.

Scott Harris

Scott HarrisScott has been a volunteer with Our Kids Count for close to 15 years. He was on the Board of Directors for 9 years when he stepped down to devote more time to environmental issues. He is never far away as he continues to help in various ways a site assistance doing various repairs, selling tickets to support OKC fundraising efforts and helping to maintain the building. He actively works with other community committees, helping to increase awareness regarding environmental issues. Scott was a driving force behind the Roots of Empathy program in Thunder Bay. Scott remains on the local Thunder Bay Roots of Empathy Coalition which he has chaired for several years. He is working diligently to ensure that his grandchildren have a safe world to grow up in. Scott is also involved as a volunteer with Environment North, Thunder Bay Environmental Film Network, Thunder Bay Chapter Council of Canadians, Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet as well as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Westfort. Scott is dedicated, committed and a source of inspiration to many. He always sees the positive and very much deserves to be recognized with the Spirit of Thunder Bay award.

Johnathan Hatzis

Johnathan HatzisJohnathan is a Graduate member of The War Amps Child Amputee Program (CHAMP) and has gone above and beyond to volunteer his time to assist young amputees and spread important messages in our community. Being born an amputee hasn't stopped Johnathan from living a full and active life. He enjoys wrestling and studied at Lakehead University and Confederation College. As a Junior Counselor

Johnathan gave seminars to young amputees helping them to learn about the latest in artificial limbs. He acted as a role model to them by offering advice, sharing his experiences and exemplifying a positive approach to challenges. Johnathan attends Remembrance Day ceremonies where he lays a wreath on behalf of The War Amps Operation Legacy. He has helped spread the Playsafe message to children about "spotting danger" before they play. Johnathan is an excellent example of the War Amps philosophy "amputees helping amputees," and has made a positive impact in our community and to child amputees across the country.

Lori Krivoshein

Lori KrivosheinLori has been a member of Friends of the Animal Services Department (a volunteer group working with the City's Animal Services Department) since May, 2006 and has served as Chair for approximately three years. Lori has helped with education sessions in schools and has organized volunteers to walk dogs and socialize cats. She is currently Coordinator of Superior Street Cats, a group responsible to organizing the Trap-Neuter-Return Program in Thunder Bay. Lori oversees everything from fundraising, volunteer recruitment and training and coordinates the actual TNR - trapping, transportation, surgery and release. Almost 200 cats have gone through the program and there has been 48% decrease in the number of cats into the Animal Service Centre, and a 41% decrease in cat euthanasia. This success would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Lori.

Mary Jane Kurm

Mary Jane KurmMary Jane Kurm is an active, engaged community volunteer who has offered her time in the community helping organizations who rely on the support of volunteers. She is an active member with St. Joseph's Care Group, PR Cook Apartments and Hogarth Riverview Manor, Twice as Nice Thrift Store, St. Vincent DePaul Society, North of Superior Film Association, and Eco Superior. In the past, she has volunteered her time with Options Northwest, Hospice Palliative Care Northwest Network, the Homeless Survey, School Council, and Minor Hockey. Her dedication to the community has made an impact to the people she has helped and the any organizations that rely on volunteers

Dana Larrett

Dana LarrettDana Larrett has volunteered with Autism Ontario Thunder Bay and District for the past 6 years. She has held the positions of Chapter President, Treasurer, Secretary, Fundraising and Events Coordinator, Chair of Awareness and Media, chair of Community Capacity Resource and Communications, as well as, was responsible for forming partnerships with community stakeholders enabling a successful environment for learning. Dana has aided Autism Ontario Thunder Bay and District by nurturing community relationships to ensure families gain confidence and independence. This enables quality of life experiences for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dana has served the Autism Ontario Thunder Bay and District chapter and our community well, helping to ensure that each individual with ASD is provided the means to achieve quality of life as a respected member of society.

Kenny Linton

Kenny LintonKenny Linton has been a dedicated volunteer over a period of 19 years. Kenny is unfailingly reliable, cheerful and willing to undertake any task with enthusiasm. His commitment to Habitat for Humanity, Magnus Theatre and The Salvation Army has enriched Thunder Bay's cultural life and assisted individuals or families with low incomes. He takes an interest in his community and makes it a better place. Kenny assists with the construction of houses, works in Habitat for Humanity Restore and he gives excellent customer service.

Susan MacRae

Susan MacRaeSusan MacRae has been a dedicated and committed volunteer for Oliver Road Community Centre for a period of 15 years. She has held the positions of Treasurer and Bridge Coordinator and has offered her skills and guidance in finances and fundraising. Funds are required for the purchase of new equipment and the maintenance of the building. Susan also remains an active member in support of all activities of the community centre. Susan MacRae is a bridge player and came to the assistance of a small struggling bridge group. Under her leadership the group has grown now thriving, recruiting and welcoming participants new and old.

Kyla Moore

Kyla MooreKyla Moore has been a volunteer with the Children's Aid Society (CAS) since 2012. She believes in the therapeutic benefits of fish tanks. Studies have shown that watching aquariums can significantly lower blood pressure and heart rates as well as beautify spaces that cab be at times stressful. Kyla has contributed thousands of hours maintaining fish tanks across the city, including St. Joseph's Hospital, a local school, and the tropical fish tank in CAS's lobby. Kyla did all the fundraising and installation work to get CAS's aquarium up and running, and continues to both oversee and perform maintenance. The CAS is grateful to Kyla for not only beautifying the lobby but helping children and families feel more at ease upon arriving.

Judy Muloin

Judy MuloinJudy Muloin has been a dedicated volunteer for 35 years. She has been a volunteer with the St. Margaret's Catholic Woman's League for 35 years assisting at bake sales, helping others wherever she is needed. She holds the position of Secretary for St. Joseph's Auxiliary and has worked at numerous fundraising bingos. She is often seen helping out selling Nevada Tickets for St. Joseph's Care Group. She volunteers at 55 Plus Centre and can be seen helping at Canada Day celebrations. Judy is known as a caring, compassionate and wonderful volunteer who helps others.

Tessa Murray

Tessa MurrayTessa has been an active member in the volunteer community of Thunder Bay for over 10 years. She is a member of Leadership Thunder Bay, the Chair of Selection and Recruitment, Board member of Provincial Association of Volunteer Leaders, Thunder Bay Association of Volunteer Administrators, Easter Seals and Friends of Olivia Foundation. Her dedication to volunteer opportunities and has recruited many individuals for the organizations she has dedicated her time for.

Sue Paskoski

Sue PaskoskiSue Paskowski has been a member of Chaban's Ukrainian Dance Group since 2001. She is a dedicated and committed volunteer. She holds the positions of Chaban Executive member at large, spending long hours giving of her time on Bingo Calling Committee, The Grants Proposal Committee and the Costume Committee. She has taken the lead in many a project including sourcing and organizing and coordinating group fundraising efforts, and her effort has moved the group forward in keeping up with technology needs and travel endeavours. She truly has a passion for Chaban's members and for the future of the group.

Joe Quaresima

Joe QuaresimaJoe Quaresima has been involved in a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the City of Thunder Bay for the past 17 years. He has devoted his time, experience and enthusiasm on numerous Boards that are all part of enriching the lives of people around him. He is presently a Board member of the Canadian Business Professional Association, Lakehead University Institute of Italian Studies, Confederation College Advisory Board, The Chamber of Commerce, Thunder Bay Executives, and Ambassadors Northwest. He is past member of Italian Society of Port Arthur, Lakehead Alumni Association, and Advisory Board for the Staal Foundation Open. Joe is a community leader and raises the profile of everything he is involved in.

Anne Scott

Anne ScottAnne Scott has volunteered for Thunder Bay Art Gallery for 15 years. She is a dedicated volunteer member of the gallery helping to organize the Annual Garden Tour and the Annual Christmas House Tour. She is our front desk attendant on Fridays and some of her varied responsibilities include administrative tasks such as letter writing, art class registration and gallery sitting, catering exhibition receptions, and writing publicity material for fundraisers. Anne Scott's dedication, commitment and service to the Gallery have been unmatched and have ensured public events and fundraising.

Dave Thomas

Dave ThomasDave opened the Salt and Pepper Catering over 10 years ago and has been giving back to the community ever since: volunteering for numerous events; making donations to organizations and events such as, TBayTel Cystic Fibrosis BBQ, MADD Thunder Bay, St. Joseph's Care Group, Save a Heart Ball, Thunder Bay Shelter and many others. Dave provides sponsorship for, George Jeffrey Children's Centre-Patrick Sharpe Golf Tournament, Children's Aid Society Quiz Night, Thunder Bay Heart and Stroke Foundation, Thunder Bay Art Gallery Bird House Auction, among others.

Dave is highly regarded as a "Leader" and "Giver" in this community.

Jiali Wen

Jiali WenJiali has actively volunteered in the local community for 14 years. She established the Lakehead Chinese Dance Group in 2003 and the Children's Chinese Dance Group in 2006. Jiali has organized and participated in over 80 performances at various events in the City. She has served the Thunder Bay Chinese Canadian Association as a Board member since 2011. Jiali has assisted a number of international students in adapting to a new country. Jiali and her Chinese Dance Groups volunteer their time to promote multiculturalism in Thunder Bay.

Eleanor Drury - Childrens' Theatre

Eleanor Drury - Childrens' TheatreFounded in 1982, the Eleanor Drury Children's Theatre (EDCT) is a local non-profit theatre group formed to provide opportunities for young people to be engaged in the arts by learning about theatre. EDCT has touched the lives of many people having worked with over 700 actors between the ages of six to 18 to deliver a live theatre experience. Many have grown and developed their skills in the theatre and taken these forward into adult life. EDCT has worked with all Thunder Bay Schools to bring students the experience of a live theatre performance. EDCT is committed to offering an affordable theatre experience for children to both participate and learn about theatre. EDCT remains the only group to offer low-cost matinees to local schools and is a P.R.O. Kids partner enabling a greater diversity of children to experience theatre. EDCT is run by volunteers, under the leadership of a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board is open to other volunteers who bring a broader range of expertise from other groups. EDCT collaborates with Cambrian Players, Lakehead Schools, Lakehead University and the Community Auditorium to offer the best possible theatre experience for the youth of Thunder Bay.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #5

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #5Branch #5 opened its doors in 1926 and celebrated its 90th year in December this past year. The Legion promotes friendship, cooperation and good citizenship through a variety of programs that involve entertainment, socialization, recreation, support and counseling. Meaningful visiting to Veterans in hospital, nursing homes or their own homes are regularly scheduled, reported with the Legion's meeting minutes where follow up or referrals are made. Branch #5 has always been willing to advocate for Veterans' issues. A few years ago the Federal government decided to close Veterans Affairs Offices. Branch #5 Veterans, members and with support from the community, took action and voiced their concerns by presenting their case in person to officials in Ottawa. Their action made National and International news. As a result, this had a strong political effect. Therefore a Veteran Affair Office for Thunder Bay and District was re-established in January of this year. This Legion continues to run successful Poppy campaigns to raise funds to assist in the care of Veterans. In July 2021, it will be the 100th Anniversary of the "Poppy" symbol which originated in Port Arthur at a meeting held in the Prince Arthur Hotel. Thunder Bay is known nationally and internationally as the "City of the Poppy". Since Branch #5 Legion opened its doors in 1926 much has changed in our city. Numerous generations of Thunder Bay citizens has passed through its doors. Then as now, Branch #5 continues to provide Veterans and Thunder Bay citizens with support and positive experiences that ultimately benefit our community.

Volunteer Association to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC)

Volunteer AssociationThe Volunteer Association to the TBRHSC was formed in July 1997, by joining two auxiliaries: The General Hospital of Port Arthur Auxiliary and the McKellar General Hospital Auxiliary. Throughout its history, the Association has contributed significantly to fund raising for the development and expansion of new and innovative health care initiatives at the hospital, including cardiac care, cancer care, as well as the purchase of many pieces of vital medical equipment. They encourage the advancement of health care education by offering bursaries to Confederation College, Lakehead University, Northern School of Medicine and staff nurses at TBRHSC. The members of the Volunteer Association continue a proud tradition as a very active, strong organization dedicated to health care in Thunder Bay.

2017 Youth

Emily Cross

Emily CrossEmily's achievement and passion for science and youth involvement in research, politics, as well as sustainability is a good example of how youth in Thunder Bay can have an impact regionally, as well as bring attention to Thunder Bay nationally and internationally.

With her experience from medal-winning projects at local, national and international science fairs, Emily inspires and assists other young people with their research and competitions. She has spoken at events and schools and directly with students in the fields of palaeontology, geology, soils and climate change. She is a national science mentor for the Youth Research Network and is the Regional Director of Sustainable Youth Canada. What an excellent ambassador for our city!

Rylie Davidow

Rylie DavidowRylie Davidow has been involved with assisting and teaching the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group's youngest children for the past 5 years. She has a positive and cheery disposition in leading her dancers through their exercises and dance routines on a regular basis every week at rehearsals. She is punctual and dependable, and comes prepared to teach her class. Her students learn new skills that benefit them in dance but also in their everyday lives.

Rylie is also a member of the Executive at Chaban, where she has participated in the review process of Chaban's Constitution and Bylaws. Being a Member-at-Large has enabled her to broaden her outreach and involvement with the group.

Rylie continues her professional development as a Ukrainian dancer and teacher through various dance workshops both locally and nationally. She has enjoyed travelling to the Ukraine where she participated in workshops and performance while learning more about the culture and people.

Kyler Lecompte

Kyler LecompteWith Special Olympics Ontario, Kyler has participated locally and provincially in floor hockey, basketball, soccer, softball, bowling and curling. He has been a medal recipient and assisted with many fundraising events.

For the Thunder Bay Police Association Parade of Lights, Kyler helped with the decoration and dismantling of the floats. He also walked the entire route, collecting donations for charity.

At St. Patrick High School, he has assisted with the Advent Prayer and Remembrance Day services. Through the Recreation Leadership Course where senior students are paired with students from the Transitions and Lifeskills classes, Kyler moved from being mentored by a senior student to a peer mentoring role amongst his peers. This was a significant achievement and fostered much leadership growth for Kyler. His school and the city are better places because of the work done and example set by citizens like Kyler LeCompte.

Victor Liao

Victor LiaoVictor Liao is a student at Sir Winston Churchill High School and he has demonstrated volunteerism and leadership with several organizations.

As a child he attended Chinese School at the Lakehead Public School Board and he has volunteered weekly to teach at the school for the past two and a half years - thereby "giving back" to a program from which he benefitted. The students and language teacher appreciate his innovative and creative approach in the classroom. Victor has also volunteered at two Superior Science camps at Lakehead University and with the public library's "Readers are Leaders" program in 2016. Thus, Victor has assisted children with their science activities and with literacy skills. Victor's commitment to the young children of our community makes him a worthy recipient of the Youth Award.

Alex McCubin

Alex McCubbin has volunteered in diverse ways. For 4 years, Alex has been involved with Conference Planning for Youth Presbytery through which she has helped with dinners at Shelter House and volunteered at the Community Clothing Assistance Centre. Significantly, through the conferences, Alex has motivated youth to learn about such topics as social justice, environmental stewardship, urban poverty, mental health and wellness. She helps young people to find their passions and to be heard. Alex has been a leader for Scouts Canada, a volunteer patient for the Confederation College Paramedic Program, a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol, an assistant with the Port Arthur Figure Skating Club, and a Youth Executive Member at the Thunder Bay Rowing Club. She was a volunteer at the Cyclotron for Open Doors Thunder Bay and she has been an historic interpreter at Fort William Historic Park.

Through her volunteer service, Alex has enriched the quality of life in Thunder Bay.

Nathaniel Oriecuia

Nathaniel OriecuiaDuring the past 4 years, Nathaniel Oriecuia has volunteered for many organizations at his school, with his church and in the community. Through St. Anthony's Church Youth Group he has been involved with the Big Bike for Heart and Stroke, selling memorial poinsettias, Children Helping Children and the Church Bazaar. He has also helped with Adventurer's Camp at the Canada Games Complex and e-waste recycling at the St. Ignatius High School. At the Da Vinci Centre he has volunteered at the spaghetti dinner fundraising for charity. Nathaniel has assisted with meal preparation at the Dew Drop Inn and he has participated with the Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army. Nathaniel has been a committed volunteer with more than 481 hours of service, thereby enriching the quality of life in our city.

Kari Peltonen

Kari PeltonenThrough his achievements and involvements, Kari Peltonen has served as a role model for younger school aged children as well as his peers. He is an honour roll student at Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute where he has an executive position on the Student Activity Council, and actively plans school events and initiatives. Kari is known to be a motivator and speaker for his fellow students and can be counted on to speak well on their behalf. He has also generously devoted time and energy to The Canadian Cancer Society, North End Soccer, Gammondale Farm and a Federal Election Campaign.

Kari's enthusiasm and zest for life and helping others is contagious. It is amazing to see how those around him are inspired to "jump on board" with the positive initiatives he leads within and outside the school.

Robyn Sulkko

Robyn SulkkoRobyn Sulkko is an exceptional young woman who is passionate about youth issues and advocating for marginalized populations. She has been actively involved with the following organizations in various capacities: Camp Gichigomee camp counsellor for 4 summers, Canserra Development Organization board secretary and organizer for 2 school builds in Sierra Leone, Youth Thunder Bay Advisory Council board member and media representative, Sir Winston Churchill Gay Straight Alliance member, Lakehead Public Schools student trustee and Sir Winston Churchill Student Government member.

Robyn is a remarkable young leader with a deep sense of integrity and a thirst for social justice.

 2016 Awards

2016 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2015 calendar year.

2016 Spirit of Thunder Bay

Wendy Addison

Wendy AddisonWendy is a retired teacher who became actively involved with Canadian Red Cross, Thunder Bay Branch in 2001. She is available at any emergency, day or night, to clients who face disaster. Wendy is a reliable, caring and dedicated volunteer who is extremely efficient in her role as supervisor of the Disaster Management ERT (Emergency Response Team). She is also on call for the Personal Disaster Assistance Team and contributes hundreds of hours doing Personal Preparedness workshops. During Northern Ontario floods, Wendy schedules and manages shelter and reception centres and books flights and accommodations for everyone who assists with the disaster team. Wendy maintains all files and organizes volunteer training workshops. From 2006 through 2015 Wendy participated in flood and fire disaster responses for Thunder Bay, Sandy Lake, Kashechewan, Attawapiskat and the whole of James Bay.

Wendy Cook

For more than 12 years, Wendy Cook has made outstanding contributions to our community. She has been an exemplary volunteer with Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services, a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week service providing on-site assistance to victims of crime. Wendy's team members, and the victims she helps, value her pleasant and approachable nature and her compassion for others. Her support is offered day or night through the victim's most difficult and vulnerable moments. Wendy also volunteered for the Catholic Family Development Centre for 8 years, helping vulnerable women. She is a compassionate and capable volunteer who is much appreciated by any organization for which she provides her help and time.

Bill Davis

Bill DavisBill Davis has been a member of Masonic Lodges for 34 years. In that time, he served as Worshipful Master with Kaministiquia Masonic Lodge, Terrace Bay Lodge and Connaught Lodge. Bill was elected District Deputy Grand Master of Algoma District in 2012. Bill has also been a member of the Scottish Rite of Canada Superior Lodge of Perfection in the Valley of Thunder Bay since 1985. In 2007 he was presented as Honouree Inspector General 33 in Ottawa and was made the Active Member of the Valley of Thunder Bay in Windsor this past year. The Scottish Rite charitable foundation is funded by members, families and friends. The funds are directed to medical research into areas of dyslexia and autism in children and neuro degenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Bill is currently a member of Lakehead Shrine Club Khartoum Temple and has been since 1986, and served as president of the Lakehead Shrine Club in 2015. Bill is a member of both the Clown Unit and the Pipe Band. He has worked tirelessly with the annual Shrine Circus and many other fund raising efforts that are directed to send local children and their parents to the various Shriners hospitals for treatment. The Shriners also support over 22 Shrine hospitals throughout North America that provide specific healthcare to children 18 and under at no charge. Bill remains a very active member and continues to serve on the Executive. Bill also volunteers for the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle Drive, is a member of the United Travelers Association, a member of the Thunder Bay Pipes and Drums and also an active member of St. Michaels and All Angels Anglican Church.

 Gordie Garriock

Gordie GarriockGordie has touched the lives of thousands of people through her work with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. She was a crucial member of the Rotary Club that has been a partner with the House Lottery for many years. Along with her work with Rotary Club, Gordie has organized the "Run for Women" charity that raised funds for women's cardiac health. By dedicating her time and energy towards cardiac health care she is keeping families together when they need treatment and care. Gordie has been a committee member for the Save a Heart Ball and Queen of Heart's Golf Tournament.

Gordie's leadership and dedication has created greater awareness of the organizations in which she is involved as well as touching countless lives in Thunder Bay.

Warren Giertuga

Warren GiertugaWarren Giertuga has been involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Special Olympics for 17 years. He is a zone coordinator and involved with the Operations Committee. In his role, he leads not only the Correctional Centre campaign but the Zone and he does this with integrity, enthusiasm and most importantly vision. It is through his cultivation of a strong team and willingness to lead, encourage, motivate and challenge that Warren was inducted into the Special Olympics Ontario Sponsors and Benefactors Hall of Fame. He is the first correctional officer to be inducted into this prestigious group. Warren is a correctional officer at the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre with 26 years of experience. In 2014 he led the first ever "Conquer the Mud Run" in Thunder Bay, raising funds for the Special Olympics which had over 400 participants. He was also integral to other fundraising projects such as Boston Pizza's "Police Serving You" event; the 5th Annual Polar Plunge with 250 participants this year, and he has worked tirelessly to have "Hero Bears" made and approved which are now sold across the province. Warren is the driving force behind the success of Special Olympics in Corrections and he has devised new and innovative ways to raise funds, allow for participants to have fun, and increase the profile of corrections. Warren continues to be involved in all these endeavours. His leadership, willingness to rise to the challenge, commitment to excellence and dedication to the cause have resulted in ever increasing participation and donations.

Mary-Alice Isaac

Mary-Alice IsaacMary-Alice Isaac joined the Auxiliary to St. Joseph's Care Group (SJCG) in 2006, as the fundraising chair. She continues to organize yearly events that have allowed the auxiliary to make substantial contribution to the well-being of the clients of SJCG. With Mary-Alice's strong leadership and commitment, the Auxiliary was able to contribute $80,000.00 to the SJCG last year, the auxiliary's largest donation to date. Last year Mary-Alice spearheaded a new fundraiser; the Angels of Light Campaign, volunteering hundreds of hours in the planning and execution of this event. Mary-Alice also volunteers for St. Joseph's Foundation. In 2010 she joined the Benny Birch Committee and assisted with volunteering at the entrance gates, the cake booth and ticket selling. She also assisted in developing activities for the children's playground. Mary-Alice has volunteered in the larger community as well. In 1995 when the Nordic Games came to Thunder Bay, she organized and prepared the educational activities for the schools of Northwestern Ontario relating to the games and volunteered at the gates and at the Nordic Store. Mary-Alice has volunteered with the Catholic Women's League at St. Agnes Parish, served on the Executive Committee and volunteered with fundraising efforts for several years. Mary-Alice was part of the Fundraising Committee for the new St. Agnes church in 1982, arranging for publishing the St. Agnes Cookbook. Since 2006 Mary-Alice has been on the Seniors Lunch Committee where seniors are provided lunch once a month. Mary-Alice puts her heart and soul into all projects she's involved with and is very passionate about the cause. The Auxiliary is very grateful for Mary-Alice's loyalty and dedication.

Mike Belliveau

Mike BelliveauMike moved to Thunder Bay in 1987 from Amherst, Nova Scotia and immediately got involved in community volunteering, coaching hockey, baseball, and high school basketball. He served 8 years as president of the Port Arthur Continentals baseball club, helping and guiding youth in the community. Mike served as a leader for local fundraising events such as chairing the Dragon Boat Festival committee and bringing the Corporate Relay to Shelter House as a fundraising event. For United Way Thunder Bay he has served as president, first vice-president, secretary, and on the Personal Campaign Team, Community Capacity Building, and the Nishwaaswi Committee. Mike has also served on the board of directors for Shelter House and the Advisory Committee to Confederation College for Entrepreneurship. In 2012 Mike was awarded Industry Canada's Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for 20 years' service in community economic development.

Armand Colosimo

Armand ColosimoArmand has been a member of the board of directors with the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) for 45 years. He has provided outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness for the need for home health care in the District of Thunder Bay. Armand has helped VON grow from a home care organization with only two nurses, to an organization with over 125 employees. His strong belief in the programs has helped the VON become a vital health care provider in Thunder Bay. Armand took on the role of attendance councillor which involved setting up programs to improve the education of young mothers who come from all over the world. In addition to the VON, Armand is committed to assisting youth and seniors in our community. He is also a board member for YES Employment Services and has developed many programs for this organization. Armand's outstanding commitment and dedication to our city for so many years has made him an invaluable asset to the community.

Gordie Garriock

Gordie GarriockGordie Garriock has been a member of the Rotary Club of Thunder Bay for 21 years and has played a major role in the development of health care in the region with funds raised from the Annual Rotary House Lottery. The Rotary Club has donated more than $2 million to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre with help from Gordie's volunteer involvement. Gordie is instrumental in arranging all media advertising for the Annual Rotary House Lottery. Gordie was a Community Volunteer, appointed by the CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center, as a member of the Steering Committee for the Centre's 5-year plan. Gordie also participated on the organizing committee for the Inaugural "Save a Heart Ball" helping to raise money for Thunder Bay's first stand-alone angioplasty unit at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Over the last 5 years, the ball has raised in excess of $500,000. Gordie was previous chair of the Cardiac and Vascular Surgery Committee, specifically to arrange for a stand-alone angioplasty unit for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center and in 2007, the provincial minister of health announced a pilot project to bring life saving angioplasty to Thunder Bay. In June of 2015, the 10th Anniversary of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center, a new Vascular Surgery Department became a reality. Gordie Garriock was instrumental in making it happen.

Kevin Holloway

Kevin Holloway has been involved as a volunteer with health care philanthropy since 1995. He started volunteering with the Northern Cancer Research Foundation and later became a director on its board. When the Northern Cancer Research Foundation integrated and became the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, Kevin continued volunteering as chair of the board of directors. Kevin has been very active in the Governance, Finance and Audit as well as the Grants Committees. This kind of prolonged dedication has shown a true passion and desire to benefit the community. Last Christmas, Kevin arranged for some of his colleagues who play musical instruments to volunteer and play seasonal music in the lobby of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to help raise funds. Over the past 20 years, Kevin has integrated himself into several aspects of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. He has been an active member of the board of directors and is chair of the Grants Committee. He takes time to make sure he is aware of all activities and events that are happening in the hospital or as part of the foundation events teams. He always attends our community events with a smile. Kevin never looks for recognition or praise but simply loves being part of our community and giving back.

Michael Lewkin

In his governance role as a board member and current chair of the Canadian Mental Health Association - Thunder Bay Branch (CMHA), Michael Lewkin has supported the evolution of a community-based mental health service that focuses on possibility and the hope of recovery. His tireless volunteer hours helped shape the policy direction of the organization, and his achievements have impacted the lives of the people served by CMHA. In his 20 years of dedicated service to the organization, Michael has served as president and past president locally, and 6 years as a provincial director for CMHC Ontario Division, becoming provincial board chair in 2015. Michael also serves on the CMHA National Fund Development Advisory Committee. Without the leadership of volunteers like Michael, community-based organizations would be challenged to have significant impacts on the communities they serve. CMHA is grateful for his Michael's contributions.

Bernice Bryson

Bernice BrysonBernice is a caring, kind and energetic lady who has been a member of Broadway United Church's board of directors and chair of the Memorial Committee for 31 years. She was Sunday School Teacher for 10 years as well as member of the church choir and church cleaner. She convened the church's Christmas Tea for 2 years. Once a month for 18 years, Bernice organized the making and selling of perogies at the church. In the wider community Bernice has volunteered at Shelter House, and she collects and delivers canned goods to Florence Booth House, the Salvation Army's shelter for homeless women. She served 10 years with the Children's Music Festival and has helped at the George Jeffrey Children's Centre. She has assisted the West Thunder Dancers and helped residents at Grandview Lodge during Bingos. Once a month she volunteers at Kakabeka Legion breakfasts and for 25 years she has been a volunteer for the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.

Randy Creighton

Randy CreightonRandy Creighton has been on the Board of Directors of Vickers Heights Community Centre for 30 years, 25 years as President. Randy helps to maintain the building and manage programs. He has taught computer skills to members of the community centre. Randy also coordinated the placement of bulletin boards at Vickers Heights residents' mailboxes. Randy has also been a scout leader for 23 years, working with different age groups in scouting and has been on the Grey Wolf Camp Committee for 20 years. He has graciously provided a website for the Scouts, Girl Guides and Kakabeka Legion, enabling members of those groups to utilize technology. Randy has been a member of the Hymers Fair board of directors for 10 years. During the fair, he supervises the site and does whatever work is necessary to make it a success. Provincially, he is Hymers' representative at the Ontario agricultural meetings. Randy is also a member of Friends of the Library at Victoriaville, selling books in the Bookstore. He enjoys interacting with customers, helping them to recycle or reuse books while raising funds for the library. Randy was responsible for establishing an Information Radio at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, to provide weather, travel and other information within the City and to other areas of Northwestern Ontario. For 20 years, Randy was president of the North Neebing Credit Union, assisting members to manage their finances. Through the Anglican Church, Randy has served 8 years on the Camp Gitchagomee Committee. He buys the groceries and does general maintenance tasks, allowing the camp leaders to concentrate on the children and the programs each summer. Volunteering is an integral part of Randy's personality and lifestyle, exemplifying the spirit of Thunder Bay.

Ryan Gibson

Ryan GibsonIn 2010, Staff Sergeant Ryan Gibson started volunteering with the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps helping teach drill to cadets. As a Staff Sergeant, he felt that using his knowledge to teach the cadets about policing and helping them to become positive role models in the community would be rewarding. Later in 2011 he became the commanding officer. Ryan has become a valued advocate for the group; he works tirelessly to have officers at the weekly meetings to provide an educational experience about policing and when he is teaching the cadets, they are always engaged. He has participated in the Nova Scotia training camp and he also organizes the firearms training at the police station each year. He has built a good rapport with the Cadets with his jovial personality; this is evident by the lineup of cadets wanting to talk to him at the end of each Corps meeting. This staff sergeant and father of three young boys has also been volunteering with Special Olympics for four years, helping to organize the Torch Run, Mud Run and Polar Bear Plunge. In 2014 he received the Rising Flame Award for his volunteer involvement. He is also the fundraising chair for this year's Can Am Games. Ryan also volunteers with coaching minor football. He has been doing this for over thirteen years and has coached the St. Patrick's High School senior football team for the last two years. He volunteered for St. John Ambulance and has also trained the drill team at the Ontario Police College. Currently he is on the Female Thunderwolves Basketball board of directors, helping to fundraise and promote girls' basketball. Ryan is the treasurer on the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps' board of directors. Staff Sergeant Ryan Gibson is a well-respected member of our community who has dedicated over fifteen years of cumulative volunteer contributions, and he exemplifies the spirit of Thunder Bay.

Hayla Huk

Hayla HukIt is through Hayla Huk's dedication and inspiration as Administrator for the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group that Chaban has achieved its growth and cultural attributes through the years, enabling Chaban to showcase entertainment for the community in multiple venues each year. As stage manager for many years, she ensured that every year's culminating performance ran smoothly for the Thunder Bay audience's enjoyment. Nearly all Chaban shows at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium had Hayla on the headset calling cues to the technical team and stage crew; her contributions were always behind the scene, but evident in every show. Hayla has held many vital positions within the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group for over 30 years. Most noteworthy are her years as executive administrator and co-administrator, and as Chaban's longest run stage manager. In her leadership role as administrator, Hayla guided the group to improve promotions, locally and nationally, enhancing Chaban's cultural integrity, in supporting traditional learning and its incorporation into dances and onto the stage. She enabled dancers to embrace their love of Ukrainian dance and culture. As stage manager, she stays amazingly calm with the most demanding of shows, changing cues for lights, music, props, flies, curtains, dancers and sets. She magically works through calls with the technical crew and performers; always calmly and respectfully. If you attend a Chaban performance, she'll be just behind the left curtain with her headset on.

Dr. Kathy Kortes Miller

Dr. Kathy MillerSince 1998, Dr. Kathy Kortes Miller has been a palliative care champion in our community, working extensively with the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health (CERAH) at Lakehead University and with Hospice Northwest. She initially became passionate about Hospice Northwest after experiencing the valuable contributions of hospice volunteers at St. Joseph's Hospital's Hospice Unit where she worked as a social worker. Kathy has been a consistent source of support and palliative care expertise to Hospice Northwest as well as building and growing the organization. She has represented Hospice Northwest at McMaster University for a provincial conference and at Bristol, England for an international conference. Because of her passion and skills, Hospice Northwest is recognized as a leader in community engagement exemplifying that palliative care is truly everybody's business.

2016 Good Citizen

Dorothy Bechta

Dorothy BechtaDorothy Bechta has been a dedicated, reliable volunteer with the Auxiliary to St. Joseph's Care Group, St. Joseph's Hospital site, for more than 10 years. She assists with the Auxiliary fundraising team. Dorothy is manager at Hogarth Riverview Manor's gift shop and assistant manager at St. Joseph's Hospital's gift shop. She also serves on the committee that presents bursaries to students at Confederation College and Lakehead University. Dorothy serves as treasurer for the diocesan Catholic Women's League (CWL), and for St. Andrews Parish she is on the CWL executive, the Finance Council, and is a member of the church choir.

Ashley Blundon

Ashley BlundonAshley Blundon began her volunteer career with Autism Ontario Thunder Bay and District Chapter in 2010. She held the position of vice-president of the chapter Leadership Council, continued as chapter president for two years and treasurer for a one-year term. As chair of the Leadership Council, Ashley was responsible for the management and motivation of council members. She also served as the liaison with the Autism Ontario provincial office and attended President Council meetings in Toronto. She led many fund-raising activities, special events, and social learning opportunities for children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. Ashley was the Wilderness Discovery Camp opportunity coordinator for many years. Ashley has served the Autism Ontario Thunder Bay and District Chapter and our community well, helping to ensure that each individual with ASD is provided the means to achieve quality of life as a respected member of society.

David Catlin

David Catlin was a resident of the Northwest Regional Centre when it was located at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital (LPH) and started his volunteer experience with Farms and Garden Services in 1995. In the winter months, he shovels snow and maintains safe entrances to Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. In the summer, he assists with gardening tasks as well as moving grass on the hospital grounds. David is hard working, dependable and always willing to lend a helping hand. He is friendly and outgoing, and initiates conversation with staff, clients and volunteers, making them feel welcome. David moved into the community in 2002 but continues to come to the LPH every day for the past 21 years for a total of 31,200 volunteer hours. David's commitment and compassion have made a great contribution to Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr. Bob Chaudhuri

Bob ChaudhuriDr. Bob Chaudhuri joined the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of Thunder Bay (BIATBA) in January of 2015 as a person living with the effects of an acquired brain injury. Following his injury, he completed his specialty in psychiatry and two post-doctoral fellowships. Dr. Bob is an inspiration to the people he works with at BIATBA. He continues to volunteer his time in research and helping people to learn from his perspective and dedicates his time to supporting individuals who are living with brain injuries. Dr. Bob is always willing to promote medical education through his research which he does as a volunteer. He is a member of numerous associations including the Handicapped Action Group Inc. (HAGI - board of directors), Patients Advocating Change and Empowerment (PACE), and Foster Kids Memberships. He has been an invited lecturer at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and an invited speaker to the Society for Studies of Psychiatry and Culture in St. Paul, Minnesota as well as numerous other groups. Dr. Chaudhuri has made a significant contribution to people dealing with acquired brain injury in Thunder Bay.

Florence Fontaine

Florence FontaineFor more than 10 years Florence has been a committed and dedicated volunteer at the Oliver Road Community Centre. She volunteers at many fundraisers hosted by the centre which generate the funds necessary to continue to serve the public. Florence has been secretary of the association for several years. She co-chairs the annual winter carnival and helps set up many of the carnival games and activities. Florence also belongs to the Ladies Auxiliary and helps at special events by making perogies, donating baking and selling raffle tickets. Florence willingly gives of her time for the betterment of the Oliver Road Community Centre.

Lois Gagnon

Lois GagnonFor the past five years, Lois Gagnon has regularly welcomed a gentleman with a disability to stay at her home to give his caregiver a break. He participates in household activities and they enjoy outings such as picnics, yard sales, bowling, music and dancing. After the devastating flood in May 2012, Lois invited the gentleman to stay at her home for several weeks while his house was being repaired. This generosity allowed his caregiver peace of mind. Throughout her lifetime, Lois has volunteered in various capacities for many organizations such as Wesway, Lutheran Care, Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Her volunteerism, and her hospitality, are commendable.

Diane Gauthier

Diane GauthierDiane Gauthier has been a volunteer for the Children's Aid Society since 2002. In those 14 years, Diane has been one of those quiet, behind the scenes volunteers. She is part of the Advisory Board and contributes to all the events the organization holds. She has helped with the Christmas programs, helped build a gazebo, assisted with grant writing, assisted with the foundation's quiz night and cuddled babies on the Neo Natal Intensive Care unit. Diane has contributed more than 1000 hours of volunteer support. When the Society needs someone who exudes care and compassion for the children and families, who believes in the work, mission statement and values, Diane can always be counted on. She also finds the time to volunteer for Thunder Bay Adventure Trails and Thunder Bay Superior Riders. Diane is an asset to the Children's Aid Society and the Thunder Bay community.

Lana Lang

Lana LangLana Lang is a retired teacher who took on a project of planning and designing an empty lot of land into a beautiful, tranquil, healing flower garden, with a view and sound of running water from the river nearby. The area is known as the Cancer Hope and Memory Garden and it is located at the corner of Balmoral and William Street. Lana and small group of volunteers start early in spring and work through to late fall to maintain and look after the garden for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are running, walking, or in wheelchair, all can enjoy the scent of flowers and the sight of beautiful colours in the peaceful walkway.

Betty-Ann Luoto

Bertty-Ann LuotoBetty-Ann Luoto joined the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance in 2002. Through the years she has volunteered by working fundraisers, attending meetings and spending countless hours at the local dance festival. The society raises money to enhance the dance community and dancers. It also provides over $7000 in scholarships to deserving students. Betty-Ann plays a big role in the fund raising efforts. She joined the Festival of Music and the Arts board of directors and is its dance liaison. Often unnoticed, Betty-Ann is that person back stage who cheers every dancer on, giving pep talks or doling out hugs. Every dancer knows to go to Betty-Ann when they need help. She is also well respected by parents and studio owners. Betty-Ann continues to give many hours of her time so the Thunder Bay dance community can continue to grow. The children love her and that is her biggest reward.

Christine Marchand

Christine MarchandChristine Marchand is a valued volunteer with St. Joseph's Care Group. She has been a committed, caring and compassionate volunteer for more than 13 years. Christine is an active volunteer at St. Joseph's Heritage (Bethammi Nursing Home), Hogarth Riverview Manor and Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. She also volunteers with Hospice Northwest providing end of life care. Christine is a past member of St. Joseph's Care Group Volunteer Services Advisory Committee. She assists residents living at Bethammi Nursing Home ensuring they have a good meal with a wonderful companion. Christine assisted at Hogarth Riverview Manor with the move of residents from city seniors' homes for the aged to their new home at the Manor. Residents enjoy Christine's warm and kind personality as she assists those who may need help or a friend to talk to. She touches the lives of the residents as she truly cares for them. Christine promotes the mission, vision and core values of St. Joseph's Care group with her commitment to serve.

Sylvie Mayo

Sylvie MayoSylvie Mayo has volunteered with the Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association for 20 years, Camp Quality for 14 years and Our Kids Count for 5 years. She works relentlessly at any task that will help children have a better and fulfilling life. She has volunteered selling tickets for the Kiwanis Club, Our Kids Count and other organizations. She organized a large event, the "Grumpy Grandpa Day," to raise funds for the Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association and the farm where its programs are carried out. Sylvie is a great volunteer for the community's children.

Twyla Oleksuk

Twyla OleksukWith two children as Zorya Ukrainian Dancers, it didn't take long to Twyla Oleksuk to become a volunteer. Her interest in sewing and her expertise as a seamstress had her involved with the costume portion of Zorya's operation. In 2005, she accepted the position of costume coordinator. Twyla patiently and lovingly ensures that all dancers have the costume pieces and headwear as needed for each dance, for each region in the Ukraine. She has spent countless hours sewing costumes, organizing and carting costumes around for fittings. Since 2005 she has outfitted about 100 dancers each year. In addition to her costume duties, Twyla became a member of Zorya's board of directors and has continued to volunteer her time and talents to the present day. A few words describing Twyla are patient, talented, dedicated and hard worker. Her dedication has definitely provided the Zorya Dancers and the community of Thunder Bay with a meaningful voluntary contribution.

John Ongaro

John OngaroJohn Ongaro has been a member of the Summer in the Parks Advisory Committee since 2000, and has been the master of ceremonies (MC) for Summer in the Parks since 1998. John's involvement includes developing the events, selecting the musical talent along with his fellow committee members, and being the MC every summer. These events have touched the lives of more than 250,000 people over the years. John's leadership and dedication have helped grow this event into a successful concert series at Marina Park, attracting 18,000 people annually. The program now includes a great mix of artisans, vendors, community groups and children's activities. Through his efforts, John has made a significant contribution to the music scene in Thunder Bay.

Valerie Patton

Valerie PattonValerie Patton has been involved with various aspects of music within the city of Thunder Bay for several decades. Her selflessness and hard work have truly made a difference to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and by extension, the community of Thunder Bay. Valerie is probably best known for her lovely soprano voice but as well as singing, she also generously helps the symphony in many other ways. For the past seven years, Valerie has folded and stapled about 1,500 "Curtain Call" programmes before each concert. She volunteers for days at a time to do the large-scale mail-outs to members of the community for fundraising and subscription campaigns. At concerts, Val sells tickets and works at the merchandise tables. Her humming presence brightens up the office, as she always has a smile and a kind word to spare for everyone. The TBSO greatly appreciates the time, efforts and talents of Valerie Patton.

Susan Raynak

Susan Raynak has been a dedicated palliative care volunteer with Hospice Northwest for the past six years. Her warm, compassionate demeanor fits naturally into her client work where she is a companion and support to people who are journeying through the final stages of a life-limiting illness. She has also supported people who have lost a loved one and are struggling with that loss. Susan intuitively recognizes the right time to apply her quick wit and sense of humour to bring a smile to the faces of those around her. She has been an active member of our Hike for Hospice Committee where she participates in the planning and implementation of that annual fundraising event. She actively seeks out sponsorships and donations as well as recruiting hikers. As a retired educator, Susan continues to enjoy teaching and does so by acting as a hospice volunteer in palliative simulation labs at Lakehead University. There, fourth-year nursing students learn how to engage sensitively and respectfully with their dying patients and their caregivers. Susan is always happy to speak on public information panels where she explains her role as a Hospice Northwest volunteer and the value of the service to clients, caregivers and health care professionals. Her commitment to hospice palliative care is commendable and very much appreciated.

Deborah Roberts

Deborah RobertsDeborah Roberts has been volunteering for the past five years for Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services as a direct service volunteer providing on-scene emotional support, practical support and community referrals to victims who require services. Deborah makes a significant contribution at monthly volunteer meetings and is an active member of the fundraising committee. She is a role model, sharing her experience and knowledge with new volunteers. She is reliable, well organized, an excellent communicator, a peer motivator and problem solver. Her strong sense of community values combined with her quick wit and genuine interest in other make her an invaluable volunteer.

Riita Rossi

Riita RossiRiita Rossi is a retired nurse who has volunteered with the Red Cross as a Personal Disaster Assistant (PDA) responder for the past 9 years. A personal disaster typically affects a single family. It could be a house fire or sewage backup. When personal disasters strike, the Canadian Red Cross provides food, shelter, clothing and essential supplies to those in need. Whenever available, Riita has been quick to respond when called day or night. She is reliable, caring and dedicated in her efforts, and is effective and efficient with those she helps. Riita contributes in many ways to the Red Cross Disaster Management program. It is through the dedication of volunteers like Riita that the Red Cross and the City of Thunder Bay are successful in their organized response to large and small scale disasters. Riita will give as much time as possible during large scale emergencies in whatever capacity is required. She has helped with registration and personal services as well as repatriation at the end of a response. Behind the scenes, Riita answers the phone at the branch office, prepares kits for large scale responses, helps with clean-up when a response is over and supports positions for such large scale responses as Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti Earthquake. Riita was involved as a Personal Disaster Assistant with the 2011 and 2012 forest fire evacuations from Sandy Lake, the flood in 2012 in Thunder Bay, and the flood evacuations in 2013 and 2014 from Kashechewan and Attawapiskat.

Denise Wallace

Denise Wallace is the Vice President and Search Manager Trainer for the Lakehead Search and Rescue Unit (LSRU). As such, she manages searches for lost people within the city and region. She also manages child find services for the Teddy Bear Picnic at Vickers Park, and for the Canada Day Celebration at Prince Arthur's Landing. Denise is the coordinator/trainer for Project Life Saver locally and in Winnipeg. She also gives survival and search technique training to LSRU members, the general public and corporations. Denise has many achievements related to search and rescue. From the Ontario Search and Rescue Volunteer Association she has received the Volunteer of the Year Award. She earned Train the Trainer certification for Ground SAR (search and rescue). Denise has promoted Project Life Saver which assists people who wander with dementia or other conditions. On behalf of LSRU, she has coordinated the outdoor survival course for aviation students at Confederation College. Denise has co-authored a search techniques manual and participated on medal-winning SARScene competitive teams. Denise Wallace has worked tirelessly for education and training related to search and rescue - making our area a safer place to enjoy.

Laura Wiita

Laura WiitaLaura Wiita saw that there was a need, got busy and organized a group called "New Connections". She built on the concept of widows helping widows. Laura meets with her friends regularly, ones a month for noon lunches and card playing, or just socializing. Laura served as chairperson for the group for 16 years. Last year after celebrating her 90th birthday she decided to step down to past chair. The New Connections group would like to thank Laura for the many years of dedication, leadership, loyalty and friendship.

Kelly Robertson and Dorothy Lawrence

Kelly Robertson and Dorothy LawrenceKelly Robertson and Dorothy Lawrence have made an impact in our community through volunteering to raise funds for people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). They have been actively involved in almost every fundraising campaign that the MS Society has held since they began their volunteer service almost 10 years ago. The funds from these campaigns stay in Thunder Bay to help MS patients, so there is direct benefit to the local community. Kelly, with her aunt Dorothy, can be seen all over the city at MS fundraising events. They sell carnations during the three-day Carnation Campaign. They go to craft sales, grocery stores and street fairs for the 50/50 raffles. Outside the liquor and beer stores, Kelly and Dorothy can be seen on the Multiple Sclerosis Tag Days. They also volunteer at the A & W Restaurant "Cruisin' for a Cause" days where they assist with the car show and the car wash. The MS Society and the people of Thunder Bay are fortunate to have these hard working supporters.

Canadian Corps of Voyageurs

Canadian Corps of VoyageursThe Canadian Corps of Voyageurs (CCV) has been actively contributing entertainment at Fort William Historical Park to locals and visitors from all over the world for 40 years. Known for their enthusiasm and commitment, they strive to share their knowledge of history and their belief in the importance of volunteerism. Some of the events and programs involving heritage interpretations of activities were the Fort Wayne Indiana's war of 1812, the Feast of the Hunters Moon Quiatenon, the 75th Anniversary of Quetico Provincial Park, HRM Queen Elizabeth's visit to Toronto and Winnipeg in 1984, the Battle of Waterloo, Stoney Creek Battle House, the 200th Anniversary of Red River Settlement in Winnipeg in 2012 and the 200th Anniversary Queenston Heights. CCV contributed to local events such as the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Summer Games in 1981, the world Nordic Games in 1995, Kamview Bike Race, Multiple Sclerosis Walk and Relay for Life. Members of CCV are great ambassadors for Thunder Bay and our region.

Interlink Choir

Interlink ChoirThe Interlink Choir has been bringing seniors and children together in Thunder Bay for 25 years. The choir is a unique inter-generational program that unites children and seniors through music and communication by the exchange of letters, poetry and art work. The choir complements the school curriculum and provides students with musical training they might not otherwise receive. There are currently four original members, one of whom is approaching 101 years young. The choir has performed at many special events including the Nordic Games, the Scott Tournament of Hearts, the Dorion 100th Anniversary celebrations, and has appeared with The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Fort William Male Choir. The choir also performs at seniors' homes throughout the city. Through Interlink, students and seniors gain a new appreciation for each other's talents, abilities ideas and dreams.

Pioneer Ridge-Roman Catholic Mass Volunteer Group

Upon moving into a long-term care setting such as Pioneer Ridge, individuals are confronted with several losses which include their homes, their possessions, and most times, their ability to attend their regular church services with their church community. Long-term-care residents have to conquer the feeling of loneliness, loss and boredom on a daily basis. Participating in a religious service can be a tremendous comfort. At Pioneer Ridge, the Roman Catholic Mass volunteers provide this comfort to the residents by listening in and joining in on remembered songs and prayers. The volunteers help the residents experience the spiritual uplifting that they enjoyed before admission to the Home. The Roman Catholic volunteers' commitment to ensure that residents can attend Mass every second Wednesday morning has been a great asset to the Home for 17 years. They are a kind and compassionate group of individuals who also share their talents. They sing in the choir and play instruments to ensure that the Mass is enjoyed by all. Their hard work and dedication are great assets to Pioneer Ridge residents.

Set Up Crew - Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre

The 55 Plus CentreThe Set Up Crew at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre is an integral part of the centre's team. Every week, a number of volunteers set up for regular activities including the weekly dances, Saturday bingo and Sunday entertainment. The crew also sets up for other events and special fundraisers such as the Harvest Craft Market, where every room in the building is utilized. It is important to note that often the Set Up Crew is not seen doing their work, but they indirectly touch the lives of the many older adults who come to the centre to enjoy the activities. Without the volunteer crew, setting up for various events would put a lot of extra work on the staff as well as on the event organizers. The members of the Set Up Crew have changed since its inception 25 years ago, but the hard work and dedication remain the same. This group helps to facilitate inclusion and social engagement for the senior members of our community.

Thunder Bay Clown Club

Clown ClubIn 2015, the Thunder Bay Clown Club celebrated 50 years of clowning in Thunder Bay, regionally and internationally. The club has provided entertainment and fundraising assistance to a multitude of groups including the George Jeffrey Children's Centre, Camp Quality, the Rotary Club, Hospice Northwest, the Special Olympics, Wesway, the Christmas Cheer Fund, the Gay Pride Parade, the Alzheimer Society, the Salvation Army, and Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association. The club has provided workshops for scout groups, girl guide groups, service clubs, 4-H clubs, community theatre groups, schools, churches and recreation centres. The club has shared good will and laughter all over the globe in places like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Rwanda, Kenya, the Caribbean, Iceland, Alaska, Peru, China as well as North and South America. The Thunder Bay Clown Club has been vital to local fundraising efforts as well as being ambassadors to the world.

Thunder Bay Martial Arts Council

Martial Arts CouncilIn 2001, representatives from the various martial arts groups in Thunder Bay did something unique. They formed the Martial Arts Council - the world's first community-based organization of martial arts disciplines, dedicated to promote the benefits of martial arts in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. At city council and in the provincial and federal legislatures, Thunder Bay was declared "The Martial Arts Capital of Canada". The encouragement of local groups of all ages and abilities has led to Thunder Bay having one of Canada's highest rates of participation in martial arts per capita. As well as the health benefits, there have been tourism and economic impacts related to the many martial arts events held in the city over the past 15 years. The Martial Arts Council avidly supported the construction of the popular Tai Chi Park and Moon Gate at the waterfront - visible reminders that Thunder Bay is active as "The Martial Arts Capital of Canada".

Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps

Police Youth CorpsThe Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps was created in 1993 as a non-profit organization with the main goal of increasing the cadets' confidence by preparing them for community involvement, promoting good citizenship and developing leadership skills, along with providing an introduction to policing. The cadets learn the motto "Lead by Example" by broadening their knowledge and self-discipline through fun educational activities and community volunteerism. Some of the events where the cadets volunteer each year are the Terry Fox Run, Police Memorial Service, Empty Bowls Caring Hearts Dinner, Legion Poppy Sales, Remembrance Day Parade, Rotary Christmas Parade, Stuff a Cruiser, Polar Bear Plunge, and the Military Craft and Yard Sale. They also participate in the Adopt a Road clean-up when they clean Balmoral Street from William Street to Oliver Road twice annually. Each year, the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps cadets volunteer a combined total of about 500 hours, thus showing their dedication to this community and living up to their motto.

2016 Youth

Akul Bector

Akul BectorAkul Bector has been involved in a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the City of Thunder Bay over the past three years. He devotes countless hours and enthusiasm into the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, providing hospitalized seniors with the motivation and companionship they require to regain their independence and to rehabilitate successfully. He inspires other volunteers with his keenness and enthusiasm. Akul's work with Superior Science, a summer camp program for youth, allows him to advocate for youth and provide engaging activities that assist in boosting self-esteem in a fun learning environment. He has also been very involved in City of Thunder Bay events such as Canada Day and Summer in the Parks. Akul has dedicated countless hours to other organizations such as Old Fort William, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Festival of India and the Alzheimer's Society. He has dedicated approximately 1000 hours of service to organizations which have benefitted from his passionate participation. Akul's positive energy has an immense impact on the community.

Cassandra Fenlon

Cassandra FenlonCassandra Fenlon is dedicated to serving others and providing opportunities for young people. She has been involved in the Girl Guide movement since she was five years old. Currently, she is the president of her ranger unit and volunteers several times each week as a junior leader. In 2013, she was selected to be a member of the Girls' Forum, a provincial youth initiative. There she was able to advocate for other young women while advising the provincial board of issues important to girl guides. After participating in the forum, Cassandra was inspired to initiate a similar project for Girl Guides in Thunder Bay. Cassandra has also planned and coordinated fundraising initiatives for the Northern Cancer Research Fund, Shelter House and for sponsoring a Syrian family. She also volunteers at the Thunder Bay Museum and the Dragon Boat Race Festival. Cassandra is a well-rounded young lady, excelling in academics and student leadership while being very active in our community.

Heather Madussi

Heather MadussiHeather Madussi is a full-time social work student at Lakehead University as well as a Community Friend volunteer for Wesway since October 2013. She volunteers at least once and often twice a month. Heather is always willing to take on new challenges and is eager to provide respite to a family in need and to spend quality time with the family's loved one who has special needs. The participant whom Heather supports did not have socialization in her life. Heather provides the support during walks outside, encouraging greetings to people, thus enhancing the intrinsic value of having friends in the community. Activities indoors could include acting out skits based on favourite television programmes. Heather welcomes change, has a positive attitude and easy-going nature-well suited to this role.

Chelsey Brassard

Chelsey BrassardChelsey Brassard is a Grade 12 French immersion student at St. Patrick's High School. Among the many organizations benefitting from Chelsey's volunteerism are Shelter House, Black Tigers Tae Kwan Do, Birch Beach Arts and Crafts, Paramount Live, Volunteer Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay LaCrosse, Canada Games Complex, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. She has planned activities; instructed crafts, swimming and Tae Kwan Do classes; worked in musical theatre; participated in coaching camps; assisted in fund raising and assisted patients in the Good Night Program at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. With each activity Chelsey has identified the benefits to the community and the sense of accomplishment she receives from her altruism. Chelsey has volunteered over 700 hours in the school and community, making her an ambassador for youth, modelling the importance of giving one's time to the community.

Julie Hauth

Julie HauthJulie Hauth is 17 years of age and has been volunteering for the City of Thunder Bay Recreation and Culture Division for more than three years with the Kite Festival, Canada Day celebrations, Teddy Bear Picnic, Summer in the Park concert series and Exploring Our Routes. Her role at these events includes assisting at information booths, parking, crafts, children's activity stations, set-up and tear down and volunteer headquarters, among others. She is always available to greet visitors, provide assistance, support her fellow volunteers and introduce new people to volunteering. She takes an active role in recruiting family and friends to volunteer at events. Julie rarely has one volunteer job at an event. She is much more likely to fill in at every post throughout the event. Julie's dedication, leadership skills and commitment make her the epitome of a youth volunteer.

Abigail Proteau

Abigail ProteauAbigail (Abby) Proteau is a true ambassador for youth and a responsible citizen who contributes to the common good in our community. Abby has accumulated a total of 954 community hours throughout her high school career as well as many hours prior to entering high school. Numerous hours have been contributed to the Thunder Bay Minor Football Association. She is a role model for other females in a sport which is predominately led by males. Abby's leadership includes coaching and instructing. She works with youth, teaching them new skills that benefit them not only in their sport but in their everyday lives. Abby has volunteered at more than 35 programs for organizations including the Cancer Society, United Way, St. Anthony Church, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Shelter House. Her efforts have supported not only the youth in Thunder Bay, but also the sick, homeless and hungry. Abby's community involvement has benefitted and touched the lives of many in Thunder Bay.

 2015 Awards

2015 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2014 calendar year.

2015 Spirit of Thunder Bay

Richard Bauch

Richard BauchRichard has been an active volunteer since 1958. He began with the Fort William Kinsmen Club assisting with fund raising projects for Toys for Tots, Christmas hampers and other projects as well as holding various executive positions over ten years. He has been a member of the Kaministiquia Masonic Lodge #584 for 43 years. In 1987, he was Master of the Lodge and remains an active member and ardent supporter of the Masonic Child Identification Program. Since 1981, Richard has also been a member of the Scottish Rite of Canada. As a member of the Khartum Shrine and the Lakehead Shrine Club since 1982, Richard has worked tirelessly with the annual Shrine Circus and many other fund raising projects. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for the Lakehead Shrine Club from 1990 to 1993. Richard visits seniors that are shut in, volunteers with the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign and is an active member of Calvary Lutheran Church.

Margaret Bianco

Margaret BiancoMargaret is one of the longest-serving volunteers at the Thunder Bay 55+ Centre since it was built almost 25 years ago. Her volunteer positions over 22 years have been numerous, including board member, ambassador, special events committee member and art committee event planner. Margaret has also participated as a planning member of the Northwest Senior Games Committee, as well as the Elder Abuse Committee. Margaret is a great leader with incredible organization and focus for detail. Her volunteer time commitment and dedication to the 55+ Centre provide a great place to grow, share and socialize.

Margaret Capon

Margaret CaponMargaret has been an exemplary volunteer for more than 12 years with the Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services, a 24-hour, 7-day a week service providing immediate, on-site, free assistance to victims of crime. She has also been a dedicated volunteer as a companion for Hospice Northwest for four years. With Victim Services, Margaret is a Direct Service Volunteer, supporting victims of sudden death, assault, domestic violence, elder abuse and property crime. She inspires her fellow volunteers as she is reliable, well organized, an excellent communicator, a peer motivator and excellent problem solver.

Moffat Makuto

Moffat MakutoFor over 30 years, Moffat has worked with the young, old and everyone in between. He challenges youth and helps them gain self-confidence and stay in school. Moffat participates in numerous organizations which assist him in getting his message on behalf of youth moved forward. Moffat is driven to make Thunder Bay a more welcoming community to all newly-arrived youth.

Bill Mokomela (In Memoriam)

Bill has been a dedicated volunteer in Thunder Bay for more than 40 years. He has been a member and past president of the Hill City Kinsmen Club, and has organized golf tournaments for senior golfers in support of the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada. As a Board Member of the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, he introduced the Fame 500 Club, a major fund-raising project for the Hall. He has been Chair of the United Way Campaign and Kidney Foundation March Drive. He volunteers for St. Joseph's Care Group, the Children's Wish Foundation and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. He is also a member of St. Paul's United Church choir and canvasses door-to-door for several local charities. Bill's volunteer activities have made a significant contribution to our community.

Tom Sarvas

Tom SarvasTom has been a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of the George Jeffrey Children's Centre for 20 years as Chair of the Finance Committee and as Treasurer, as well as serving on the Executive Committee, many of the Board committees, and fundraising for the Centre's new facility. Tom has also been on the Board of Directors of Avenue II Inc., which supports adults with developmental disabilities, serving in leadership roles as Chair and Treasurer. He has volunteered for a number of years on the Board of Directors of the Lakehead Express Soccer Club. Through his volunteering and leadership, Tom has made a significant contribution to our community.

Jim Whatley

Jim WhatleyJim has been a faithful member of St. Stephen's Anglican Church for 57 years, serving in various leadership capacities. He has been a member of the Board of the Kiwanis Club of Thunder Bay, serving as President twice. He was Chair of the Easter Seals fund raising for two years, during which more than $90,000 was raised. Jim received the Kiwanian of the Year and the Easter Seals 10-year Recognition Awards. He has volunteered at the Dew Drop Inn, the Mission to Seafarers, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, 55+ Centre, Kidney Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society. Jim has conscientiously worked to assist the citizens of Thunder Bay and to make the City a better place to live.

Sandra Wieckowski

ISandra Wieckowskin the late 90s, a group of women conceived the dream of having a children's museum in Thunder Bay. Sandra, along with a small, similarly minded group, turned that dream into a reality. With a 17 year commitment of dedication and hard work, the Children's Museum flourished and became one of the primary children's attractions at the Marina until fall 2009. Sandra has been an active volunteer for many other organizations for 50 years. She was chair of the Provincial Committee for the 60th Anniversary of the Ontario Catholic Women's League. She has volunteered for the Alzheimer Society, Salvation Army, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario March of Dimes, Dew Drop Inn, Shelter House, Girl Guides of Canada and the Northern Credit Union in many capacities. From the young to the elderly, Sandra has endeavoured to improve the quality of lives in our city.

2015 Good Citizen

Sylvia Boyd

Sylvia has been volunteering and attending monthly Auxiliary meetings at Oliver Road Community Centre since 2004 when she moved to Thunder Bay. She is an active volunteer at fundraising events such as flea markets, craft sales, teas and carnivals. She donates baking, new and gently used items, and offers her time and work at the Centre's activities and events. Her volunteer efforts enable the Community Centre to upgrade equipment and furnishings as well as continue to operate as a vital community resource.

Alex Boyko

Alex BoykoAlex has been volunteering at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Thunder Bay for the past seven years. He co-facilitates the Adjustment to Vision Loss Program, an essential service for clients who are blind or partially sighted. Alex shares and discusses how he successfully accomplishes his personal activities of daily living without sight or with low vision. Alex also took the lead in planning and organizing groups of clients who needed technology training on personal high tech devices. Alex is an inspiration with an indomitable spirit and a commitment to enrich the lives of other in his community.

Jane Chapman

Jane ChapmanIn the late 1970s, a group of women formed a bridge group called the Hospital Marathon Bridge Group. The participants play Bridge in each other's homes once a month and make a donation to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre's (TBRHSC) Volunteer Association. Jane Chapman has been in charge of the Hospital Marathon Bridge Group for 19 years and her dedication has helped raise more than $28,000 for TBRHSC. In appreciation for her dedication, the TBRHSC Volunteer Association presented Jane with an Honorary Membership in May 2012. Jane is responsible for scheduling the Bridge games, organizing a Bridge Luncheon, purchasing prizes for the luncheon and recognizing the top team. Jane`s dedication to the group has ensured its longevity in supporting the work of the Health Sciences Centre.

Stephanie Chikoski

Stephanie ChikoskiStephanie became an experienced student of the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association and in 2000 began to teach dance as a volunteer. For the past five years, Stephanie has been Teacher Coordinator assisting and mentoring the teachers at each class level. She spends countless hours each year planning the annual year-end concert. She has also organized and prepared the dancers for local charity work, including performances within the Ukrainian community, seniors' homes and Canada Day celebrations. Stephanie's dedication and leadership have provided the Zorya Dancers the opportunity to make Thunder Bay an enhanced and vibrant community.

Debbie Esquega

Debbie EsquegaDebbie touches the lives of many high school students with her guidance and leadership qualities. For the past 25 years, she has been a boarding guardian, providing a loving and caring environment for high school students from outlying communities. Debbie oversees the Kateri Church Centre`s St. Vincent de Paul food bank, making sure families have food when they are in need. She also assists with Kateri Prayer Days where meals are served for up to 80 people. Debbie shows compassion, respect, care and love to young, pre-teens, teens, young adults and elders, and deserves recognition for her important contributions.

Alexa Hadley

Alexa HadleyAs costume assistant for the past 21 years, Alexa has given the Chaban Ukrainian Dancers the opportunity to delight audiences with her array of beautifully sewn costumes and props. The dancers are able to enjoy the colours, ideas and perfection in workmanship of these costumes and are excited to wear her creations. In addition to her costuming work, Alexa sat as treasurer of the Chaban executive for seven years and member at large for one year. She was also bingo administrator and liaison to the City for nine years. Alexa has enriched the lives of Chaban's youth, families and adult volunteers through her example of collaboration, creativity, organization, understanding, and willingness to go above and beyond what is needed.

Rick Henderson

Rick HendersonRick has been a reliable and dedicated volunteer with the Shelter House for 16 years. He is vital to the volunteer drivers program which is an integral part of the soup kitchen at the shelter. Rick is very dedicated and rarely misses his regular Tuesday and Thursday shifts. He takes great pride in his position and is always making suggestions to improve the delivery system. Rick touches the lives of people in our community every day, often not even seeing those he affects or the way he affects them. The clients and Shelter House greatly appreciate volunteers like Rick and believe he deserves to be thanked publicly for all his hard work.

Carol Lynn Henriksson

Carol HenrikssonCarol is a recently retired registered nurse who has been involved in the community as a volunteer for many years, helping to meet the needs of individuals with special needs. She has volunteered as a parent advisor for Wesway's Board of Directors as well as on the Special Education Advisory Committee for the Lakehead Board of Education. Carol has volunteered as a board member for the Ontario Family Alliance, as well as for the Community Care Access Centre for the District of Thunder Bay. She has also volunteered on the Board of Directors for Community Living Thunder Bay and the Handicapped Action Group`s Kids Connection. Carol was instrumental in advocating for home support for the physically challenged when the legislation was available only for those with developmental disabilities. Our community has benefited greatly due to Carol`s work and dedication.

Russ Hrenchuk

Russ has been an active volunteer at Fort William Historical Park (FWHP) for more than 15 years, helping to provide both educational and entertaining programming to local citizens as well as tourists from all over North America. Russ started volunteering at FWHP through his involvement in the Canadian Corps of Voyageurs (CCV). He has served as president of the CCV for many years, coordinating the group's participation in special events and activities at FWHP. Russ's volunteer contributions go beyond Fort William and extend to our entire community. He has taken a lead in coordinating volunteer resources and personally volunteered in City-wide events for organizations such as the MS Society of Thunder Bay, the Shelter House Relay for Life, the Ontario Special Olympics, Ten Mile Road Race, Dragon Boat Festivals, and many others. His work and dedication embodies the spirit of volunteerism in Thunder Bay.

Tina Huk

Tina HukTina started volunteering at a very young age. She always knew she wanted to one day give back to the Children's Aid Society (CAS) and volunteer with them in any capacity that would make a difference. Tina also sits on the Volunteer Advisory Board, is a Life Book volunteer and helps with numerous other CAS events. Tina has taken on other volunteer work with such organizations as Leadership Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Police Zone Watch, and the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Tina states, "Nothing has been as personal or rewarding as the work I do at the Children's Aid Society."

Debi Jolicoeur

Debi JolicoeurFor the past 10 years, Debi has been involved with the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps. In her role as Uniform Officer, she single-handedly updated and revamped the uniforms the Corps proudly wears today. Debi also sits on the Board of Directors and can also be found supervising the Corps at numerous events such as the Terry Fox Run, Police Memorial Service, Remembrance Day Service and the Military Family Resource yearly sale. Debi has also volunteered each year for Operation Red Nose and at the 55+ Centre. Debi is a well-respected member of our community and is a worthy recipient of public recognition.

Teaghan Koster

Teaghan KosterTeaghan has been an active volunteer with Alzheimer Society Thunder Bay, Lakehead University Anthropology Association (LUAA) and Experience Dance. At the Alzheimer Society, she assists as a receptionist and is a volunteer for the Minds in Motion program. She makes sure that her client and visitor experiences are positive and comfortable. As vice-president of LUAA, Teaghan assists in planning and implementing events, handling monetary interests and pursuing new recruits. As a creative movement assistant with Experience Dance, Teaghan helps youth with their physical well-being and positive self-esteem. Over the past 12 months, Teaghan has been a volunteer with Lakehead University`s LEAD program which attracts students to the university by orientating them to the academic community and offering mentorship.Teaghan has proven herself to be an effective community leader.

Janet Lortie

Janet LortieJanet Lortie is an organist with St. Michael's Anglican Church who offered her talents to Dawson Court. She plays for the monthly Anglican church services in the Dawson Court chapel and also plays for a monthly hymn sing for residents with dementia. The residents are grateful to enjoy the music she brings into their lives, reconnecting them to their faith through familiar hymns. Janet is also an integral part of the special Remembrance Day Service and Christmas Service for residents. With her quiet and modest dedication, Janet enhances the lives of our precious seniors.

Michele Love

Michelle LoveMichele has been a hospice palliative care volunteer with Hospice Northwest for the past five years. Her kind nature is perfect for offering companionship and support for people journeying through the final stages of a life-limiting illness, and their friends or family members who are faced with the loss of their loved one. She is also gifted with excellent culinary skills, thus allowing her to provide many meals for participants of Hospice Northwest's Circle of Friends Support Group. She also offers ideas and seeks out sponsorship and prizes when called upon. Her devotion to Hospice Northwest is a true reflection of her commitment to hospice palliative care and the importance of comforting and supporting people during difficult times.

Duncan MacGillivray

Duncan MacGillivrayFor the past six and a half years, Duncan has been volunteering his time with the Brain Injury Association of Thunder Bay and Area (BIATBA), currently as the President of the Board. Through his leadership, BIATBA continues to work towards supporting people living with brain injuries through education, public awareness, information and advocacy. He has also been instrumental in implementing the Peer Support Mentoring Program which connects people living with brain injuries through supportive relationships. In addition to his work with the BIATBA, he has partnered with the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association to bring the Bike Helmets for Kids program to Thunder Bay. He is generous, caring, and gentle in his leadership roles throughout the community, and an advocate and visionary in the area of brain injury and awareness.

Dolores Mechtab

Dolores MechtabDolores has spent ten years as a dedicated volunteer in leadership roles at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. She is the Service Leader of Surgical Day Care where she plays an important role of overseeing a group of volunteers who assist in enhancing the patients' stay in that unit. For the past six years, she was also a member of the Volunteer Association Board and served two terms as president. Her dedication to leadership and contribution to enhancing the lives of her patients is well deserving of recognition.

Michelle Morettin

Michelle MorettinSince 2009, Michelle has touched the lives of the residents of Grandview Lodge. The residents look forward to spending the afternoon with her at the bar or purchasing items from the tuck shop. She independently makes the calendar for the bar, sets up, serves residents, tracks drinks and attendance, cleans, and puts in supply needs. In addition, she also runs the Auxiliary tuck shop at the same time as running the bar. Dedicated to the position, she is always there for her residents. While working with the Auxiliary group, she makes various knit items and crafts that she donates to the shop to be sold. Her time and patience is appreciated by staff, families and residents.

Judy Mostow

Judy MostowJudy had a stroke in December of 2005. She went through rehabilitation with the Moving On after Stroke (MOST) program with St. Joseph's Hospital. When she graduated, the physiotherapist asked her to stay on as a volunteer and she started doing so in September of 2006. Judy continues to help with the MOST program and also volunteers with St. Joseph's Care Group's Physical Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, the Client and Family Council Committee, the Client Centered Care Committee and the Volunteer Services Advisory Committee. Judy says that volunteering gives her purpose and makes her feel good.

Colleen Peters

Colleen PetersColleen was the driving force behind the development and implementation of the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy which tackles such issues as housing, employment, racism and the environment. Colleen is currently President of Thunder Bay Youth Centre and has donated hundreds of hours to the development of an incorporated board and to fundraising for the Centre. Colleen sat as a member of the City of Thunder Bay's Youth Services Advisory Committee, assisting through surveys and social media to get feedback on the needs of youth in our community. Her perspective on the importance of positive experiences for youth was invaluable as the committee developed its Youth Services Plan. This Plan is now a guiding document for the City of Thunder Bay in the delivery of programs and services for local youth.

Tullio Provenzano

Tullio ProvenzanoTullio has served on the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation (TBRHSF) for 17 years. As the Vice Chair of the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign, he has touched our entire community and region with his dedication and passion to raise 5.9 million dollars to help TBRHSF achieve its goal of providing exceptional cancer care close to home. Tullio wants to make sure that if cancer touches anyone, they are given all options to fight the disease at home. He has spent countless hours knocking on doors and asking for donations and leading the Cabinet in securing an extensive number of major gifts from individuals and organizations. Tullio's leadership, innovation and dedication have contributed to a successful campaign and to better cancer care in our community.

Dr. Jack & Brenda Remus

Jack and BrendaDr. Remus and Brenda have been instrumental in sustaining the existence of the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society for the past 20 years.They wanted to ensure there was an organization that would care for abandoned and distressed animals. As members of the Board, they devoted much time to leading the Board in many fundraising activities. Dr. Remus served as President of the Board for 10 years as well as a member of the Ontario Heritage Foundation. Dr. Remus and Brenda adopted many pets as well as helping to fund the operation of the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society when it was in financial distress for a few years.

John Ritchie

John RitchieJohn Ritchie has been coaching baseball since he was 16. He has been on the executive of the Thunder Bay Men's Senior Baseball Association since 2001, currently as vice president. He also volunteered on the ground crew when the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association hosted the 2010 International Baseball Federation World Junior Baseball Championship in Thunder Bay. In 2000, John coached the Thunder Bay North All Stars who competed in Ottawa for the Ontario Big League Championships and returned home as the Ontario Big League 2000 Champions. John also volunteers for the Port Arthur Curling Club (PACC). In 1985, John started the PACC Fish Club and in 1988, he organized the first PACC Super Bowl Bonspiel, which has become an annual event. John's volunteer involvement has greatly enhanced and raised the profile of the sporting community in Thunder Bay.

Kathy Rozenuk

Kathy RozenukAs the mother of a daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Kathy has served as a representative for Autism Ontario Thunder Bay on the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) at the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board. During her 15 years of her volunteer work, Kathy's direct and relevant experience helped her to make many recommendations to the school board on matters affecting the establishment, development and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional students. Kathy continues to help special education students by sharing her extensive experience and knowledge.

Marcus Simpson

Marcus SimpsonMark has been an active volunteer with the Knights of Columbus and St. Andrew's Church. He served as Grand Knight from 2005 to 2006, and has been involved with other Knights' activities such as visiting the sick in hospital, volunteering at the Dew Drop Inn soup kitchen, coordinating Bingo at Dawson Court and fundraising for the Arthritis Society. Every December, Mark sets up the Nativity scene in front of the Waverly Public Library. For 15 years, Mark has served as Eucharistic Minister at St. Andrew's Church where he sets up for all services and Masses, opens and closes the church and serves at funerals. He has been a member of the Pastoral Council for 12 years and he organizes events for the Special Events Committee. The Knights of Columbus and St. Andrew's Church are grateful for Mark`s dedication, devotion and hard work.

Dean Storry

Dean StorryDean has been a dedicated peer supporter of the Northwestern Ontario Peer Council for seven years, including four years as president of the board. He volunteers closely with consumer/survivors of mental health services, advocating on their behalf to make systemic changes to mental health and addictions services. He has planned conferences on peer support and rehabilitation. He also assists with the planning of recreational activities for adult rehabilitation at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. Dean has demonstrated his dedication by completing several courses on mental health and peer support, receiving certification from the Ontario Peer Development Initiative.

Sister Dolores Turgeon

Sister Dolores is the Assistant Chaplin for Bishop Colli and is also a valued volunteer with St. Joseph's Care Group. Sister Dolores served on St. Joseph's Care Group's Board of Directors from 2005 - 2014 but has also been an exceptional volunteer working directly with the clients. She has been a feeding companion at Bethammi Nursing home and specialist in reading with stroke patients at St. Joseph's Hospital. Presently, Sister Dolores volunteers seven days each week among twelve different sites throughout Thunder Bay, nine long-term care homes and three hospitals, including Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, bringing Communion to the sick and friendly visiting with clients, making sure they have someone in their life connecting with them. She sees up to 460 clients each week. When asked why she volunteers she stated, "I love working with the elderly so I find my volunteer work is very rewarding."

Carol Voth

Carol VothCarol Voth has volunteered with the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society for the past 10 years. She has been the social action director, Secretary and most recently Treasurer on the Board of Directors. Most recently, Carol organized the development of a MS Society Park to commemorate those who have passed away from MS and to honour those who still struggle with the disease today. In addition to volunteering with the MS Society, Carol has committed 10 years of volunteer involvement with the Canadian Ski Patrol as a certified ski patroller and first aid personnel. She also volunteered for several years with St. John Ambulance, providing pet therapy at various long-term care facilities. Carol is a dedicated volunteer who gives her time generously to support her community.

Canadian Lakehead Ten Pin Bowling Association

Canadian Lakehead Ten Pin BowlingHaving received its original charter in 1963 from the American Bowling Congress, the Canadian Lakehead Ten Pin Bowling Association has provided a sporting opportunity to Thunder Bay Citizens for more than 50 years. At present, there are 350 adult bowlers and 48 youth who meet once a week for the recreation and sport of bowling. Several bowlers have won national and international medals, and two are Hall of Fame members in the Canadian Ten Pin Federation. The adult bowling association has been providing this recreation opportunity for 51 years and the youth association (21 and under) for 35 years.

Corpus Christi Sunday & Funeral Choir

Corpus ChristiThe Corpus Christi Sunday and Funeral Choir have contributed their time and talent to the church for close to 63 years. When called upon, as many as 23 people make themselves available to perform. They bring comfort to the family that requires this service during the Mass or Memorial Service. The choir sings the hymns the family requests as well as those chosen by the conductor. The Sunday choir also sings at special occasions such as Christmas celebrations. Corpus Christi Church is extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers who have given so much over such a long period of time.

John & Friends Entertainer Group (John Scaffeo & Albert Budiselic)

John & Friends have been entertaining the residents of Hogarth Riverview Manor and St. Joseph's Heritage for nearly 10 years. These two committed volunteers share their musical talents with the Thunder Bay community and multiple agencies at events and celebrations. While John is playing the accordion and the synthesizer, Al is playing the guitar and leading the singing. Music is therapy for all, especially for people living with Alzheimer's disease. The music John and Albert play helps bring back treasured memories and helps people feel good. These musically gifted volunteers are committed, compassionate and caring about the residents who have come to know them and look forward to their visits.

2015 Youth

Ashley Andrea

Ashley AndreaAshley provides help, support and guidance to younger students in schools and our community. She has increased the profile of youth in Thunder Bay through 1416 hours of voluntary contributions. She worked as a camp/instructor's assistant with Superior Science, a soccer coach with Lakehead Express Soccer Team, and a helper in first communion preparation with Corpus Christi Church. She has also volunteered for the Dew Drop Inn and St. Ignatius High School. Ashley is a positive role model who shows interest and enthusiasm for helping the youth of Thunder Bay.

Lauren Differ Saxberg

Lauren is a highly talented and self-motivated youth who joined the Kam Valley Fiddlers first as a student, then a performer and for the past two years as a teacher. She is dedicated to her music and has a well-developed work ethic: she has rarely missed a rehearsal and never missed a performance. She quickly establishes a rapport with younger students, while expanding her own musical repertoire with the tutelage of international musician, Pierre Schryer. Lauren has been accepted as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto and will be greatly missed by the Kam Valley Fiddlers.

Owen Bai

Owen BaiIn the past three years, Owen has volunteered more than 700 hours for 11 organizations. In addition to volunteering at Sir Winston Churchill CVI, Owen has devoted his energy to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Fort William Rotary Club, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Lakehead University, Superior Science Camp, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, Lakehead Adult Education Centre Mandarin Chinese Class, Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club, Equality Rocks Choir, Fort William Historical Park, and Operation Eyes Wide Open Cadets Canada. Owen is a skilled, ambitious, energetic, enthusiastic and talented young man.

Erica Wdowiak

Erica WdowiakFor Erica, volunteering is a way of life at church, school or in the community. Throughout her four years at St. Patrick's High School, she has accumulated more than 1400 hours of volunteer work in the community as well as participating in school band and drama productions. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for Calvary Lutheran Church, was Junior Counselor at Aurora Lutheran Bible Camp, was a day camp leader for Evangel Church, and an assistant with the Vacation Bible School for Christ Lutheran Church. In the community, Erica has performed and helped younger dancers with the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association, and she has assisted preschool children at the Step by Step Child Care Centre.

 2014 Awards

2014 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2013 calendar year.

2014 Spirit of Thunder Bay

 Judy Anderson
Judy Anderson has been an active volunteer at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition for 24 years. She has held the executive position of Vice-President of Marketing for 18 years. In 1998, she took the reins of the Home and Garden Show and through her leadership has made this event very successful.  Judy spends countless hours working with the C.L.E. Fair Committee to organize the “Kids World” program which provides hands-on, fun activities for children. The “Fall into Winter” Show began in 2011. In 2012, Judy chaired the event and, under her guidance, helped make it even more successful. Judy and her committee host many special events in Thunder Bay.  She works tirelessly to promote the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition.
 Joyce Bonden

Joyce BondenJoyce Bonden has been, and continues to be, an active, dedicated and loyal member of the Auxiliary to St. Joseph’s Care Group since 1969 - 45 years.  She has held positions of Second Vice-President, Recording Secretary and is presently the Scholarship and Education Chair.  Joyce has also helped with fundraising, helping to make a difference in the lives of the clients with the purchase of much-needed equipment. As well as volunteering for the Auxiliary, Joyce is a volunteer with the Royal Canadian Legion, Polish Veterans, Branch 149 Auxiliary.  She has been Corresponding and Recording Secretary as well as first Vice-President.  In March 2001, Joyce was nominated as the District 8 Commander of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.  She volunteers as a “Dorm Mom” for one week at the Royal Canadian Legion Sports Athletic Camp each summer, something she has been doing for over 20 years.  Joyce volunteers at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium; participated in the Children’s Festival from 1992 – 1997, has sold tickets, performed office duties and has been involved with fundraising by volunteering at teas and coat checks.  She is also first Vice President of the Auditorium Guild. Joyce is truly a dedicated and committed volunteer who has made a difference and helped enrich the life of many people in our community.

 Lorne Clifford
Lorne CliffordIn 1983, Lorne Clifford moved to Thunder Bay from Southern Ontario and joined the Thunder Bay Police.  The following year, he formed the Thunder Bay Police Pipe Band, which is still operational today.  Under his direction as Pipe Major, the Band has performed at many events throughout the City, such as Canada Day, Remembrance Day, Fallen Officers Parade, as well as at shows and competitions in Central Canada and the United States. Lorne has instructed many students in the art of Highland Bagpipe over the years.  He has published an instructional book entitled “So You Want to Play the Bagpipes”, as well as a collection of original works entitled, “Frozen Fingers, Tunes from the North”.  Lorne has composed more than 70 tunes for the Great Highland Bagpipe. One of these compositions was presented to Her Majesty by Government House as an official gift from Canada. In 2011, Lorne volunteered as a Canadian Peacekeeper and spent a year working in Palestine as the Canadian Contingent Commander.  While in the Middle East, he performed at the Canada Day and Remembrance Day celebrations and military decoration ceremonies for Operation Proteus. He is a life member of the Pipe Band, which will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year.  Lorne has received many accolades for his superb piping ability, including being decorated with the Canada 125 and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medals.
 Helen Del Ben
Helen Del BenHelen Del Ben started volunteering with the MS Society 41 years ago; one year after her daughter was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Helen has been her main caregiver, taking her to all her medical appointments and managing her care in an assisted living facility. She is 86 years young, a mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother and still has the energy and time to volunteer for MS, as well as the Women's Auxiliary of the DaVinci Centre and Branch 5 Legion. For over 15 years, Helen was the mall captain for the annual MS Carnation Campaign, which demanded she organize all the volunteers and manage the money. She helped organize the fashion show and a bowling league for the Ortona Legion. She volunteers to bake for teas and dinner events for Branch 5 Legion.  Over the years Helen has been a dedicated and reliable volunteer.
 Barb and Gerry Erb
Barb and GerryBarb and Gerry Erb have been volunteering for Wesway for 28 years, having hosted over ten participants regularly throughout the years. They have offered participants opportunities they would have never experienced otherwise. Wesway provides respite services focusing on support for families who are caring for a loved one with a disability or chronic health issue. Host families provide short-term periods of respite for families, by welcoming a child, adult or senior into their home, including them in their family activities for a few hours, or an occasional overnight or a weekend. Barb and Gerry have supported many participants at their camp and they enjoy various activities such as using the sauna, beach and ski-dooing. They strive to be flexible and when families are in need have been described as easy going and very caring. Barb and Gerry have made wonderful connections with the caregivers of the participants they host and they have stayed committed throughout the years they have been volunteering with Wesway.
 Gwen Gamble
Gwen GambleGwen Gamble has been involved with the Thunder Bay Women’s Soccer Club for many years.  She started as a player and then took initiative and managed numerous soccer teams in the Club since 1989.  This past year Gwen managed six indoor teams, four spring teams and two outdoor teams, supporting over 200 individuals.  She actively encourages women to join the Club.  Gwen embodies the mission of the Club: “to provide the opportunity for women of all ages and skill levels a chance to play soccer for fun, fitness and friendship”.  Currently, she is the President of the Club and has held this position since 2011.  In this role she has written a history of the Club from its inception in 1981 and documented the achievements of the women of the Club.  Gwen is the reason the Thunder Bay Women’s Soccer Club continues to grow.  In 1989, there were seven teams in the outdoor league and now there are twenty and there are an additional four divisions with thirty teams for the indoor league. She is a vital link in connecting youth soccer players with the league.  Gwen is an irreplaceable asset to the Thunder Bay Women’s Soccer Club, recruiting players, old and new, coaches, mentors and female referees.  She is a positive role model and believes in what women’s soccer can and has done for many women.  Without her, the Soccer Club and soccer in Thunder Bay would not be where it is today.
 Jay Henderson
Jay HendersonJay Henderson has been an upstanding volunteer of the Thunder Bay Meter Eaters Running Club since its inception in 1979.  He has held numerous positions on the Executive, including terms as President.  He spearheaded the development of the Club’s constitution and served as Race Director for many races for the past 33 years.  He also sets up the finish line for the annual Firefighters 10 Mile Road Race, with thousands of participants crossing the line and celebrating their amazing achievement.  In addition, he has organized a group of Meter Eater Club members to staff an Aid Station at the Sleeping Giant Loppett (previously known as the Sibley Ski Tour) since the inception of that event. The Thunder Bay Meter Eater Running Club’s motto is “Fitness, Fun and Friendship” and Jay Henderson is an example of those three goals.  The Club has provided support and encouragement to help runners reach their personal goals, from those just beginning and wanting to complete a 5K race to those who want to chase their dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  Through his involvement in events, he has helped to provide people with the opportunity for activity and socialization. Thunder Bay is an active city and Jay Henderson is one of our citizens who helps make that possible.
 Kerri Hnatiw
Kerri HnatiwIn 1994, Kerry Hnatiw, at the age of thirteen became a cadet with the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps.  Twenty years later, she is the longest standing volunteer with the same group.  She started as a cadet and during the ensuing six years, worked her way up from Constable to Sergeant then Staff Sergeant.  At nineteen, she “aged out”, and was asked to stay on as Staff Sergeant an extra year and then became an Inspector, helping to teach lessons and supervise young cadets. For more than twenty years Kerri Hnatiw has volunteered upwards of 100 hours a year, ensuring the Police Youth Corps maintains its high calibre reputation as a visible, community -friendly youth group. At one point, when the group was considering folding due to lack of interest, Kerri took it upon herself to raise awareness with the public, standing in the mall, promoting the Corps.  She has committed herself to raising funds in order that some of the senior cadets are able to take part every year in a skill development camp in Nova Scotia. Kerri has an uncanny ability to strike a balance between friendship/trust and discipline/respect with participants. Presently, the group of 33 cadets volunteer approximately 1000 hours each year within the community.  Kerri is at every event. “Lead by example” is their motto and Kerri Hnatiw is an excellent example of “leadership”.
 Jaro Kotalik
Jaro KotalikJaro Kotalik has been an active volunteer for the Port Arthur Rotary Club for the past 33 years, assisting with fundraising and service activities for many different organizations. He is also one of Thunder Bay’s Champions of Health Care Ethics, currently Chair of the Executive Committee. He has served as Co-chair of the Ethics Team of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre as well as a member of the Research Ethics Board at St. Joseph’s Care Group. Jaro is a board member of the Centre of Regenerative Medicine and a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee of the Ontario Health Study. Currently, Jaro mentors students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and is a valuable resource to both medical students and faculty members. Jaro publishes papers and book chapters, and gives workshops on the ethics of the patient-caregiver relationship, end of life care, Aboriginal health care, human research and pandemic planning and response. This year is the 15th Anniversary of the Centre for Health Care Ethics and Jaro will be receiving the Centre for Health Care Ethics Milestone Award for Outstanding Service. It is presented to a member who has advanced the mission and development of the Centre in a lasting and significant way. Jaro has also been augmenting the cultural life of the City through his continuing work with the Consortium Aurora Borealis since 2004.  He served as board member, Vice-President and President from 2006-2012.  Since serving as President, Jaro has volunteered as the Development Officer, working to cultivate interest in commercial enterprises so that they might become financial supporters of the Consortium. Over his tenure, Jaro has helped the Consortium become Northwestern Ontario’s premier presenter of chamber music concerts.

 

 Shelley Marinis
Shelley MarinisThrough Shelley’s leadership role as an Executive Board member for the United Way Government of Canada’s Charitable Campaign and Campaign Coordinator for Parks Canada, Northern Ontario, she has organized several fundraising events over the past 20 years raising over $20, 000.  Shelley has also been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Thunder Bay, which provides financial support to local organizations so they may continue providing programs and services for physically, mentally challenged and disadvantaged children and youth in our community.  Shelley is an active member of the Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society for the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church for the past 10 years, and has served as Treasurer, Secretary and President.  She has coordinated many volunteers and successfully held annual Spring and Christmas Teas to help with operational costs for the church.  Shelley is a true leader who, not only makes significant contributions to serving our community, but goes above and beyond to help in any way she can and helps make positive changes in the community.  She has personally recruited many volunteers in the service clubs with which she volunteers and has been a true mentor and inspiration, guiding them and assisting them to learn and grow.  It is individuals like Shelley who help to make Thunder Bay such a great City.
 Dorothy Martin
Dorothy MartinDorothy Martin began volunteering with the Thunder Bay Food Bank when it was housed in the basement of the old Shelter House, approximately 23 years ago. Over time, she has been a steady foundation and admirable example to all involved. On Tuesdays, Dorothy begins her day at 8:00 a.m. to open the doors, rain or shine, blistering heat or snow storm. She then searches the storage shelves for large quantity items that she will pass along to larger families. If treats are found, she will make them available to be sent home for the children. Dorothy ensures that all of the food that is given out is organized and ready for distribution. She is part of the crew that parcels the food for approximately 600 people per month. Somehow, Dorothy has also found time to volunteer for the Thunder Bay Symphony, St. Paul's United Church and Telecare. At 94 years young, Dorothy continues to lead by example to make our community a better place through her volunteer efforts.
 Elizabeth Poulin
Elizabeth PoulinThere is an impressive list of agencies in which Liz Poulin has played a major role: Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) (Vice President 2006-2008, President 2008 to present), Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra (Director, President, Past President, 2000 to present), 55 Plus Centre (Board of Directors, 2011 to present), Lakehead Social Planning Council (Board of Directors, 1984 to 1994, two years as President), Wesway (Board of Directors, two years as President), and Canadian International Council (President 2008 to 2010). With CFUW, Liz spearheaded public forums on poverty and homelessness. For the Orchestra, she worked to stabilize their finances and broaden their musical offerings making the Symphony more accessible to more people. At the 55 Plus Centre, Liz leads the committee which introduces new activities to the Centre. With the Social Planning Council, she helped develop a community program for people to tailor their activities to meet their individual needs. Liz helped organize policy and support staff to better serve the community in providing respite care for Wesway. She has been volunteering since moving to this community in 1984. She has dedicated her life to the betterment of all citizens in our community.
 Grant Poulin
Grant PoulinOver the past 40 years, Grant Poulin has been involved in volunteering for a number of organizations, whether ringing the bells for the Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive starting when he was a teenager or assisting as a stage hand for the Lakehead Choral Group.    He enjoys volunteering with youth at Chapples Golf Course and served as the Junior Chairman for the District, bringing the participants to Southern Ontario to compete at the Provincial Championships.  Grant is a past executive member of the Loyal Order of the Moose, receiving the Rookie of the Year Award for contributions to the Organization and membership recruitment.  Since 2001, Grant has been volunteering with the Lakehead Shrine Club and has served as Club Secretary, Circus Treasurer, Cycos Treasurer and President.  He is also Chairman of the Summer Events Fundraiser.  For 10 years, he volunteered with the Thunder Bay Ringette Association as a coach, timekeeper, convener, Public Relations Chair and President.  He was also instrumental in bringing the Ringette Provincial Championships to Thunder Bay in 1992. Grant has added awareness of the Ringette Association, brought additional tourism to Thunder Bay and revenue from the Ringette Provincials, and has provided support to families by decreasing financial and emotional stress while going through hard times and has provided opportunities for families to participate in events and come together as a community. 
 Michael Siska
Michael SiskaMichael Siska has been a volunteer with the United Way for over 25 years.    He has promoted inclusivity in his many years as a volunteer with the United Way. A significant part of Mike’s involvement has been in the area of fundraising, which touches the lives of many Thunder Bay residents.   Mike has also been a mental health worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) for almost 25 years and has fearlessly embodied the recovery principles of the organization.  The Countless hours of volunteer work Mike has contributed to CMHA and our community is immeasurable.  With the Thunder Bay Dragon Boat Festival, which is major supporter of CMHA, he has been involved as a paddler, team captain or co-captain for the CMHA Dragon Boat Team. He has also served as a Board Member for the Thunder Bay Shelter House. His charismatic, engaging and outgoing spirit empowers the goal of the United Way and CMHA. He continually goes out of his way to help other individuals achieve their goals.  His contagious energy is easily passed onto others. Everything that Mike does is toward the ultimate goal of helping and supporting people with mental health issues, thereby promoting individuals’ hopes, dreams and goals. 
 David Stezenko
David StezenkoDavid Stezenko was a member of the Governing Board of Redwood Park Church from 1998 to 2013, serving as Chair of the Board from 2011 to 2013. During this time, the Church's attendance grew rapidly. David has played an active role in many of the Church's projects. His responsibilities included: approving annual budgets, serving on committees, providing oversight and maintaining proper governance, and, providing accountability and financial stewardship. Due to the departure of Redwood's CEO/Pastor, David became the interim CEO for a period of six months. During this time, David led the search for a new CEO/Pastor, led the Board meetings, and was involved in budget preparations, and encouraged teamwork and the mentoring of new Board members. For more than thirty years, David has made an outstanding volunteer contribution to the Redwood Park Church and also found time to actively volunteer as a member of the OPP Auxiliary Unit and the Regional Food Distribution Association.

2014 Good Citizen

 Mary Ann Alexander
Mary Ann AlexanderMary Ann Alexander is an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Oliver Road Community Centre.  She has been involved in the many activities the auxiliary provides at the Centre: Christmas Tea and Bazaar, the Children’s Christmas Party, the annual Winter Carnivals, and canvassing for prizes for penny auctions to name a few.  Mary Ann served on the Board as the Vice-President.  She is an asset to the organization, volunteers her time, skills and ideas for the success of special events held throughout the year.
 Brenda Barradell
Brenda BarradellBrenda Barradell is a Direct Service volunteer with the Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services. She provides emotional support and practical assistance to victims of crime or tragic circumstances and their families. She is extremely supportive, has a positive attitude, and can always be counted on in times of need. Brenda makes a significant contribution to the regular meetings and training opportunities by sharing her knowledge of community resources. Brenda is an exceptional role model for the volunteers.
 Ashley Buitenhuis
Ashley BuitenhuisAshley Buitenhuis has been volunteering for the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay for the last five years. While completing her degree in psychology, she began volunteering to gain experience in the field of Social Work. Ashley has also been volunteering as a “Recreational Buddy”.  Meeting faithfully with the children each week, they began to open up, trust her and talk to her. She is very happy with the time she spends with Children’s Aid Society and the parents of the children said “it was nice to have someone take the children to places like Mount McKay and Fort William Historical Park”.  In addition to the Children’s Aid Society, she also volunteers with Thunder Bay Street Reach, the Special Olympics and their “Have a Go” event. In this role she assists school children as they partake in different sports in the Special Olympics. Each volunteer experience has brought her joy and happiness which results in personal growth and development. Ashley hopes to make a difference in Thunder Bay for many years to come, and that her experience can help guide others who are looking to help organizations in the city.
 Mary Ann Chubak
Mary Ann ChubakMary Ann Chubak is a dedicated member of the Helping Hands Auxiliary to Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged. When Mary Ann's mother became a resident, she joined the Auxiliary to help enrich the lives of all who live there. Within a few years, she was elected as Recording Secretary, a position she holds to this day. Mary Ann is renowned as a baker, and fellow Auxiliary members vie for her Christmas cakes and trays of cookies at special events throughout the year. Mary Ann has also made a significant volunteer contribution as a long- standing member of Beta Sigma Phi, and as a fund raiser for the Art Gallery, the Heart and Stroke, Diabetes Associations, and the Kidney Foundation. Mary Ann brings generosity and wisdom to volunteerism in Thunder Bay.
 Sharon Corston
Sharon CorstonSharon Corston has spent over ten years contributing and giving back to the community.  She is currently the Treasurer of the District 8 Special Olympics, Secretary-Treasurer of the Thunder Bay District Women’s Institute and Sunday School teacher at St. John’s Anglican Church.  As a volunteer, she has contributed to developing sports for local developmentally challenged athletes and to spiritual health through her involvement with the Church.  In addition to the numerous organizations with which she is involved, Sharon is with the Lakehead Social Planning Council (LSPC) as Coordinator, Trainer and Leader of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).  She has been the coordinator for this service for the last five years, and has recruited, trained and spent hours dedicated to improving a team of over 12 volunteers who have helped to improve the quality of life for many living in Thunder Bay.  Her commitment and desire to positively impact her community is demonstrated on a daily basis.
 Gloria Cyr
Gloria’s drive to better herself and the community has touched the lives of many.  She has played a key role in many organizations where her direction and leadership have been recognized.  Her resume includes: Board member of the Disaster Relief Committee, Director and President of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Board member for Confederation College, volunteer with YES Employment Services, and the United Way.  These positions take time and dedication, something that Gloria exudes.  Her passion, leadership and willingness to assist have helped to improve the quality of life for many in Thunder Bay.
 Paul Fitzpatrick
As the Chair of the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign, Paul Fitzpatrick has touched the lives of the whole community with his dedication and passion. His leadership has been instrumental in raising 59 million dollars to help achieve the goal of providing the best treatment options for Thunder Bay and the region. Paul has shown innovation and dedication and is always the first to help out with presentations to many community groups and events on behalf of the Campaign. Paul is truly someone you can count on. He has spent countless hours, weeks and years raising money so families can have the best possible care. 
 Mary Heaslip
Mary HeaslipMary Heaslip volunteered for the last five years for St. Joseph’s Care Group, Hogarth Riverview Manor, home to 96 residents.  She has her own team from St. Dominic’s Parish that come in weekly to organize and prepare the chapel for the services.    The residents look forward to attending the services with the volunteers.  The team also volunteers at St. Dominic’s Parish with all their activities.  She promotes the mission of St. Joseph’s Care Group with care, compassion and commitment. It is wonderful to see the benefits and impact on the residents. 
 Kevin Herman
Kevin HermanKevin Herman has been volunteering weekly in the Rehab Transport Service at Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre for the past five years.  He comes in each week and cheerfully takes patients to and from physio appointments within the facility.  Both patients and staff benefit from his warm and caring nature.  Kevin has an added interest in training, and for the past year has conducted new volunteer orientations.  He takes his role seriously and ensures that each volunteer is given a thorough orientation.  Kevin has also been actively involved with the Foresters, Lakehead Satellite Group.  He is currently Branch Vice-President, North Canada Region.  The Volunteer Program at the Health Sciences Centre has benefited greatly from Kevin’s expertise, knowledge and generosity.
 Helen Hirvasoja
Helen Hirvasoja is an outgoing, positive and friendly individual, offering support, companionship, and encouragement to clients of the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. She started her volunteer experience with mental health clients at People Advocating for Change through Empowerment (PACE) many years ago.   PACE is a consumer survivor initiative which is different from traditional mental health services.   It is run by, and for people with lived experiences in the community. Helen spent many hours of training to become a certified Peer Support Specialist. She volunteers for the Mental Health Out Patient Program and provides socialization opportunities and mental health education.  Helen is caring, compassionate and committed to volunteering to support her peers.  She is an active member of the Ontario Association of Patients Council. Helen is part of the Healthy Foundations Team which is comprised of Social Worker, Dietician, Therapeutic Recreationist and Peer Support Specialist, who meet with clients once a week to support them.  She is in the process of developing a Drop-Inn for mental health out-patients.
 Dr. Yaoge Huang
Doctor Yaoge Dr. Yaoge Huang, Master of the Lakehead Chinese Music and Dance Group, introduced the unique Chinese musical instrumental Erhu a Chinese two stringed violin to the city of Thunder Bay and its residents.  He and his students have volunteered hundreds of hours playing Erhu for events, festivals, seniors’ homes and schools since 2007. You might have seen Dr. Huang and his students performing at Thunder Bay Chinese Cultural Association (TBCCA) Chinese New Year Banquet, the City Peace Bell Ringing Ceremony, Folklore Festival, Intercity Shopping Mall and some parks in the summer.  A professional pianist praised Dr. Huang’s Erhu music as “music from the heaven”.  Dr. Huang established the Lakehead Erhu Music Group in the year of 2007. The group currently has around ten members who are actively involved in many cultural, musical, or fundraising activities sharing Erhu music with the people of Thunder Bay.
 Ruth Hyatt
Ruth HyattRuth Hyatt is an incredibly selfless person who brightens the lives of everyone she meets through her dedicated volunteer work. Ruth, who is affectionately called "Grandma Hyatt", has an amazing sense of empathy and integrity which guide her through life. Her passion and compassion are evident. Ruth has been a long-time supporter of the Canadian Cancer Society, helping with many fundraising events, including the Relay of Life.  For many years, Ruth worked tirelessly to raise the awareness about organ donation in our community through her work on the Run For Life organizing committee. Ruth will always say “yes” to someone in need. She has dedicated hundreds of hours volunteering for Kitty Care, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, the Fort William Kinettes and many more. At 78 years young, Ruth is a remarkable lady who lives to serve others.
 Wendy Landry
Wendy LandryWendy Landry has volunteered at Fort William Historical Park since 2008 as an interpreter, educating others about the fur trade and the contributions of the Aboriginal People.  She frequently encourages others and inspires them to also volunteer and make a difference.  She has worked extensively with Thunder Bay’s youth, often serving as an advocate on their behalf.  She has also championed initiatives that strive to improve relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.  This work has influenced many in the Thunder Bay community.  Wendy also recruits other members of her family and friends to volunteer at Fort William Historical Park.  She devotes countless hours in leadership roles in support of many other organizations such as: Thunder Bay Women’s Hockey, Shuniah Youth Center, Metis Nation of Ontario, National Aboriginal Day Committee, Negahneewin College and the City of Thunder Bay Crime Prevention Council and Anti-Racism Advisory Committee.  She is a champion for initiatives that strive to improve relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. She has been an active volunteer in the community since she arrived in Thunder Bay in 1984.
 Pat Levesque
Pat LevesquePat Levesque has been a special volunteer at Dawson Court for many years. Pat has been committed to volunteering there since she had a family member live there. She has remained a volunteer and has become great friends with some of the residents. During that time, the residents and the Life Enrichment Department have benefited from her amazing decorating skills, and the Department has never looked so good. This past Christmas she made over 100 scarves which Santa delivered to the ladies on Christmas morning, with the men receiving toques and mittens.  The main hallway is filled with pictures called Dawson's Hall of Fame. Pat takes the time to take the pictures and frame them.  Everyone takes pride bringing their loved ones into the Home showing them how nice it all looks.
 Joy Liggins
Joy LigginsJoy Liggins is a long-time devoted volunteer at Pinewood Court, home to 128 residents. She participated in various activities at the home: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas celebrations, on all four units. Lately, she has devoted her time to the monthly resident council bingos that all residents enjoy. When residents see Joy, they connect her to the bingos and serving ice cream. She cheerfully assists the residents to raise funds to purchase their newspapers each day. Pinewood Court residents benefit greatly from the time Joy spends there.
 Fran Loney
Fran LoneyFran Loney began her volunteering at the Founder’s Museum in 1999.  She has also served as Chairperson on the Thunder Bay Museum membership committee which acquired many new members.  Her knowledge and generosity has enabled the Thunder Bay Museum to grow, prosper, and increase the Institution’s profile in the City.  She has also served on the Thunder Bay Historical Society Board of Directors.  Many members credit Fran with introducing them to the Museum and creating a greater appreciation of their community’s history.
 Sharon Mercier

Sharon MercierSharon Mercier is a worker-bee with special skills in advertising and marketing.  She is a valuable member of the fundraising committee for P.R.O. Kids.  She is always looking for opportunities where P.R.O. Kids can receive donations, for example the proceeds from a Christmas Concert High School.  Over the years, Sharon has been involved in many fundraising activities.

 Deborah Murphy
Deborah Murphy volunteers at St. Joseph’s Hospital as Literacy Coach, helping patients with their needs. She is compassionate and dedicated as friendly visitor to clients who have no family or friends to visit them.  Deborah is also a member of the Volunteer Services Advisory Committee at St. Joseph’s Care Group.  She is a Eucharistic Minister bringing communion to patients who are in the hospital and unable to attend church.  Deborah volunteers with the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, assisting immigrant population and refugees in their first year in Canada.  She is committed and generous with her time in helping anyone who needs help.
 Arlene Myers
Arlene MyersArlene has volunteered at Wesway for 11 years.  Wesway provides respite to Care Givers, who care for people with disabilities.  Arlene has been a dedicated community volunteer connecting friends with Wesway participants.  She has innovative and creative ideas to support people and to explore different community events and activities.  Arlene attends Connectors regularly with participants, and offers to support more people to Connectors.  She is very caring and compassionate individual. Arlene spends many hours helping to find the right individual to assist her clients.  
 Gail Olofson
Gail OlofsonGail Olofson has been a board member, committee member, front-desk volunteer, advertising editor, newspaper contributor and event planner at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre.  As a volunteer for over the last eight years, her energy and ideas have made a lasting impact.  At the Health Centre she helps seniors find the right classes, gives directions, assists with registrations and provides information to all those who require help.  Her attention to detail allows her to provide people with as much information as possible, helping them with whatever they need.  Gail also volunteers with the Thunder Bay Literacy group, and volunteered for Child Find and the Nordic Games.  In addition to her dedication, Gail is an innovator, enjoys evaluating projects and events.  She was a pivotal part of the first five-day Open House in 2012 at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre. Her time, energy and hard-work helped to make the event a success. Gail has also been coordinating submissions for a monthly feature in the Thunder Bay Seniors Paper “The Friends of the Month”.  She contributed over 157 hours at the Centre last year.
 Karen Poole
Karen PooleKaren Poole has been a member of the Shelter House Board of Directors for the past 12 years.  In two consecutive terms, she has seen tremendous growth in the programming and service that the Shelter House has provided the community.  In the past years, Karen served as Vice-Chair, offering her support to the Chairperson and guidance to the Executive Director.  During that time, Karen saw many milestones.  She was involved with facilitating the construction of the new Shelter building, and implementing Kwae Kii Win, the managed alcohol program. She was involved in recruiting a new Executive Director, even though she has a busy schedule working as the Director of the School of Nursing at Lakehead University.  Over a six-year span, she managed to raise over $6500 for the Annual Raise the Rent Campaign.  The work she completed on the capital campaign for the new building created much needed awareness for the costs associated with a high-density, quasi-institutional building.  Recently, she supported and helped organize the organization’s largest raffle, raising nearly $30,000. Her wisdom, compassion and courage are all evidence of the tremendous value that she brings to Shelter House.
 Katherine Poulin
Katherine PoulinKatherine Poulin joined Hospice Northwest in 2008 as a hospice palliative care volunteer.  Over the past 5 years, she has devoted much of her time supporting and advocating for her clients living with a dementia in long term care and in hospital.  Katherine is a staunchly client focused advocate who will go to great lengths to ensure that her clients are getting the best palliative care.  In addition to providing one to one support to her palliative clients, Katherine also co-facilitates Hospice Northwest’s Grief and Bereavement Support Group.   Her calm, respectful demeanor and intuitive people skills are ideal for group leadership and fostering peer support among participants. Certified in Therapeutic Touch, Katherine often offers this complementary therapy to assist her clients with relaxation and pain relief. Katherine has recently joined the Hospice Northwest Board of Directors as the Palliative care volunteer representative, to ensure that the interests of our volunteers are factored into planning and decision making at the governance level.  Katherine’s willingness to share her knowledge and gifts has made her an invaluable asset to the organization.
 Ed Trelinski
Ed TrelinskiEd’s time with the Helping Hands Auxiliary for Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged, has been a family affair for many years. Ed’s late wife, Dorothy, served before him and was instrumental in his joining their group in 2005. Ed’s work in driving sales of their raffle tickets has been never-ending. Commitments to ticket sales were becoming a greater challenge each year, and Ed led the way. He set up displays and manned them himself. His cheerful personality and enjoyment of meeting people made him a consummate salesperson. He was solely responsible for selling $10,000 in tickets over two years. That money went on to purchase a touch screen computer, a desk and 40 memory boxes for the residents of Pioneer Ridge. He continues to search the community for businesses to donate to two yearly bazaars as well as assisting at all the Auxiliary activities. His dedication and devotion is amazing. As such, Ed was presented with the HAAO “Exceptional Service Award” in June.
 Matthew Villella
Matthew VillellaMatthew Villela has worked tirelessly within the community. His volunteering activities have helped numerous people.  Whether he is fundraising or participating in events like the Easter Seals Skate-a-thon, Matthew tries to makes the lives of people around him better. His dedication is evident in the role he has played in multiple organizations in Thunder Bay. Since 2005, he has been a part of Easter Seals Ontario, Leadership Thunder Bay, and the Friends of Olivia Foundation in roles of Board Member, Chair of the Board of Directors.  His efforts were recently recognized when he was nominated for a NOVA award and won Toastmaster of the Year, 2013.
 Jerry (Cyril) Williams
Jerry WilliamsJerry Williams has shared his energy with the Shelter House for over two decades through various roles, including his courageous leadership on the Board of Directors. Always a champion for the less fortunate in our community, Jerry has steered the organization through pivotal change required to meet growing needs, including acquiring new property, facilitating the build of a new shelter space and most recently, insisting on supporting people in a Housing First model using harm reduction. Jerry's extensive involvement with Shelter House provides him with a wealth of knowledge that he freely shares with all Shelter House staff and supporters. His passion for the organization is evident as he not only knows the history, but also played an active role in much of it. Along with his support and commitment to Shelter House, Jerry is a long standing member of the Fort William Rotary. The Rotary Club of Thunder Bay is strong supporters of Shelter House, allowing Jerry to integrate both his passions. Jerry's commitment to Shelter means that he is often in the building supporting staff, providing expertise, and guiding the financial management of the organization. His efforts and long-standing service have been a pivotal component in the stability and innovative service delivery that Shelter House offers to the community.
 Marnie Wolowich
In 1997, the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association was formed and Marnie Wolowich decided to put her years of dance experience to good use and became a volunteer dance instructor, which she is still doing today.  Marnie has also served as a dance choreographer, and an Executive member serving as a Registrar and Public Relations Director. Her volunteer efforts have helped the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association grow into the successful dance group it is today. Marnie is talented, dedicated and an involved citizen of Thunder Bay.  As an experienced dancer, she has enriched the community not only by instructing dance but also performing for celebrations such as Malanka (Ukrainian New Year’s Eve), Ukrainian weddings, anniversaries and special events.  She has been involved with the Folklore Festival, Canada Day celebrations, Old Fort William, CF Telethon, Senior homes, Chippewa Park, Kakabeka Days and “International Days” in area schools. Marnie has written articles submitted to the Chronicle Journal that highlight the Zorya Dance School activities and has also organized display booths, and performances at the Folklore Festival. Marnie has strong volunteer involvement throughout Thunder Bay, making it a better place for all.  Her dedication to leadership has definitely provided a meaningful volunteer contribution. 
 Katie Zuber
Katie ZuberKatie Zuber is helpful and loves to be active in her community. She is well-known for championing causes close to the hearts of her family: Thunder Bay Women’s Hockey, MS Society, Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group.  She has also been a judge for the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards, taking the duties of Director and Chair of Marketing and Advertising for the Heart of the Harbour BIA, and member of the awards committee of the Thunder Bay Business Women’s Network. She canvasses for donations for the “Bachelors of Hope” and Kelly McCracken’s “Gold FORE Hope” events.  Katie also participates in Thunder Bay Community Bingo.  For the past 12 years, Katie has volunteered as the Treasurer of the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group and has been involved in their fundraising committee.  She provides advice and guidance to group performance tour options, group annual budget planning and organizing financial statements on a monthly basis. She is a tireless advocate for Chaban’s executive committee and senior group members.
 Corpus Christi CWL Funeral Reception Committee
Corpus ChristiThe Ladies of Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of Corpus Christi Parish have been providing services for Funeral receptions since 1984.  They divide into groups and each group serves for two month period.  They set up tables, with tablecloths and all necessary dishes; serve tea, coffee, juice, all food.  After serving they also do the cleanup necessary, put away and ready for the next time. Families really appreciate the truly kind and caring service.
 Friends of the Manor House
Friends of the Manor HouseLouise Stoot and Sally McBain are the Friends of the Manor House and they have volunteered at the Adult Day Program for over 15 years. This program is a day respite program for those living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia. Every Wednesday Louise assists with the lunch program and Sally shares her musical talents by playing the piano and leads the clients in singing and dancing. They are passionate about the volunteer work they do and have made a long-standing commitment of caring for people living with dementia. Louise and Sally find pleasure in the smiles they share with the staff and clients. They promote the mission of St. Joseph's Care Group with their care, compassion and commitment.
 Grandview Lodge Ladies Auxiliary
Grandview LodgeGrandview Lodge is a long-term care home with 150 residents. Over the years, the Ladies Auxiliary has raised funds to furnish the front lobby, palliative care rooms and the Fireside Dining Room. They have been actively supportive of recreational programs offered in the home including paying transportation costs for residents to go on outings, providing program equipment and running a monthly bingo. They operate the tuck shop in the Home and decorate it with flair for each of the seasons.  Their main fundraiser is a yard sale that is held in June. Their compassion and hardworking ethics have enabled them to make a difference in the lives of citizens of Thunder Bay and area. Grandview Lodge residents and family members are indeed fortunate to have this dedicated group of volunteers making a significant, positive impact on the Home.

2014 Youth

 Brianna Chambers
Brianna ChambersSuperior C.V. I. student Brianna Chambers is a role model for Thunder Bay youth as she has generously donated her time to many causes while balancing a rigorous academic school schedule. Her sincerity and ingenuity are evident through her personality and work ethic. She has been heavily involved in a number of local community endeavours, as well as initiatives abroad. Brianna's Thunder Bay roots have provided her with the foundation and experience to support our local community and beyond. Her volunteer experience, totalling over 900 hours throughout secondary school, include but are not limited to: day camp for the Evangel Church, grounds cleanup at the CLE, Superior C.V.I. Halloween for Hunger Drive for the district food bank, Philippines Missions Trip (typhoon relief program), Alaska Missions Trip (children’s camp counselor and teen mentorship program).
 Kelsi Harms
Kelsi HarmsThe Northern Superior chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada relies heavily on volunteers for many activities. Kelsi Harms, with her dedication and enthusiasm, not to mention her ability to recruit and motivate other teens, has proven to be invaluable to the Kidney Foundation over the past five years. She has helped organize many events to raise funds to provide patient programs for kidney health education and the family patient renal camp. Kelsi has helped promote organ donation awareness by participating at the Living Green Ribbon awareness booths and Give the Gift of Life Walks. Kelsi has also helped organize many food drives for the Renal Patient Food Bank. Being passionate about volunteering in her community, she has been involved in the Haunted Fright Night at Old Fort William, Shelter House and Northern Cancer Fund. Her leadership qualities keep her involved with the Northwestern Ontario Secondary School Association (NWOSSA) which brings youth together on many relevant issues. At Hammarskjold High School Kelsi is involved in Youth-in-Action and Natural Helpers, to name a few. With over 500 volunteer hours, Kelsi has shown her compassion and commitment to our community.
 Rachel Heerema
Rachel HeeremaRachel Heerema has volunteered with the Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association and has progressed from being a general helper around the barns to now being the assistant barn manager. Rachel has much knowledge and experience with horses and is able to assess each child’s specific needs. She has demonstrated her leadership by guiding new volunteers. She has shown her commitment by helping out most nights, something she has been doing for the past five years. Rachel’s dedication to therapeutic riding is exemplary.
 Austin Luhtala
Austin Luhtala has done an extensive amount of volunteering over the past four years while attending St. Ignatius High School. He has logged 764 volunteer hours and is planning to continue serving the community for many years to come. His volunteer contributions have touched the lives of many Thunder Bay citizens. Specifically, he has volunteered at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 219, Corpus Christi Church, Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario, McIntyre Scouts, the Salvation Army, Thunder Bay Blue Youth Corps, Shelter House, Stepping Stones, Old Fort William and many others.

 

 Brandon Mikkola
Brandon MikkolaAs a grade 7 student at Vance Chapman School, Brandon Mikkola signed up to play soccer in the recreational spring soccer program. He stated that he would like to referee and coach which he eventually ended up doing. Brandon, who is now in Grade 12, has been indispensable in the operation of the North End Recreation Centre, continuing to help with organizing the entire soccer program, refereeing, coaching and assisting in a myriad of ways. In addition, Brandon has helped in the running of movie nights, the Pond Hockey Tournament, making posters, cleaning, and shoveling. He has been appointed to the position of executive secretary for the Board of Directors, a position usually held by an adult. Early on it was apparent that Brandon was an exceptional boy and for the first time in the history of North End, he was presented with the President's Award. North End is fortunate to have a young man so involved with the community.  Through his dedication and commitment, North End continues to offer a variety of activities for all ages.
 Logan Turner
Logan TurnerLogan Turner is an exceptionally well-rounded young man who has a passion for helping others and serving his community focusing on providing opportunities for young people. Logan has been heavily involved in the North Western Ontario Secondary Students Association (NWOSSA), most recently serving on the Organization's executive as the Minister of Regional Affairs. By leading conferences and forums on issues affecting students, organizing recreational retreats and coordinating community service projects, Logan has provided a safe outlet for youth to have their voices heard, while providing the opportunity for hundreds of students in the region to develop leadership, communication and teamwork skills. Logan is also co-president of the Sir Winston Churchill C&VI Student Government, a member of the Ministry of Education's Student Advisory Council and the Lakehead Public Schools' Student Trustee. Logan has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the School's grade 9 transition program called "Come As You Are" which pairs students entering Grade 9 with a senior mentor student. Logan's innovation, dedicated work ethic and compassionate nature have helped hundreds of students navigate the sometimes difficult adjustment to secondary school. He has been actively involved in the School's breakfast program as well as fundraising and serving meals at the local shelter and food bank, serving on Thunder Bay's Crime Prevention Council and volunteering for multiple other charities and community organizations.  He was instrumental in spearheading the first “We Stand Up” Conference which was hosted in the community last spring. This conference inspired over fifteen hundred young people to take action and dedicate themselves to helping others. Logan exemplifies leading by example.
 Larissa Warywoda
Larissa WarywodaLarissa Warywoda is a Grade 12 student at St. Patrick’s High School. Larissa’s service to the school, church and greater community has made her an ambassador for youth, modeling the importance of volunteerism. Larissa has served on the St. Patrick’s Student Council for three years, as well as currently being the student-elected Trustee of the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, acting as the student voice to the Board.  Here, she has the opportunity to present opinions and ideas to enhance students’ educational experience. Larissa is an asset to the community and is looking forward to building a more unified community as evidenced by her involvement on the “We Stand Up” committee, both last and this year, encouraging the youth of Thunder Bay to stand up and make a difference through positive change with bullying and social global issues.  Larissa also volunteers with Autism Ontario and Volunteer Thunder Bay. She promotes the multi-cultural aspect of Canada, by promoting awareness of the Ukrainian community in Thunder Bay. Larissa wishes to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing which will fulfill her desire to serve and support people in times of need.
 2013 Awards

2013 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2012 calendar year.

2013 Spirit of Thunder Bay

Larry Brigham

Larry BrighamLarry Brigham is a committed and devoted Volunteer for over 20 years. He has been a board member and chaired many committees for Lakehead Social Planning Council, including participating in Poverty Free Thunder Bay conducting presentations in various forums; Inter-Ministerial Planning and Action Committee, Child Advocacy Office of Ontario Government. Larry is a teacher at Fort William Baptist Church, Elder & Vice Chair at Central Free Church; member of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, and Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital and Co-coordinator of the Adult group at Redwood Park Church. Larry supports the United Way as one of its public speaker and as a fundraiser. He volunteered on the Ontario College Counsellors Association, on the Ethics Committee. Larry is probably most well-known for his voluntary work in establishing the Regional Food Distribution Association (RFDA). Through his leadership and fundraising the amount of food provided has increased from a value of $ 235,000 to 1.7 M per year. The RFDA, also under his leadership moved into a renovated warehouse/kitchen facility and is fulfilling the mandate "no one goes hungry in our midst". Larry Brigham received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, November 2012 for his outstanding contribution to community and country.

Alice Chony

Alice ChonyAlice Chony has volunteered, for many organizations, in our City. She has been with the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association for 20 years. At present she is coordinator for the Dance School, with 80 - 100 students each year. Alice organizes the dancers travel to out-of-town performances: Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Sudbury, Minneapolis Ukrainian Festival, Iron world Discovery Centre in Chishom Minn. Whistler, Victoria & Vancouver, BC. Dallas and Galveston, Texas. When they travel, the dancers are great ambassadors of our City. Alice is a Sunday school teacher and Parent Volunteer at the church camp. She keeps parents and dancers up dated with a monthly Zorya Newsletter. Alice organizes the annual large concert at our Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, and all other activities during the year. When they travel, the dancers are great ambassadors of our city. Alice, is involved with Girl Guides of Canada. Under Alice's leadership, several guides have received Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Adinburgh Awards. She wanted her students to understand other cultures, so she organized trips to Costa Rica, Mexico, Switzerland Germany and England. Her generous contribution of time and leadership in the community of Thunder Bay is greatly appreciated.

Alan Kaija

Alan KaijaAlan Kaija has held many executive positions in the past 16 years. With the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 5. He served as Deputy Zone commander for two years, a Zone commander for four years, in Thunder Bay North, Red Rock and Nipigon. Alan served first and second Vice President and then as President for four years. He organized the North side Remembrance Day Service for many years. Legion members and friends look forward every Friday to his Fish and Chips Dinners. Alan is very deserving of this award.

Ingrid Koropeski

Ingrid KoropeskiIngrid Koropeski is a dedicated and committed volunteer. With her nursing background; she chose to volunteer in ways that benefit the health and mental wellbeing of individuals in our community. She has been with Meals on Wheels for 36 years, as driver and server and at the Information Desk at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre since it opened and prior at the Port Arthur General. Ingrid was with Telecare Thunder Bay for 24 years. She serves on the Board of Directors, Mission to Seafarers Lakehead since 2002; St. George's Anglican Church since 1955, as a member of the Church Women's Association for 30 years and served on the Diocesan Board of the Anglican Church Women. Thunder Bay has benefitted from Ingrid's volunteer commitment.

Brian Mallon

Brian MallonBrian Mallon has worked tirelessly for the sport of curling and his work has influenced thousands of curlers in Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario and Canada. Brian is 40 year member, and on executive of the Port Arthur Curling Club. He spent many years on the Sun Life Grand Prix, curling committee. He received a 25th anniversary, Grand Prix Honour award. He served on many Zone convener positions, In addition he has served as an Executive Director, President, Club Delegate, and other executive positions in the Northwestern Ontario Curling Association. Brian spent 15 years on the International Bonspiel Committee. He also volunteers with the Regional Food Distribution Association, his Church, the Arthritis Society and Salvation Army. Brian is a credit to volunteerism.

Chris Mills

Chris MillsChris Mills has been a conscientious and active volunteer at Fort William Historical Park (FWHP) for 35 years. He began as a youth in the Naval Yard assisting the Shipwright. He is a member of the Canadian Corps of Voyageurs (CCV) a local group portraying Canadian Fur Trade and Military History. Presently he serves as President, coordinating their participation in special events and activities, such as the Fort William Historical Park's Haunted Fort Night, Fort Under Siege events and the recent War of 1812 Bicentennial Salute, his passion for history is reflected in his participation in several commemorative events: Battles of Stoney Creek, Mississewa, Mackinaw Heights; The Great Rendezvous and Canada Day. He volunteers for the annual Cancer Run for the Cure and has participated in the Royal visit of Queen Elizabeth ll in Toronto in 1984, the 200th Anniversary of the Arrival of Selkirk Settlers in Winnipeg, Manitoba and the visit of HMCS Ville De Quebec in Thunder Bay, in 2012. Chris is an ambassador representing CCV, FWHP and the City at numerous events across the continent. His work and dedication embodies the spirit of volunteerism.

Robert (Bob) A. Morgan

Bob MorganBob Morgan's achievements date back to 1948 when The White Falcon Ski School for Elementary School Children was founded. He was also the founding director of Little Norway Ski Resort, which became the Big Thunder Ski Jumping Complex. Bob also played an integral role in securing the city's bid for the 1995 Nordic World Ski Championships. As chair of the Study Group, his efforts laid the ground work for one of the most high profile sports events our City has ever hosted. At Loch Lomond Ski Resort "Father" Morgan has taught literally thousands of citizens of all ages and abilities the joys of skiing and of living an active lifestyle. He has been inducted into the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, Ontario Division, Hall of Fame and was honoured for outstanding contribution to the Sport of Skiing in the Province of Ontario. Bob received a certificate of Achievement from the Canadian Ski Council. Bob Morgan is truly one of the pioneers of the Ski Industry in Thunder Bay.

Pat Skula

Pat SkulaPat Skula has been a volunteer at St. Joseph's Hospital for the past nine years. She was on the Board of Directors for St. John Ambulance (SJA) for 20 years before going through training as a handler with SJA's Therapy Dog Program and just recently stepped down from the Board after 30 years. Pat volunteers at both St. Joseph's Hospital and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center once a week with her dog Hawk. Pat is very much involved in our community in other capacities. She is a past Administration Officer for SJA's Brigade and a Medical First Responder. She has been a First Aid and CPR Instructor for SJA, Heart and Stroke and Red Cross as well as a volunteer with Red Cross' Disaster Relief. She is a volunteer with: the Thunder Bay Kennel Club, Lakehead Search and Rescue (for 30 years) and with the local chapter of the Federation of University Women, supporting the welfare of women and children by assisting with their activities and events. When asked why she volunteers, Pat stated, "I am lucky. I can't pay back but I can pass forward." Her contributions and ongoing commitment to the clients of St. Joseph's Care Group are greatly appreciated.

Susan Tennier

Susan TennierSusan Tennier is a dedicated, long-standing member of the Auxiliary to St. Joseph's Care Group. She is in her third year as President. She was treasurer for over 10 years and has served as Auxiliary representative on the Hospital Board for over 15 years. Susan was instrumental in updating the Auxiliary By-Laws and Executive Guidelines. She chaired a committee to increase membership and new fundraising ideas. Susan received the Auxiliary Life Membership in 2011 and the Provincial Health Care Auxiliary Life Membership in 2012. Susan is very deserving of the Spirit Award.

Gerrie Van Duyn

Gerrie DuynGerrie Van Duyn was one of the founding members in 1987, of the Christian Reform Church Volunteer Group at the Dew Drop Inn. While original members have come and gone, Gerrie has remained faithful for over 25 years and acts as the groups' coordinator and planner. Gerrie accepts everyone as an equal and worthy of her respect. Gerrie has also been a volunteer in her church community. She has dedicated over 10 years of her time to helping young grade 2 children develop fine motor skills by teaching them to knit. She has also worked with the physically disabled, assisting them with Pool Therapy at the Frank Murphy community centre at St. Joseph's Heritage. "Neighbours helping neighbours" is the motto of the Dew Drop Inn and Gerrie Van Duyn has been a prime example of this philosophy for over 25 years.

Sinikka Ylinen

Sinikka YlinenSinikka Ylinen has volunteered at the Hilldale Lutheran Church for over 25 years, 20 of them as Treasurer. She has organized numerous events such as workshops, fundraising events, dinners, parties to bring the community together. Hilldale Lutheran Church was originally an independent Finnish Church and she was one of the leaders in the planning process of the new church on Hilldale Road which would serve the old Finnish Community while making a transition to the greater community of Thunder Bay. Sinikka serves on the Board of Directors of the Hilldale Garden's Retirement Home, working tirelessly on projects. From 1997 to the present, Sinikka helps seniors and people with disabilities at Luther Court, looking after the security of the residents, visits the sick, organizes events for the residents' enjoyment. She has been the Secretary and member of the Suomi conference the umbrella organization for the Finnish Lutheran Church across Canada, since 2004. Sinikka has shown initiative, energetic dedicated leadership with a far sighted vision of the future.

2013 Good Citizen

Linda Adamson

Linda AdamsonLinda Adamson became President of the Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society in 2008. Since that time, she has stabilized the board, recruited and trained four new board members, developed policy, held strategic planning sessions and provided effective communication between staff and the board. Linda has been successful in writing many grants that have provided the Chapter with revenue to respond to patient service requests, to conduct educational workshops and to implement new programs to assist people with MS. Linda has secured funding ($81,000) to hire interns to help with office administration and fund raising. Linda willingly acts as spokesperson for the local MS Society has been interviewed by all local media. Linda was the keynote speaker at the Northwestern Ontario Physiotherapy Association's AGM, and has made presentations to most of the clubs in town. Linda is worthy of this award.

Rashmi Agarwal

Rashmi AgarwalRashmi Agarwal has volunteered at Pioneer Ridge Long Term Care home for the past nine years. She volunteers three days per week to assist in the Hair Salon; her duties include transporting residents for their appointments. When the salon is closed, Rashmi can be found assisting the Recreation staff with programmes for the residents. She starts her day with a smile, an encouraging word and is always willing to listen to the residents. She is a wonderful volunteer who has patience, understanding, caring and a positive attitude. Rashmi is well respected by staff and families and is a shining example for the Good Citizen Award.

Joe Benincasa

Joe Benincasa has been involved with Inter-Lucania Soccer Club for over 40 years and was a founder of the club. During those years, over 10,000 children, 3-15 years of age have benefitted from the soccer programme. Joe has coached, refereed and sat on the executive board dedicating many hours of his time. He is passionate about the "beautiful game" and is happy to see young children playing soccer and having fun.

Michael Bergquist

Michael BergquistSince the inception of Wheelchair Curling in Thunder Bay, Michael has been involved in the ongoing growth of this sport. He strives to make all members of the Wheelchair Curling organization feel like they are part of the extended family. He has been instrumental in ensuring inclusion for those with physical disabilities in the sport of curling. This resulted in the formation of the Recreational League and, thanks to Michael, the startup of a Competitive League. He is a certified coach of one of the teams, which has travelled to both Regional and National competitions representing Thunder Bay. With Michael's encouragement, every Sunday afternoon friends and family come together to participate in a team sport, cheer the curlers on and join in the fun. He has not missed a Sunday in six years! Michael dedicates his own time to study and learn more about the sport so he can help improve the curlers' experience. Wheelchair curling owes a debt of gratitude to Michael for all he has contributed to the sport in Thunder Bay.

Lois Bosinger

Lois BosingerLois Bosinger has been a hard working dedicated volunteer at the Thunder Bay 55+ Centre for the past 12 years. She organizes and coordinates whist, one of the longest running card games at the Centre and coordinates, collects fees and is always welcoming new participants to the game. Lois has also dedicated her time at the information desk, greeting participants, providing tours and answering questions about the facility and programmes. She spends many hours at the library cataloguing books and helping with the annual book sale. Lois' dedication is noteworthy.

Donna Brown

Donna BrownDonna Brown has been a member and an active volunteer of the Volunteer Association to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre since 2001. In 2008, she was presented with a Life Membership to the Volunteer Association and in 2012 she was recognized as a Life Member in the Hospital Auxiliary Association of Ontario for her dedication and service. She is the secretary and on the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Association. Donna also provides hospital volunteer service: she is a valuable member of the Information Desk group, a part of the Accessibility Team and is a Patient Family Advisor. She performs her duties in a very professional manner. Donna assists in fundraising activities and she has been involved in running raffles, events and other fundraising activities to support the Hospital. Donna's passion for service to others is an example to all. Donna's service is exemplary.

Janet Bryan

Janet Bryan has volunteered at the West Thunder Community Centre for the past 10 years. She helps with many programmes run by the Centre. These include the organization of the monthly 50 Plus dances and organizing card games such as cribbage and euchre. Janet is involved with numerous Centre fund raisers such as selling tickets for craft sales and 50/50 tickets. Janet volunteers with a smile and can always be called upon to help out whenever requested. Janet's work is appreciated and worthy of recognition.

Anne Carr

Anne CarrAnne Carr has been a dedicated hospice palliative care volunteer with Hospice Northwest (HNW) for eight years. Anne came to HNW while working as a nurse and then pursued her calling as a chaplain. Her skills make her an ideal volunteer as she is comfortable in a medical and spiritual environment. Anne has offered the gift of companionship to her palliative clients and an empathetic ear to many bereaved individuals struggling with grief after losing a loved one. She also assists with the screening of potential hospice care volunteers wishing to join the agency. Anne recognizes in others the unique emotional and spiritual qualities one needs to serve those approaching the end of their lives.

Kevin Chony

Kevin ChonyIn 1977, the Zorya Ukrainian Dance Association was formed. During its formative years, Kevin served on the Executive as a Public Relations Director and later as the Fundraising Director. Leadership and dedication were evident as he held Director positions and continued teaching as both a Head and Assistant Instructor. Kevin Chony has been actively involved in fund raising and does not hesitate to do many jobs such as planning, auditing financial records, cleaning the hall and assisting Directors with projects as needed. As an instructor and dancer, from September until May, Kevin is at the studio three days a week, one to two hours each day. Kevin's dance expertise has been displayed in such productions as the Nutcracker, Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof and many other events at the Community Auditorium. Kevin continues to improve and enrich our community as a volunteer. His dedication and generous contribution of time and leadership provides an excellent role model for young parents. Kevin is a worthy recipient of the Good Citizen Award.

Marisa Ciddio

Marisa CiddioThe strength of any initiative lies in its team of volunteers. Each person makes their own contribution to our community. Marisa Ciddio has supported electoral campaigns by providing transportation for those who might otherwise not be able to cast a vote, made telephone calls and assisted with the tasks at the campaign headquarters. For several years, and with the support of a dedicated team of CNIB volunteers, Marisa helped make a difference in the lives of those who are blind or partially sighted by helping to raise much needed funds and increasing awareness of CNIB. Marisa's dedication and commitment to the planning and execution of the "Old Bags", fundraising luncheon attests to her professionalism, passion and drive.

Ivan & Judy Cocks

Ivan and JudyIvan and Judy Cocks have been devoted volunteers for the past 16 years. In 2002 they began volunteering at St. Martin School and in 2004 at St. Bernard School. Their fund raising efforts provided gym equipment, giving opportunities previously not available for students. They also gave their time four mornings a week serving breakfasts to children. Their actions affected the lives of many young children over the years. In 2004, they joined Helping Hands Auxiliary to Pioneer Ridge and are still very active members. They have taken on leadership roles within the Auxiliary and work tirelessly towards the goal of improving the quality of life of the residents. As a husband and wife team, they are most deserving of this award as their volunteer efforts have been devoted to the young and elderly in Thunder Bay.

Evelyn DiCarlo

Evelyn DiCarloEvelyn DiCarlo has been an outstanding St. Joseph's Care Group Volunteer at Hogarth Riverview Manor (HRM) for five years, helping in many areas at this long term care home to 96 residents. She has been a Hospice Northwest Volunteer for two years, providing end-of-life care to HRM residents and families. Every Tuesday she assists the hairdresser at HRM with hairdressing duties for a full day. She also makes herself available to the Life Enrichment staff - volunteering with many recreation programmes and special events. She is committed to assisting with the Horticultural Therapy Program, offered monthly during the winter and weekly during spring and summer, tending to the therapeutic garden and assisting residents to enjoy the outdoors. Every Friday, Evelyn assists with the weekly Roman Catholic Mass in the Chapel at HRM and with Spiritual Care Memorial services at HRM for residents who have passed away. She is a member of the Volunteer Service Advisory Committee to give input and feedback on services provided by volunteers across all Care Group sites ensuring that volunteers are welcomed and treated as members of the team. For many years Evelyn has been an active volunteer at St. Agnes Church. She is enthusiastic and energetic and exemplifies the Care Group's value of care, compassion and commitment. Evelyn's volunteerism is worthy of recognition.

Mae Friday

Mae FridayMae Friday has been volunteering with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation from 1993 to the present. Before that she was a dedicated volunteer to the McKellar Hospital Foundation. She has spent countless hours selling raffle tickets to raise funds for the Health Sciences Foundation that has resulted in advances like the new Health Sciences Centre facility, angioplasty services, expanding cancer services and improvements to many other areas of care. From 2007 to present she has been volunteering with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. As a TBRHSC volunteer she: assisted a group of volunteers for several years to attach a newsletter to over 2,000 paystubs distributed throughout the Centre; as a former nurse from McKellar Hospital and an active alumni member, shares photos and stories, helping prepare displays for nursing weeks and other celebrations and acts as a liaison for families of patients in surgical day care. The comfort and compassion she is able to offer these families is an essential part of making Patient and Family Centered care possible at the Health Sciences Centre. Improving health care is a passion for Mae, which she shares freely with anyone visiting her post at the TBRHSC or the Foundation. Mae is richly deserving of this award.

Joyce Greene

Joyce GreeneFrom 1994 to 1997, Joyce Greene was instrumental in the formation of the Helping Hands Auxiliary to Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged, raising funds with garage sales, working at a charitable Casino and obtaining a license to assist with fundraising for the facility. From 2005 to 2011 she has worked diligently for the Auxiliary as secretary and volunteering with the residents. Joyce has just completed the revision of the Helping Hands Auxiliary Constitution and By-Laws. She is actively involved with hospital volunteers in the Thunder Bay Superior North Region, in her capacity as Region Chair for the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario Superior North.

Steve Hakala

Steve HakalaIn 1998, Steve Hakala joined the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group as a dancer/performer. In 2002 he joined the Chaban Executive as a Member-at-Large and quickly became known to dancers and families as one of the "behind-the-scenes" people. He will build all types of props and is adept at fixing any and all items. Steve helps with set-ups, Folklore booth, costumes and transporting of props. His most impressive prop and work-of-art is Chaban's life size Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter Egg). As a teacher assistant Steve shows leadership, patience, skill and kindness to the youth dancers he is mentoring as well as the adult dancers in Ukercize where he is an assistant. Steve is a talented and dedicated member of Chaban. Steve has assisted as a chaperone during Chaban's travels to such places as Disney World and Ukraine and is capable of assuming the role of a responsible leader. He embodies the spirit of a team player and helps to keep the wheels of Chaban turning.

James Hupka

James HupkaJames Hupka has been a volunteer for over 21 years in the south core of Thunder Bay. He was instrumental in new advances in the community, such as the Eye on the Street Camera program, the Fort William Street Festival and the Christmas Decorations in Paterson Park. He has been chairman of the 160-member Business Improvement Area. He has spearheaded projects for a cleaner neighbourhood, decorating and planting flowers and is committed and dedicated to the growth and betterment of our community.

Ingrid Lingman

Ingrid LingmanIngrid Lingman has been President, past President and Secretary of Autism Ontario, Thunder Bay Chapter for four years; Serving as president from 2006 - 2010. From 2007 to the present, she has been a volunteer in Autism Ontario Social Learning Opportunities which include Annual Children's Christmas Party, Lakehead Express Soccer Lesson, Confederation College Cooking classes, Complex Family fitness, Thunder Bay Art Gallery Workshops among others. Once funding is approved she coordinates, promotes and manages the events. Since 2007 to present, she has been the Autism Ontario Website editor and camp Coordinator for Autism family attendance at HAGI Wilderness Discovery camp at Lake Shebandowan. She also represents Autism Ontario as a Committee Member of the Parade of Lights, organizing, scheduling and promoting the event. In 2012, Ingrid was the Coordinator for the Autism Ontario Walk for Autism Awareness, and volunteers for the Masonic Child Identification Program. Since 2012, Ingrid has been a volunteer with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Patient Family Advisory Committee. Her dedication and commitment is worthy of recognition.

Stacey Livitski

Stacey LivitskiStacey Livitski has been a volunteer with the Canadian Diabetes Association Northwestern Ontario since 2007. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of seven years. Stacey has a positive attitude, shares her story willingly and goes out of her way to help others. As a Learning Series and Display Volunteer, Stacey helps to educate people with or at-risk-of Diabetes about the causes and complications of Diabetes as well as what can be done to help prevent and how to manage the condition through healthy lifestyle changes. As an advocacy Volunteer Stacey assisted in the successful campaign to have the Province fund Insulin Pumps for children and adults with Type 1 Diabetes. Stacey has participated in Diabetes Day at Queen's Park and in Diabetes Focus Groups to improve programs and services for people with Diabetes across Canada. She participated in a multimedia campaign featuring her volunteerism with the Canadian Diabetes Association and how it affected her life in a positive way. In 2012 Stacey was the recipient of the Canadian Diabetes Association NWO Inspiration Award. Stacey works hard to bring diabetes awareness to the people of Thunder Bay and surrounding area. She is a worthy recipient of this award.

Janet Morgan

Janet MorganJanet Morgan has been a longstanding dedicated and valuable volunteer for the Kidney Foundation for over eight years. She is an outspoken advocate for those living with Kidney Disease in our community. She volunteers her time, not only as the Board President for eight years but on many sub-committees and on the Provincial Board as delegate for NOW as well. Janet is also a member of the Provincial Steering Committee and recently led a talk on living kidney transplantation. Janet believes all people living with kidney disease deserve a better quality of life and she works hard to ensure they do. She is a worthy recipient of this award.

Bea Petruk

Bea PetrukMany dancers have benefited from the work of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance. Countless scholarships, travel grants, workshop opportunities and performance opportunities have been developed through the Society. Bea Petruk was a major reason these opportunities exist in Thunder Bay today. As Vice-President and President of the Ballet Society, Bea was responsible for organizing meetings, fundraisers such as bingos, workshops, Christmas and Fantasy Shows, Bea was the representative between the Ballet Society, Festival Director and the Dance Community.

As Dance Liaison for the Lakehead Music Festival, Bea worked hard representing all parties. Any issues that arose, Bea, as well as the Festival Director, worked to resolve the situation as fairly as possible. Throughout the entire Music Festival, Bea dedicated countless hours to its success. As President of the Dawson Court Ladies Auxiliary, Bea is responsible for running their Tuck Shop, organizing fundraisers and organizing special events for the seniors. Bea's volunteer work is greatly appreciated.

Darlene Pyne

Darlene PyneDarlene Pyne is involved in many aspects of volunteer work at the Health Sciences Centre. She serves the patients directly through her Rehab Transport volunteering. This service allows the volunteer to provide a friendly visit with the patient on the way back to the patient room after a physio appointment. Darlene has a friendly and outgoing personality that is well suited to helping others. In her role as a Service Leader with the Jewellery Gallery, Darlene leads a group of women who sell jewellery outside of the Gift Shop on a weekly basis. The profits from sales going to support the purchase of equipment used for patient care. Darlene does an excellent job in scheduling, training and ensuring the volunteers are well taken care of. Darlene has been an active board member of the Volunteer Association since June of 2010 and has taken on many fundraising projects. Over the five years of her volunteer service, she has organized many events for the Volunteer Association such as the Spaghetti Supper, Sweet Chocolate Thursday Bake Sales, Strawberry Socials and the fun and popular Two-Bit Auction. Through her dedication and passion for service, Darlene has made a difference for patients, visitors, and volunteers at the Health Sciences Centre.

Mary Ellen Ripley

Mary RipleyMary Ellen has been an active volunteer in Nordic Skiing and cycling for well over a decade. In the past five years, her contributions as race secretary for national and provincial events have contributed to their success, making Thunder Bay a credible and desired event location. Mary Ellen is credited with introducing many young skiers to the sport through the Jack Rabbit Program which she led for many years. Mary Ellen is, by nature, a positive, effective leader in the planning phase of events and a capable problem solver during events. As a team builder, she had helped many reach their full potential as volunteers and participants.

Lillian Rupnik

Lillian RupnikLillian Rupnik has been volunteering at St. Joseph's Heritage for over seven years assisting the Spiritual Care staff and clergy with the daily chapel services. Lillian was a regular attendee at the services as a community member and quickly realized the need for volunteer assistance. Each day she walks from her home, not concerned with the weather, and helps to set up in the chapels, organizes and assists residents and ensures services run smoothly in a trusting environment. Lillian is caring, compassionate and very committed to service. Lillian is also actively involved with her church community at Corpus Christi Church. She is a member of the Catholic Women's League and assists at funerals and many church functions and events. Residents have come to know and appreciate the gift of time Lillian so easily offers. Her commitment to services is exceptional.

Alice Vanderwees

Alice VanderweesIn 1987, Alice Vanderwees' sister gathered friends and family together to form the original Christian Reformed Church volunteer group for the Dew Drop Inn Soup Kitchen. The group was made up of members of the three local Christian Reformed Churches. It was not too many years after that Alice also joined the group. Alice took the initiative and encouraged the Vanderwees company to donate eggs on a regular basis for use at the Dew Drop Inn. This has turned into a tradition for the Christian Reformed Volunteer Group as well as for the men and women who frequent the Dew Drop Inn. Christian Reformed Church 'Volunteer Day' at the Dew Drop Inn means 'fried egg bunwiches' to go along with the rest of their meal...something that the over 200 daily clients really look forward to. It is thanks to Alice Vanderwees that this is possible. From her first day as a volunteer over 13 years ago at the Dew Drop Inn, Alice has been a blessing to the men and women who eat there, to the other volunteers and to the Director and Board. She accepts people as they are...without judgment. She has a gentle and accepting spirit that touches all who come into contact with her. Alice's kind demeanor is a reminder that at the Dew Drop Inn people are not marginalized... they are simply neighbours... sharing with neighbours.

Margaret Velichka

Margaret VelichkaMargaret Velichka has volunteered with Therapeutic Riding for over 10 years, starting as a side walker. She is currently sitting on the Board of Directors as recording secretary. Her career with Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association (TBTRA) has covered every aspect of need. Margaret assists riders prior to their riding, (she is affectionately known as "Helmet Lady") provides meals during haying, assists with fundraising, pancake breakfasts and auctions, helping anyway she can. All of the above activities have a direct impact on riders, parents, co-volunteers and others involved in therapeutic riding. Her length of service is an indication of her dedication to the programme. People like Margaret are the backbone of volunteer fellowship.

Pam Ward

Pam WardPam Ward has been a volunteer of the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital for the past eight years as a St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Handler with her dog, Holly. Pam is also a volunteer with SJA's Therapy Dog certification process. She assists the Leisure/Life Skills instructors of Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital with special events like the Christmas and Garden parties, activities she does without Holly. Pam and Holly are involved in a pilot project with Sherbrooke Public School visiting the Grade 1 class every second week. The children look forward to their visits. Pam also volunteers for the Thunder Bay Police Pipe Band performances regularly. Pam says she volunteers because she wants to "give back to the community."

Joanne Wehrstedt

Joanne WehrstedtJoanne Wehrstedt has been a loyal volunteer at Grandview Lodge since 2001. She has a kind, compassionate manner and serves the residents by making sure all their needs are met. She is always willing to help out in the Life Enrichment department with events such as the monthly birthday party, barbecues, games, social events, outings and activities. Her assistance with the residents at weekly mass is much appreciated. She can always be called upon to assist with extra events and is a willing, cheerful volunteer. She has developed friendships with families, staff and residents of the Home and is appreciated for putting a smile on the faces of the residents.

Fort William Male Choir

Fort William Male ChoirFrom its inception, the mandate of the Fort William Male Choir is "To promote interest in male chorus singing and in general to foster interest in the Lakehead Musical Culture." The 2012-2013 season celebrates the 85th Anniversary of the FWMC. The first "Prelude to Christmas" concert was held in 1930 in City Hall and is on-going to this date. For many years the choir had a Christmas and a Spring concert and a Sing-a-long Dinner. This dinner serves as a wonderful public relations activity for the choir. Since 1946 the choir has sung in all senior residences at Christmas and has provided entertainment for many charitable organizations through the years. The choir has travelled to many parts of Northwestern Ontario to perform. International travel for competitions and performances has provided many opportunities for the choir to be a musical ambassador for Thunder Bay and Canada. Over the years, the FWMC has varied in size, and currently has about 35 active members. There are four active members who have celebrated 50+ years with the FWMC. Since 1978 Kendall House has been the Conductor. His talent and expertise lead the choir to a high level of performance. Diane Crocker, the only female member, has been the accompanist for 53 years. The Fort William Male Choir is well deserving of this award.

Ladies Auxiliary of Dawson Court

Ladies Auxiliary of Dawson CourtThe Ladies Auxiliary of Dawson Court has been in existence since Dawson Court first opened in 1957. The Auxiliary mandate is to provide the extras for the Residents and over the years they have contributed thousands of dollars from raffles, yard sales and 50/50 draws, making Dawson a true home for their Residents. Some workers have served on the Auxiliary 25 and 30 years respectively. Most of the members have committed at least 10 years to the Auxiliary. The group of twelve members meets monthly and works with the Life Enrichment Department to make the lives of the Residents memorable. This group brings the community into Dawson Court through Volunteerism. The Ladies Auxiliary runs the Tuck Shop, holds a monthly bingo, Resident Christmas tea and provides a gift from Santa to all the Residents. They also make trays of food for Memorial Services at the home. The Auxiliary help to sponsor and cook for outings to the HAGI camp. This group purchased equipment, furniture and personal items for the Residents. This group has attracted new members and has found new ways of fundraising. The Auxiliary of Dawson Court is well deserving of this award.

Oliver Road Recreation Association

Oliver Road Recreation AssociationOliver Road Community Centre is celebrating 65 years of community service and community building. A group of forerunners in the field of community recreation met in 1947 to form a recreation association in the Oliver Road area of Port Arthur. The Oliver Road Recreation Association was the first community centre established by by-law in the City of Port Arthur. In October, 1948, a building (a 60-foot section of a World War II army hut in Current River Park) was obtained from the city and stands on the corner of Oliver Road and Enniskillen Avenue known as Enniskillen Park. A Board of Management was appointed to oversee the centre's operation. In 1958, the grounds were leveled and improved with the financing totally underwritten by the organization. In 1972, two double tennis courts were constructed on the property due to high user demand. In 1978, it was decided the old building would be demolished and a new one constructed. The official sod-turning ceremony was in October 1978 and the new Oliver Road Community Centre opened its doors September 1979. The center continues to offer varied programming for people of all ages, special events and rental space for catering, meetings, socials, workshops, etc. Projects such as an additional parking lot, new playground equipment and air conditioning were completed. People have come to appreciate the warmth of the place due in great part to its caring volunteers. In all of its 65 years of operation, from its humble beginnings to present, the goals have remained constant - to promote, develop and further the recreational, educational, citizenship & social standards of the community.

2013 Youth

Irena Bylinskyy

Irena BylinskyyIrena has volunteered countless hours at Hogarth Riverview Manor, Home for Senior Residents. She brings her residents warmth, kindness, compassion and consideration. She also sings at some of the faith services at the Home. Irena also accompanies meal on wheels services and sings in the church choir. As a member of "Caring Hearts", she volunteers with palliative residents, and brings with her a calming effect on the residents.

Bonnie Donaghy

Bonnie DonaghyBonnie has completed an amazing 400 community hours at the secondary level this year; that includes time playing the piano, saxophone and guitar in the Gryphon Gala, being school score keeper, camera operator for High School Idol, planting trees by Boulevard Lake with Councillor A. Foulds for Arbour Day and taking part in Spring Up to Clean for the last 11 years to name a few. Bonnie has also participated in Readers Are Leaders to help children read and find reading fun.

Jacqueline Dyck

Jacqueline DyckJacqueline has been a part of the Parkinson Society of Canada since 2001, the Northern Cancer Research Foundation from 2004 to 2007 and Co-Chair of Event Planning for We Stand Up since October 2012. Volunteering with the Parkinson Society Canada, she has helped with everything from tulip sales to participating in the Super Walk every year. Jacqueline and her sister helped raise over $2,000 by telephoning everyone in the family phone book. Jacqueline has been featured with her mother and sister in a LUNAFEST documentary in San Francisco about the importance of volunteering for cancer research. She has been involved in the Thundering Women Music Festival, Summer in the Parks and Teddy Bears' Picnic. Jacqueline has been awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, and the City of Thunder Bay Youth Strategy Award in May of 2012.

Shawn Gong

Shawn GongCurrently in Grade 11 at Sir Winston Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Shawn began volunteering at age 11. Since then he has amassed over 400 volunteer hours. Shawn's volunteering includes time at the Lakehead University Superior Science Camp, Thunder Bay Youth Strategy Education Pillar and Thunder Bay Health Unit Youth Engaged in Tobacco Initiative Group. Shawn is an asset to the community and is looking forward to building a more unified community as evidenced by improving student engagement in school and volunteering for cooking classes at the Indian Friendship.

Chris Ivancic

Chris IvancicChris is very passionate about youth needs and initiatives. A natural leader, Chris has been a core member of our community's Natural Helpers program for the last four years as well as being involved in the North Western Ontario Secondary Schools Student's Association. The Natural Helpers program trains youth in communication, conflict resolution and suicide alertness, while providing them with the skills they need to support their peers. The North Western Ontario Secondary Schools Student's Association is a student run non-profit organization that brings youth together as one voice. Chris' involvement provides an avenue for students from all walks of life to become involved in relevant issues by creating opportunities for young people to work together and have their voices heard.

Hannah Rogers

Hannah RogersHannah is a long-serving volunteer with Fort William Historical Park since 2008 and has become an ambassador for excellent customer service. Not only does she volunteer in the summer interpretive program, but Hannah also assists with special events such as Anishnawbe Keeshigun, Haunted Fort Night and the New Year's Eve Frolic. Hannah leads by example and is always eager to share her knowledge and has become a valuable member of the team.

Gerrit Wesselink

Gerrit WesselinkGerrit is a grade 12 student at L'Ecole Secondaire Catholique de La Verendrye. He has gone over and above the 40 hours of community service required by the Ontario Ministry of Education, accumulating over 2,300 hours in more than 10 different organizations throughout Thunder Bay and beyond, including: 1,113 hours as Vice-President at La Federation de la Jeunesse Franco-Ontarienne, 442 hours as its Northern Ontario representative, 70 hours as programmer-co-manager at Young Giants Radio and over 60 hours as the organizer at NYRDS (iNvolved Youth Representing a Diverse Society) and Co-Chair at Eco Superior Youth Action Team.

Victor Xiao

Victor XiaoVictor has been helping out at the Lakehead Adult Education Center as a teaching assistant since September of 2010, specifically teaching Mandarin which is available to all young students, Grade 8 and under. His responsibilities include helping students with reading, writing and oral exercises. Victor supervises students during recess. He is committed to his weekly priorities and his work not only promotes the multi-cultural aspect of Canada but promotes awareness of the Chinese community in Thunder Bay.

Lauren Zimak

Lauren ZimakLauren is a grade 12 student at St. Patrick High School. Through her service to the school, church and community she has become an ambassador for youth, modeling the importance of volunteerism. Since 2002, Lauren has been volunteering with the Youth Club, singing in the choir and serving at pancake breakfasts and spaghetti supper fundraisers and teaching Sunday school grade 2 students preparing them for their first Communion. She has also volunteered with Christmas Cheer and spent over five years at the Fort William Historical Park taking on the role of on-site interpreter and volunteering for special events that accent the importance of the Park in Thunder Bay's history. Lauren will pursue a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing which supports her dedication to serve and support people at important times in their lives.

 2012 Awards

2012 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2011 calendar year.

2012 Spirit of Thunder Bay

 Jeanne Adams
Jeanne has been a dedicated, reliable volunteer for over 40 years. She provides valuable services at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, Red Cross Disaster Services, Health Promotion with Canadian Cancer Society and the Therapeutic Riding Association.  Jeanne is a curling instructor for Adults and School Children.  She also volunteers at Redwood Alliance Church and Hospice Northwest, in Hospice unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Jeanne is well deserving of this award.
 Bernie Baxter
Bernie was active in St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church as an alter boy, in young peoples, an usher and a lector.  He served on the finance committee for a number of years.  Bernie was involved in one of the early campaigns to enhance the Dew Drop Inn facility adjacent to the church, as well as spearheading a successful fundraising programme which resulted in significant improvements to the facility.  He is a 60 year member of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Group #1130 and a member of the Knights of the Round Table at St. Margaret’s Church.  Bernie has held various offices with the Port Arthur Rotary Club since becoming a member in 1974.  He has served as Secretary, Treasurer and President of the Club.  He was a long-time Chair of the Port Arthur Rotary’s Foundation Committee which saw tens-of-thousands of dollars donated to the Rotary International Foundation.  Bernie organizes a Christmas luncheon for members and their families providing a great opportunity for fellowship.  He has worked on political campaigns at all levels of government.  Bernie’s involvement with his church, Knights of Columbus and Rotary have benefitted countless people in Thunder Bay
 Irene Brooks
Irene has been an exceptional, dedicated and reliable volunteer at St. Andrew’s Dew Drop Inn since 1987.  She has worked countless hours to feed the hungry, men, women and children for over 24 years, and continues to do so, on a regular basis. Irene began with a volunteer group from St. John’s Anglican Church, of which she is an active member.  When members of her group decided to retire after many years of service to the Dew Drop Inn, Irene simply would not quit.  She rounded up friends and family members to take on the regular commitment formerly fulfilled by her Church group. Irene and her family and friends are still active volunteers at the Dew Drop Inn.
 Steve Dychko
Steve has been involved with the Prostate Group for more than 17 years. He has served in many roles on the board as a director, Vice President and President. The Prostate Group provides awareness, support and friendship for people. This group touches the lives and helps save lives of fathers, brothers, sons, uncles and grandsons.  The Group has many socials, fund-raisers and meetings to promote health awareness. Not only does Steve give of his time to the Prostate Group, but he also belongs to the Polka Pals who plays music and bring smiles and memories to senior citizens confined residences. The music seems to move the people and lighten hearts.  He belonged to the Polka Pals for over 20 years. Steve is dedicated to his causes and they rely heavily on his participation.
 Ellen Eickmeier
 Ellen has been a committed and dedicated volunteer on many committees and on the Auxiliary to St. Joseph’s Care Group, for many years, scheduling volunteers for ticket selling in the Nevada Booth, and organizing the Benny Birch Birthday Days.  Other organizations in which Ellen volunteers are: St. Margaret’s CWL, Royal Order of Moose, Port Arthur Branch since 1953, Scouts Canada, Bingos for Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Branch 5 Legion Auxiliary. She did fundraising for Legion, Sports committee, to send children to summer camp.  Ellen loves to make people happy.
 Kay Geravelis
Community Centres were established in locations where the neighbourhood residents could meet for recreational and social purposes.  The Vale community was identified as an area with a need for such facility.  Kay was not only involved in establishing the Centre, but continued to help create programmes and events for the community.  Such events focused on fitness, hobbies and general knowledge. She also helped organize community wide events, most notably the Christmas parties for the children. Kay has been an executive member of Vale Community Centre since it was established in 1974. She was selected President of the Ladies Auxiliary during the inaugural election of the Volunteer Committee.  The Ladies Auxiliary fundraised for new appliances and kitchen cupboards by making perogies and catering at events and activities. Over the years, Kay held many positions on the Vale Board of Directors, including President. Her dedication to the Centre continued when in 1993, the City of Thunder Bay reorganization resulted in the loss of the staff person at the Centre. Not willing to see the doors close or programming suffer, Kay volunteered to become the Hall Manager.  She was now responsible for the programming that the Centre would offer.  Kay worked with the Recreation Division to keep the doors open and ensure there were activities available for the community. With over 35 years of service to the Centre, it is easy to understand why Kay was nominated as a “Life Time Member” of the Centre, an honour she shares with only one other individual. 
 Cliff Huber
Cliff has volunteered from 1962 to the present with many organizations in Thunder Bay to build a better community.  His leadership and dedication have been evident in a variety of roles:  committee /board member-Retired Teachers of Ontario District & Political Action Committee for 10 years and chair for eight; City’s Age-Friendly for Seniors Committee, Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health at Lakehead University, Lakehead Social Planning Council, ARC Industries and Co-Chair of Citizens’ Committee for Nursing Homes.  His involvement in these organizations has led to advocating for the elderly, encouraging local control for local nursing homes as non-profit organizations.  This resulted in the project CEISS being given to St. Joseph’s Care Group by the Minister of Health in 2008.  Cliff has coached a variety of sport teams (100 teams overall over a 32-year period).  He volunteered his time in political campaigns over a 30-year period, and for the last 16 years, he has helped beginners and seniors with computer and internet skills.  He has canvassed for the Cancer Society and taught English to immigrants at the Ontario Hospital.  Cliff’s achievements and dedication to volunteering have helped to create a better place for seniors and all citizens in Thunder Bay.
 Doug Martin

For 42 years, Doug’s community involvement has touched the lives of many and he has introduced many young citizens to the world of volunteerism. In his early years in the Kiwanis Club, he was involved with the Key Club at Westgate High School which provided skill building opportunities for students. Doug was also heavily involved in the PlayKare Centre which was a Youth Head Start Program. Doug has demonstrated great leadership by serving as Club President as well as District Governor of Western Canada. He has supported many athletic programmes in our City including coaching and umpiring little league baseball and minor soccer as well as coaching badminton and volleyball and officiating at swim meets. Over the years, Doug’s many volunteer commitments (too numerous to mention here) have touched the lives of citizens from all walks of life resulting in making Thunder Bay a great place to live. 

 Dr. Morris Mymko
Dr. Mymko has provided care to many patients and their families in Thunder Bay and the region. His current work in retirement is to support the Adolescent Mental Health Program at the Health Sciences Centre. It’s hard to believe that someone retired is on the unit at 7 am each day.  Dr. Mymko is a tireless advocate for the care of these unknown patients and their families. He is also a tireless volunteer of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, celebrating his 20th anniversary as a volunteer this year. He is an integral part of the organizing committee for the Thunder Bay Regional Golf Classic. This tournament has raised over 320 thousand dollars in support of excellence in health care. Because of this group of volunteers, our Health Science Centre is equipped with state of the art equipment.  Dr. Mymko also sits on the board of directors where he offers invaluable perspective to grants, funding and the family care grants programme. These two programmes ensure due diligence for the disbursement of donor funds to programmes of the Health Sciences Centre. He offers physician perspective as the group is largely comprised of lay people. He is an advocate for all areas of health care and gives freely of his time. These committees rely heavily on Dr. Mymko’s input and insights.

 

 Robert Neff
Roberts’ interest in volunteering began in coaching 43 years ago.  It continued at Lakehead University with swimming instruction for adult residents of the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital.  Because of his keen interest in history, he did freelance writing for Lakehead Living.  Robert served on the Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society for 16 years and as President from 1986-1990.  He researched and authored extensive papers on Dr. T.S.T. Smellee and the Reverend Gron Morgan, published in the Museum Society “Paper and Records”, and for many years edited “Today in History”, a collection of historical happenings gleaned from the Chronicle Journal archives.  Robert began a volunteer project, “Faces in Focus” with Portrait Photographer Dennis Hill, which involved photographing and authoring short biographies of interesting individuals in all walks of life.  In 2004, Robert was named Honorary Life Member of the Society. In 1996, Robert was recruited to volunteer with the Thunder Bay Special Olympics as a Track and Field Coach for athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities.  He has been and continues to be involved with the Special Olympics locally, provincially and nationally for 22 years.  He is highly respected across Canada and in 2008 was named ‘Coach of the Year in Ontario”.  Robert volunteers with WesWay and is involved with the Sports Trivia Dinner, a fundraiser for the Catholic Development Centre.  Robert, through volunteering in his quiet intellectual manner, has endeared himself to thousands of individuals of all ages, in all walks of life in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Canada.
 Cathy Paroschy Harris
Cathy has led the Artistic Direction for the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group for over 25 years.  She has brought Thunder Bay years of entertainment at Folklore Annual concerts, performances at senior homes and local events.  She has inspired young leaders to train as teachers, teaching thousands of dancers, youth and adults with beautiful choreography and themes. Her annual concerts are not only entertaining and beautiful but culturally and traditionally remarkable.  Her dedication and commitment makes her a truly dedicated recipient of this award.
 Normand Roy
Normand has put in thousands of hours as a member of the Board and President of the Thunder Bay Gymnastics Association, leading it towards financial stability and a permanent home.  Normand’s leadership style and dedication to the Club have helped it through many difficult issues.  With his calm, quiet demeanor, Normand is able to lead the Board of directors as well as a salaried staff with very little conflict, and has put the non-profit club on a solid financial base.  Normand has volunteered with the Fort William Skating Club, is on the Board of the Police Foundation programme at Confederation College, and has served as President of the Parents’ Council for Ecole Secondaire Catholique de La Verendrye.  He has volunteered with Crime Stoppers, helping to plan and execute Christmas visits to the Hospice unit at the hospital.  Normand has spent a great deal of time giving to the community of Thunder Bay and is well deserving of this award.
 Gord Soloway
Gord has been a dedicated volunteer since 1993, with Big Brother-Big Sister Association.  He was a big brother to a child in need of a positive male role model. He still keeps in contact with him.  Gord helped in development of the agency.  He has been an active member and served on Board of Directors, as treasurer, vice president, and member of various committees, such as finance and fundraising.  He is the chair of the agency screening committee, from 1995 to present.
 Gordon Allen Towill
Gord began his volunteer activities at a young age at Wesley Church.  He has been a member of the church choir for many years.   He was appointed to the church's governing body (session) and held positions of chair of Finance as well as Chair of the Property Committee at various times while on the Board.  He has been involved in fund-raising activities in strategic planning on the green team to implement various improvements to the church infra-structure, and as Congregational liaison with the City of Thunder Bay Planning Division and Parking Authority re neighbourhood development.  Gord was also involved as a leader with the 16th Fort William Scout Troop.  He participated in the provision of weekly programmes for youth which centered upon education, badge work and physical activities. Gord has also been volunteering with the Sports Hall of Fame since 1993.  He was responsible, in large part, to a number of activities relating to the Hall of Fame's relocation and renovation project.  Annually, he assists with the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies by designing, constructing and installing the wall used to unveil the Hall of Fame plaques.  In recognition of his contributions to the Sports Hall of Fame, he has received 5, 10 and 15 year service awards from the Government of Ontario.  Gord’s volunteer activities have contributed to the betterment of our community.  
 William (Bill) Donald Towill
Bill has committed much of his life to Scouting in Thunder Bay.  As an active leader he has been instrumental in the organization and execution of programmes and activities such as seasonal and regional camps, canoe trips, tours, environmental and tree planting projects, all contributing to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential as individuals, as responsible citizens of their local, national and international communities.  Bill has also served as District Treasurer and President of Scouts Canada.  He is presently involved in co-leading the development of a business/development plan for the Grey Wolf Scout Camp.  He is the recipient of many honours and awards including the Dedicated Service Award; Scouts Canada 100th Anniversary Medal for Significant Contribution to Scouting; Medal of Merit; Medal for Good Service to Scouting.   Bill is also actively involved in Wesley Church.  He is a member of the choir; an Elder of the Church governing body (Session); has served as chair of the Church Council; and on numerous committees over the last 31 years.  He represented the congregation in the development of a neighbourhood plan, led by the City of Thunder Bay Planning Division.  He has chaired a committee overseeing the amalgamation of the two United Church congregations, and is involved in creating a new vision and strategy for the United Church of the 21st Century.  Bill has shown great leadership and dedication as a volunteer within our Community. 
 Joanne Tulloch
Joanne was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 30 years ago. She felt there was a great need for a support group for people newly diagnosed with MS and those that were living with the disease and needed ongoing support. She organized and acted as a support group facilitator for the last 20 years. She connects newly diagnosed patients with mentors and organizes speakers for the monthly meetings and generally helps you feel welcomed.  She has approached various speakers from doctors to pharmacists to nurses with an interest in MS to speak to her group. Joanne is the go-to person to find answers about drugs and life style changes as well as living with the disease.  She has also organized teleconferences of guest speakers to help MS groups in Dryden and Kenora.  She keeps her group updated on the latest information on drugs and procedures. Joanne is still giving 100% to the MS Society to help beat this disease.
 Jules Tupker
Jules is an active volunteer with the United Way of Thunder Bay for over 20 years, serving as a Board Member, Campaign Team Member, twice a Campaign Chairman, and member of various United Way committees.  In these capacities, Jules not only helps to govern the United Way and lead it into the future, his efforts has helped offer programmes that build a healthy community.  Under his leadership as Campaign Chair in 2007 and Campaign Co-Chair in 2011, the United Way surpassed the set goals collectively totally $4.7 million dollars!  These funds assist 27 agencies and 66 programmes!  Year after year, Jules goes “above and beyond”, tirelessly working with campaign staff and fellow volunteers searching out new employee campaigns and corporate leaders, at the same time educating our community about what the United Way is and does. In addition to all his volunteering at the United Way, Jules is also involved in many other charitable organizations and committees in our Community such as:  Coalition, Thunder Bay Clean, Green and Beautiful, Thunder Bay Injured Workers’ Group and Advisory Committee for “Lake Superior Discovery Place”.  He volunteers for the Regional Food Distribution Bank and is a Board Member of the Thunder Bay Food Bank.  Jules’ tireless efforts and dedication over the years have touched the lives of thousands in Thunder Bay.
 Karl Wahl
Karl has touched the lives of many in Thunder Bay, due to his kindness and caring nature to help those in need.  His voluntary services with the Rotary Club of Thunder Bay Fort William for the past 25 years and was President in 2002 & 2003.  He also served as Rotary District Assistant Governor for two years.  Karl was a member of MEMO (Medical Equipment Modernization Opportunity) helping to dismantle old McKellar and Port Arthur General Hospitals, preparing surplus medical equipment to hospitals in Cuba and the Philippines.  The Programme sent over 40 containers of medical equipment to the two countries.  He served on the Cystic Fibrosis Chapter for 30 years and Cambrian Players for 40 years. He prepared taxes for seniors for nine years and was a member of the Interlink Choir (an intergenerational choir that bridges the gap between seniors and school children who sing together).  Karl is also the treasurer for the choir.   Karl is well deserving of the Spirit Award.
 Barb Williams
Barb has participated for 33 years in fund raising for the Heart and Stoke Foundation which ultimately assists in the services and education provided to Thunder Bay from the Foundations. Barb is also involved with The Mission to Seafarers an organization that reaches out to sailors from around the world, making them feel at home in Thunder Bay. As a volunteer, Barb visits the ships and takes the seafarers shopping and site seeing in Thunder Bay which not only brings revenue to the city but provides a positive and warm image. She is currently the sole woman visitor to the seafarers. Barb’s dedication is also involved in Camp Gitchigomee where she interacts with the young people ages 7-20. She is a role model in living her Christian beliefs and has assisted older campers in dealing with challenges. As chair of the ACW, Barb has worked diligently to ensure that the elderly members of the group have transportation to the meetings, which allows them to stay in touch. Barb is always willing to take on new roles and challenges.
 Wilma Wood
Wilma, through her various positions at the Oliver Road Community Centre, has been a driving force behind the programming and opportunities that have brought people through the doors.  She has managed the programming and has planned special events such as the Community Tea and Winter Carnival.  Wilma’s effort has created a location for a community to flourish. Oliver Road Community Centre has been Wilma’s second home for over 35 years.  In the Centre’s early years, Wilma was a dedicated volunteer on their Board of Directors.  In 1979, the Centre was relocated into an entirely new facility.  After a few years, Wilma became President of the Centre and has been ever since.  The Centre has thrived off her strong conviction, determination and work ethic. Wilma has also spent countless years as the Hall Manager, a position she still holds. Through her work, the Centre provides a wide variety of programs for the public to participate in, as well as continues to be a popular hall for wedding receptions, parties, socials and other community gatherings. One community gathering worth noting is the Annual Winter Carnival, which is celebrating its 66th year, an accomplishment in which Wilma has played a pivotal role. As much as Wilma has done for Oliver Road Community Centre, she has also helped guide all of the Community Centres. Being a long time member and Treasurer of the Community Centre Council, Wilma has been a mentor for all of the Volunteer Boards at each Centre.  She has provided ongoing support, and has been an invaluable resource to all Community Centre volunteers.  

2012 Good Citizen

 Pinewood Court Ceramics Group
The Pinewood Court Ceramics Group consists entirely of volunteers working together for over 30 years.  Pinewood Court is the only long-term care home in Thunder Bay with its own kiln which has been used to make wonderful ceramics.  The ceramics have been entered in the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition and won many ribbons and awards.  The programme is a great form of socialization for the residents, gives them skills and a sense of pride.  The Ceramic Group volunteers have, every Thursday morning, over the 30 year period, portered residents to and from the craft room, brought treats for the residents and helped to set up for the session.  The dedication of these volunteers will be recognized at Pinewood later this year.
 Linda Bruins
Linda has been the driving force behind Evergreen: a United Neighbourhood since 2005.  Linda has won such awards as the Women of Distinction Award, PARO Volunteer of the Year and PARO Volunteer Service Award.  Linda is a leader and has the ability to gather people around her to help out in a way that they always feel like they are important part of the action.  Linda is the kind of leader we need more if in Thunder Bay and is richly deserving of this award.
 Hubertine (Tina) Bucknell
Tina has particularly benefited our community through her fundraising efforts on behalf of the Thunder Bay Museum. The funds have helped the museum complete major renovations to the building and to provide ongoing educational programmes for children and adults. The money has also allowed the museum to create stimulating exhibits within the building and special exhibits that travel across the city and district. Tina has dedicated over 2,000 hours on various raffles and many hundreds more as a bingo volunteer and on the board and committee work for the museum. She has somehow found time to volunteer with the Oliver Road Recreation Centre, the Thunder Bay Community Bingo Association and the Royal Canadian Legion, where she has been a member for 49 years.

 

 Bev Chesterman
Bev is the best known as a "behind- the -scenes” volunteer who has contributed for more than 15 years to helping members of the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group promote Ukrainian culture in the local community and on performing trips.  She brings her expert seamstress skills and boundless energy to many details of costuming and props as a member of Chaban's Costume Committee.  She is known to all for driving around town with her sewing machine in her back seat.  Bev has spear-headed various fund-raising events for Chaban including Christmas raffles and aluminum-can recycling.  She is also involved in promoting the Ukrainian Easter Tradition of "Pysanky" by helping with preparations and promoting the annual event.  For more than five years, Bev was an active member of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of the Church of the Holy Protection, helping to organize activities such as teas, socials and yard sales.  Bev was also a member of the Thunder Bay Weavers Guild and used her organizational and sewing skills to promote the craft and its activities in the community.
 Margaret Crowe
Margaret’s caring personality encourages people to participate in programmes and makes them feel welcome at the West Thunder Community Centre. As a Board member, her skills are invaluable as she strives to make the facility accessible to all age groups in our community. Over the past 16 years Margaret had donated her time to the 50+ Club attending many meetings and organizing fundraising events for the club. Margaret has given and continues to give freely of her time and expertise for the betterment of the Community Centre.
 Val Dennison
Val is a valuable member of the Renal Unit team at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. She has been volunteering as a friendly visitor for the past 11 years and has contributed over 7,500 hours of service. Dialysis treatments take a number of hours to complete and Val is there to sit and listen to their stories and engage them in conversation to help pass the time. She often helps them during mealtime and gets things they might need such as a snack, or a warm blanket or something to read. One staff member summed up what Val means to the Renal Unit and that was “patients just love her.”
 Deborah Escott

Deborah became a palliative care volunteer with Hospice Northwest in 2005.  Since then, she has been a supportive companion to many individuals as they’ve journeyed through the final stages of life-limiting illness.  Deborah has served as the volunteer representative on the Board of Directors for six years and on the Volunteer Advisory Committee, where she performs a liaison function between volunteers, staff and the Board.  With her superb intuitive and kind, compassionate nature she assists with the screening of potential hospice palliative care volunteers wishing to join the agency.  Deborah’s ultimate goal of excellence in client services is clear in everything she does.  Deborah’s dedicated volunteerism is worthy of recognition.

 Grace Esqega
Grace has been volunteering at School and Church for 40 years.  She serves as Director at Kateri Parish.  She organizes and hosts Kateri Days two times a year, usually on weekends. Grace travels to surrounding communities to give talks.  She visits people from communities that are in Thunder Bay Regional Health Science and St. Joseph’s Hospital.  She invites family members who accompany patients to Thunder Bay, to service and lunch at Kateri on Sunday and Mondays.  Grace loves to help her people anyway she can and is well deserving of an award.
 Elizabeth Gobiel
Liz has put her heart and soul into volunteering for the past 16 years at the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. She started in the canteen in 1995, assisting patients to make purchases and listening to their many stories. Later, Liz began assisting the Therapeutic Recreation staff with weekly recreation activities. While Liz continued to volunteer at the LPH, she took on an additional role assisting the recreation staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She continues to volunteer weekly at both sites. Liz has overcome numerous obstacles in her life and still enjoys helping others. Liz is committed to her volunteer role, taking the bus several times a week so she can help others. Liz personifies the spirit of volunteerism with her welcoming smile and selfless concern for others.
 Rauni Griffiths
Rauni has been a member of Northwood Park Church of Christ since 1965.  She has been leading a monthly team from the church to volunteer at Shelter House since 2001.  She has been involved in planning the meal menus and assigning and supervising the other volunteers in preparing of monthly meals at Shelter House.  Rauni has also been involved in the leadership of kitchen and cleaning matters at the Church.  In the mid 90’s Rauni volunteered monthly with the Dorion Bible Camp.  Rauni, at age 80, through her continued volunteer contributions, is worthy of this award.
 Rosemarie Hakansson
Rosemarie has been a member of the Oliver Road Community Centre Ladies Auxiliary since 1999.  She attends the ladies Auxiliary monthly meetings, volunteers her time at special events such as the Ladies Christmas Tea and Winter Carnival.  She helps by donating baking, making sandwiches and perogies and canvassing for prizes for the events.  She also volunteers her time at fundraisers hosted by the Centre which help to purchase necessary items to keep the Centre open.  Rosemarie’s dedicated volunteerism is worthy of recognition.
 Marguerite Littleford
Marguerite plays an important role in the operation of the Herb Carroll 55 Plus Centre as a member, past secretary of the Board, front desk hostess, tea server, pancake breakfast helper and special event assistant. Prior to her active involvement at “the Herb”, Marguerite served as an executive board member with the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre. Her involvement at both Centres goes back at least 15 years. She began volunteering with McKellar Hospital and the MS society. Marguerite can be counted on to pitch in enthusiastically and confidently and the Herb Carroll Centre is lucky to count on her as a volunteer.

 

 Dave Lysak
Dave has been a long time member of the Port Arthur Curling and Athletic Club for over 30 years.  He has dedicated many hours of service, on behalf of the club, towards many events within the club.  He has been the driving force behind the Port Arthur Curling and Athletic Club and the city’s most successful club bonspiel.  His dedication in making the annual Superbowl Bonspiel a fun-filled spiel with emphasis on sportsmanship has been admirable.  Dave has also worked tirelessly to keep major sponsors returning year after year.  Dave has also volunteered in the year-end staff bonspiel that brings together staff, volunteers and sponsors.  Because of these contributions, Dave Lysak is deserving of this award.
 Theresa Matijasic
Theresa began volunteering 20 years ago with Hogarth Westmount Hospital, in Spiritual Care.  When the Hospital closed in 2004, she continued volunteering and assisted the clients with the move to the new Hogarth Riverview Manor.  long term care home under St. Joseph’s Care Group.  Theresa volunteers, as Eucharistic Minister and Canadian Women’s League,  with St. Dominic’s Parish and Hospice Northwest, who provide end- of- life care and support to residents, family and staff.  She also volunteers for Red Cross and the Arthritis Society. 
 Bill McCracken
Bill had started the Kelly McCracken Memorial Golf for Hope 15 years ago.   This prestigious tournament is in memory of his son Kelly, and has supported golf, hockey, education and health care in our region.  The tournament has brought together golf teams and received praise for the longest drive.  For hockey, the tournament has raised funds for the Thunder Bay Kings to develop sportsmanship and teach teamwork for our youth.  The Kelly McCracken Memorial Golf for Hope has supported Confederation College in their support of Excellence through the Kelly McCracken Scholarship Fund.  It also supports the Trauma Fund in memory of his son Kelly.  The tournament has supported the former Northern Cancer Research Foundation now the Northern Cancer Fund of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Foundation.  The investment in our community totals over $814,000.  This year is the 15th and final McCracken Golf for Hope.  Bill has engaged many of his staff at MyTravel Thunder Bay, friends and business partners throughout Thunder Bay.  The success of this tournament is due in no small part to the small army Bill mobilizes and the community spirit inspired in everyone it touches.
 Bobbi McFadden
Bobbi has been volunteering for over 30 years with St. Joseph’s Care Group and St. Joseph’s Heritage, Bethammi Nursing Home.  She is an active volunteer, sharing her musical talents at St. Joseph’s Manor House, PR Cook apartments and Bethammi Nursing Home, as well as playing the organ for chapel services.  Bobbi is also a meal companion, assisting residents with their meals.  She volunteers for St. Joseph’s Care Group Auxiliary, selling Nevada tickets, helping to fundraise for the St. Joseph’s Care Group Foundation.  She promotes the values of St. Joseph’s Care Group with her care, compassion and commitment to service.  Bobbi is a most valued volunteer and is certainly worthy of this award.
 Carole Ann Romppai
Carole has been a dedicated hard working volunteer at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre for over 13 years. Someone has to do the less glamorous but very important tasks, and this is where Carole comes in. She works very hard in the kitchen area, washing all the dishes during her shifts. She is even willing to pick up extra shifts when needed. For many years, Carole has also helped out at the annual fundraising blitz. Over the years, Carole has volunteered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Arthritis Society and the Canadian Cancer Society. Carole is an outstanding and valued volunteer.
 Melissa Stolz
For over 10 years, Melissa’s volunteer efforts have touched many lives through her involvement with the Russian and Ukrainian cultures. She tries to involve children in many activities such as dance, daily school events and just keeping them active and healthy. As the artistic director, Melissa has taken her own Russian dance group to many venues such as long term care homes, the Folklore Festival and many schools throughout Thunder Bay. She is the head instructor of two classes in the Chaban Ukrainian dance group. Melissa is also an active volunteer for St. Patrick’s church as a reader and a Sunday school teacher and is a worthy recipient of the Good Citizen Award
 Jean Suffak
The Thunder Bay community has been privileged to have Jean volunteer within multiple organizations in the Thunder Bay community. For the past six years, Jean has been involved with the Recreation & Culture Division taking part in every annual festival: Teddy Bears Picnic, Canada Day, Kite Festival and PRO Kids. She has also volunteered as the Co-Chair of the 2011 Special Olympics.  With over 700 volunteers, it was Jean’s responsibility to coordinate the largest amount the Games had ever seen. With enormous amount of time and commitment, Jean’s main role was to train, prepare and ensure that the staff was ready. Jean has spent time with St. Peter’s church for over 10 years.  Her leadership and her dedication to Thunder Bay is the definition of a Good Citizen.

 

 Anne Teschke
Anne has been a volunteer in the healthcare industry for over 20 years. She began volunteering at the Hogarth Westmount Hospital in. When the hospital closed in 2004, she continued her commitment with the new team: St. Joseph`s Care Group, Hogarth Riverview Manor. Active in her community she is also involved with St. Domenic’s Church as a Eucharist Minister. Anne is also a provider of end of life care for residents and their families. Her dedication as a caregiver and volunteer exemplifies the meaning or “Good Citizen”.
 John Trevisanutto
John has become very well known for his vast array of community projects and fundraising.  John is in partnership with Our Kids Count in launching the beginning of a community project that will establish a new kitchen for Thunder Bay and will provide a place for individuals that may not have facilities to cook.  Children will also have the unique opportunity to learn basic cooking skills through a peer program and High school students will be recruited to provide a positive role model for children.  John has been a member of the Thunder Bay Planning Committee for the last five years, loaning his Half-Way Motors boardroom for the Planning Committee meetings. He has also been one of the enthusiastically active ambassadors for the 23rd Provincial Harley Owners Group Rally held in Thunder Bay. John’s organization of volunteers to help promote the rally, the City and the touring route at the Minneapolis Show is greatly appreciated.  He has also helped create his own charitable event, Motor and Muscles that takes place at the end of August.  The proceeds went to the Thunder Bay Regional Science Foundation for the first few years and now to the Canadian Diabetes Association for the last three years.  John led the Halfway Motors/Nissan corporate team to the Rome Marathon (Team Diabetes) in March 2007.  John and his team raised over $55,900 for the Canadian Diabetes Association.  He has become active in an advocacy capacity with the Thunder Bay Expo project team sharing his experience as a person with diabetes as well as a business owner.  He attended National Leadership Form in Ottawa in December 2009.  Through his volunteering and leadership John has made a significant contribution to our community.

 

 Bert Winterburn
Bert has been active volunteer for over 30 years.  He is one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable in the volunteer community.  Bert is an expert in period authenticity and military history.  Volunteering at numerous events over the years, Bert has made his own indelible stamp, impressing visitors at Fort William Historical Park with his willingness to share his considerable knowledge, demonstrating his talents with black powder and period crafts.  Bert has demonstrated remarkable versatility, in portraying both a period soldier and heritage artisan.   Bert has provided 30 years of dedicated volunteer service.  He has the reputation of being dependable, reliable and cooperative. He has always been readily available when his talents are required, especially lending his hand to a colourful musket salute, often at short notice for VIP visits.  Bert is an important member of the volunteer community at Fort William Historical Park.
 John Beverly Young
John has been a member of the Lakehead Shrine Club for over 25 years. He is also a member of the LSC Stop Burns Injuries Committee. John’s contributions include presenting safety presentations with regard to Fire safety and prevention and Burns safety to multiple groups, schools, organizations and surrounding communities. He has also served as an elected and appointed director of the Lakehead Shrine Club. He is credited with creating a pocket- sized membership directory including information on the Shrine Club, their programmes and by-laws. He has also served as President, Vice-president, Director and is currently the Treasurer of the Lakehead Shrine 101 Patrol Unit. John has been contributing a column for the Khartum Kronicle, a magazine that is sent to all Shriners in Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba.

 

2012 Youth

 Branden Bevilacqua
Branden has contributed over 220 hours of community involvement since 2008. He has served as a youth coordinator at Fort William Historical Park and has made many contributions in multiple areas and activities at the Fort. Brandon is an ambassador  to everything that is Fort William Historical Park, and his passion to explore the past to enhance the knowledge of its visitors is something not many are able to do. His knowledge and passion for his community and its heritage is not lost on anyone that visits the Park. His research doesn’t end there. This past summer Brandon expanded on his research on local medicines. His strong understanding of history and culture showcases his dedication. If that isn’t enough he volunteers ant many of the Fort`s special events including his participation as a soldier in Fort Under Seige.
 Emma Cousineau
Emma exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism.  Naturally talented and possessing a willingness and passion for service; Emma’s contributions have been largely directed to the youth of our community.  She is considering post-secondary studies dedication to help and touch the lives of youth and those in need.  She has completed over 900 volunteer hours at many different organizations:  assistant cabin leader and lifeguard at Round lake and Dorion Bible Camps; nursery worker and Sunday School Teachers at the Fort William Baptist Church; server, Dew Drop Inn; assistant baseball coach, Current River Community Centre; fund-raiser for a variety of organizations.  Through music, sports and church events, Emma has shared her time and demonstrated to youth the importance of giving back to one’s community.
 Gerrit Wesselink
Gerrit has accumulated nearly 1,100 hours of community involvement which ranges from instruction at Soengkono marital Arts, ECO Superior and in other areas such as politics, culture and the environment.  He is President of the Youth Services Advisory Committee and Chair of the Youth Week Planner.  Gerritt is a dedicated Thunder Bay volunteer. 
 Mac Demchuk
A current first-year student of Lakehead University, Mac began volunteering for the United Way and Evergreen:  A United Neighbourhood, where  he was one of several youth to organize free-skate nights and drop-ins for youth in the Simpson-Ogden area, as well as volunteering with SortsnMore activities, Career Fall Festival, Winter Carnival and movie nights.  Through this work Mac joined the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy where he is one of the Youth CoChairs for the Steering Committee, as well as a member of the Strategy’s Education Pillar, working toward improving student enhagement in schools,  Mac is a real leader and role model for his peers.
 Sanna Agombar
Sanna Agombar – 258 hours of community service is quite an accomplishment for a Grade 11 student at Superior Collegiate & Vocational Institute. Her volunteer contributions range from Stage Crew at the Magnus Theatre, assistant basketball coach with Kakabeka Falls baseball, food preparation with Our Kids Count assisting with the Finlandia Club and LU radio.
 2011 Awards

2011 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2010 calendar year.

2011 Spirit of Thunder Bay

 Lorne Allard
Since the 1950’s, Lorne has coached hundreds of children in the City. He coached hockey, football, little league baseball, boxing and track and field. Along with coaching, Lorne was instrumental in obtaining donated materials from local building supply companies for recreational buildings at: Castlegreen, George Burke Park, Kinsmen Northwood Park, Lakehead Canoe Club at Boulevard Lake and Fisherman’s Park at Current River. He also had local contractors donate their services to build all these satellite recreational facilities at no cost to the citizens of Thunder Bay. Lorne’s dedicated volunteerism is worthy of recognition.
 Peggy Brescia
Peggy has been a dedicated, reliable volunteer at St. Joseph’s Hospital for over 40 years. She brightened the patients’ day with her genuine, caring personality as she went from room to room with the canteen and library carts. She presently assists with fund-raising by volunteering in St. Joseph’s Hospital Gift Shop on a weekly basis. Peggy is also involved in fund-raising at Corpus Christi Catholic Women’s League, and was one of the original volunteers for the Christmas Cheer Fund for the City of Port Arthur. Peggy, with her friendly and outgoing manner, is always willing to find time to help others. Peggy exemplifies the mission of St. Joseph’s Care Group through her care, compassion and commitment to those with whom she works.
 Wendy Ferris
Wendy, who has had multiple sclerosis (MS) for 43 years and is wheelchair dependent, has not allowed this to slow her down. Over the last 40 years, she has volunteered with the MS Society and other agencies mandated to improve accessibility for persons in wheelchairs. Wendy has been a continuous board member of the MS Society for 40 years—five years as Treasurer and for 35 years as Director of Public Relations. Wendy’s colourful and cheery quarterly newsletters have kept members up-to-date on MS issues and events. Wendy was a member of the HAGI transit committee, representing wheelchair users, for 10 years. She also served on the City of Thunder Bay’s Steering Committee on Accessibility for three years. Wendy’s championing the cause of accessibility for those with limited mobility merits the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award.
 Kelly Kadolph-Hilton

For the past 25 years Kelly has worked hard to garner youth participation in Scouting programs. She has been a major fundraiser for travel and other expenses for youth to attend The Scouting Jamboree. Kelly chairs her group and also heads various area events, including: Spring and Fall camp, Winter Games and Rapid Rally Races. She trains and mentors new leaders and encourages the youth in her group to be involved in ScouTrees for Canada, Apple Day and Popcorn Sales. Her work with youth helps to create awareness of how to build a better community and inspires good citizenship.

 Al Law
Al has served as Director of the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition (CLE) for the past 25 years.  He has served as Associate Director and Vice President. He has been responsible for the Entertainment and Special Needs Committees during the Fair. Al has also served on the CLE Finance, Security and Agricultural Committees.  By virtue of his longstanding work with such a staple of Thunder Bay, Al Law has proven he is well deserving of this Award.
 Margaret MacLean
Margaret has been an outstanding advocate for the Thunder Bay Public Library. Her dedication and commitment to our library system has been evident as she has assumed leadership roles in chairing such committees as: policy and planning, the CEO search committee, strategic planning, and the fund raising committee for the County Park Library and the new Mary J.L. Black Library.  Margaret has volunteered on regional, provincial and federal levels as well. She was Director of the Ontario Library Services North Board as Chair and Vice Chair.  She served on the Ontario Library Association Board of Directors and Ontario Trustees Association as President and as Executive on the Council Canadian Library Association. In 1999 she received the Ontario Library Trustee Association’s ‘Trustee of the Year’ and the Ontario Library Association’s James Bain Medallion for distinguished service as Library Trustee.  Margaret has volunteered on other Thunder Bay committees including: Cambrian Players theatre group, Arts in the Community Task Force and the Summer Games Cultural Committee. She is deserving of recognition in our community, especially for her work for those who use our library system.
 Ron Ross
For over 30 years, Ron Ross has volunteered his time and efforts to improve the quality of life of persons living with disabilities. In 1980, Ron was the recipient of the Vanier Award for Outstanding Young Canadians for his community involvement in sports and activities for the disabled, including Chairing the Northwestern-Northeastern Summer Regional Games for the Disabled in 1979. Since then, Ron has been involved in a wide range of initiatives for people with disabilities. These activities include the Housing Standing Committee, multiple boards for the HAGI, Wilderness Discovery programs at Shebandowan Lake, Support Services Standing Committee, President of the Fish & Game Board, and as an advocate working with Citizens with Disabilities-Ontario and Canadian Citizens with Disabilities. In his current work with PUSH Northwest, Ron works to remove barriers to inclusion faced by people with all types of disabilities in Northwestern Ontario. As a leading figure in disability awareness and advocacy, as well as a longstanding volunteer, it is an honour to be able to recognize Ron with a Spirit of Thunder Bay award.
 Elaine Sprovieri
Elaine has been a longstanding and reliable member of the Auxiliary to St. Joseph’s Care Group for over 50 years. She has contributed countless hours assisting with fundraising events, including penny auctions, bake sales, jewellery sales and modeling for fashion shows. Elaine participates in all Auxiliary educational workshops and regional conferences. Most notably, Elaine has received numerous Certificates of Appreciation, Outstanding Service awards and a Life Member award from the Auxiliary. In 2009, she was one of three people to receive a Provincial Life Membership. Elaine’s enthusiasm for fundraising and hard work is one of the main reasons that the Auxiliary’s events have been so successful. She gives willingly of her time and has contributed greatly to the wellbeing of the clients of St. Joseph’s Care Group. 
 Stella Stakiw
Stella is a long time member of Helping Hands Auxiliary to Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged.  She has served on the executive as President for 10 years. She was also on the Family & Friends Committee for five years.  With her leadership, the group hosts the residents’ annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Halloween parties, monthly Bingos, Mother’s Day and Christmas Bazaars and an annual raffle.  The Auxiliary also helps fundraise for HAGI transportation for outings such as shopping, baseball games and Conservatory visits. With her tremendous dedication, devotion and caring nature, she helps to provide a better quality of life for the residents of Pioneer Ridge. Under her leadership the successful fundraising efforts have led to the purchase for the residents of needed items such as the Neurogym Sit-to-Stand Trainer. Stella has been the Regional Chair of the Healthcare Auxiliary Association of Ontario for the past two years. She volunteers for St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church annual yard sale and also with the MADD Red Ribbon campaign.
 Rob Thompson
Rob has been volunteering as a coach with Thunder Bay Minor Football (TBMFA) for more than 25 years. During these years he has represented youth football as a member of the TBMFA Executive Committee and is currently the President of Thunder Bay Minor Football. Under Rob’s leadership Thunder Bay Minor Football has contributed to the growth and positive development of youth in Thunder Bay. Rob has taken players without any football experience and taught them how to be good football players, better athletes and outstanding individuals. The goal of Rob’s coaching is not to win every game, but rather to always succeed. The importance of practice, but never at the expense of education and responsibilities, has always been stressed. Thunder Bay Minor Football has grown in recent years and had its best registration in the 2010 season. This is a direct result of the proactive and strong leadership provided by Rob. Rob sets an ethical, integrity-based example for so many young men in the community. Rob has made a significant contribution and has had a great impact on Thunder Bay community families and players.
 Elaine Waring
Elaine has been a strong supporter of volunteer development in our community. Elaine served on the Official Recognition Committee for 25 and was instrumental in creating the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award. She also served on Sister Cities Committee from its formation in 1994 to 2010. She hosted breakfasts at her house for Sister City guests as well as pot luck suppers with dishes representing each country.  She spent many hours ensuring that the cultural and historical sites of Thunder Bay were highlighted on every visit and personally escorted visitors to City venues.  Elaine chaired the first All Sister City Festival in 2003, which involved delegates from every Sister City, and took place over five days, including the July 1st celebrations.  She was a recipient of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship for her volunteer work with Welcome Wagon, Jeux Canada Games, Thunder Bay District Health Unit and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Elaine is deserving of the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award for her passion for recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of members of our community and for being an enthusiastic promoter for Thunder Bay. 
 John Zahn

John has been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Thunder Bay since 1994. He has served as President of the Club and chaired a number of Committees over the past 16 years. John is past Lt. Governor of Division One (Northwestern Ontario) or Kiwanis International, Western Canada District. John also serves on the Board of both the George Jeffrey Children’s Centre and the George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation. He has been very active in fundraising for the new Centre.  John has also been involved as a volunteer with Easter Seals, HAGI and the Lakehead University Alumni Association.  Through his volunteering and leadership John has made a significant contribution our community.

 

2011 Good Citizen

 Gerald Ainsworth
Gerald has been a volunteer at the Herb Carroll 55 Plus Centre for the past 12 years including 8 as President of the Board of Directors. He has been involved in fundraising activities, special events and other initiatives for the Centre. Gerald has also been a director on his residential Condo Board, acting as President and Vice President and at West Thunder Community Centre where he also fundraised. He has been involved in his Church, St. Thomas Anglican, and has volunteered as Head Sidesman and Deputy Warden. In his earlier years, Gerald volunteered for community minor hockey as a coach and referee and as an umpire for baseball. Gerald also was an instrumental part of “The Old Fogies”, a group of 6 who entertained thousands over 14 years at the senior homes in Thunder Bay.
 Don Dafoe
Don has been a volunteer with the Port Arthur Curling and Athletic Club for 42 years. He has been instrumental in organizing the ‘Loose End League’, which is an afternoon curling league geared toward retired men. He is also involved in organizing the PACC Annual Stick Bonspiel. Don continually volunteers for projects under guidance of the PACC Building and Property Chair and spent a good part of the summer of 2010 doing carpentry work in the Club. Don is dedicated to providing a high level of performance in whatever he does. His dedication and commitment make him a truly worthy recipient of this Award.
 Dawson Court Mass Helpers
This year marks the 30 year anniversary of the Dawson Court Mass Helpers volunteer group.  Every week, all year round at Dawson Court Home for the Aged, this group of committed Roman Catholic volunteers porter residents to and from weekly mass, assist the priest by setting up the chapel for communion, read scripture lessons and help residents during mass. Without their assistance, Dawson Court would be unable to provide ongoing weekly masses for their residents. The significant contribution of the Mass Helpers will be marked by Dawson Court with a celebration in June.
 Peter Hladyniuk
Peter has taught many youngsters and adults the sport of Shodokan-style Karate. For 44 years Peter has dedicated his time to the members of the Thunder Bay Karate School as an instructor, board member, mentor and advisor. Through his devotion over the years, 40 outstanding black belts have been attained under his instruction. In addition, Peter found time to volunteer at local running events and as assistant coach for the Westfort Hockey League for two years. Peter’s mentoring of people in the sport and philosophy of karate has produced many citizens that perpetuate the motto of peace over power.
 Bill Horder
Bill has put his retirement years to good work in Thunder Bay. He has been on the Board of Directors for the Thunder Bay Prostate Cancer Support Group for eleven years. He chairs the Summer and Christmas Socials and Co-Chairs the fund-raising events. For the past five years he has volunteered at the Prostate Cancer booth at the 55+ Centre. Bill volunteers at the Wellness Clinic, Christmas Cheer and participated in the “Relay for Life” at Fort William Historical Park. He is in the choir at Corpus Christi Church, participating for the past 15 years in Sunday Services, funeral services and special events. For the past 12 years, Bill has volunteered with the two Grand Portage Senior 10-pin programs; the mixed program; men and women’s; and the men’s on a weekly basis at Mario’s Bowl. This past summer he volunteered with the World Baseball Junior Baseball Tournament hosts.
 Phil Jarvis
 Phil is in his 14th year of volunteering with the Northwest Ontario office of the Canadian Diabetes Association.  Phil is a member of Thunder Bay & District Branch Executive Committee, and is actively involved as the Chair of the annual ‘Shoot for the Cure’ committee which has successfully run 10 sports/dinner auctions. He was involved in organizing the Lions Club coverage of one Beer store for the bottle drive campaign from 1995-2002; ensuring Lions funding for Camp Glucose Getaway, a Summer Camp for Children with Diabetes, and subsequently funding for children who wish to go to a Canadian Diabetes Association camp but are in need of financial assistance. Phil has been a member of the Thunder Bay Metro Lions Club since 1978 and has held the positions of Treasurer and President.  He has been Zone Chair, leading Clubs in Thunder Bay, Armstrong and Grand Marias as well as the District Diabetes Awareness Chairman for Northwestern Ontario. Phil took the lead in ensuring that over $5,000,000 was raised for the Vision Care Centre at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. He has been involved with the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority for over 20 yrs.  He has been a Knights of Columbus member since 1983, Columbus Centre Chair, and has organized their spaghetti dinners for over 15yrs. An active member in his church, Phil has been the Chair of the Finance Committee for the past 15 years Phil also gives of his time to support the Arthritis Society by volunteering at their events. Through his many volunteering efforts, Phil Jarvis has made and continues to make a difference in our community. 
 Ethel Feaver
In the 1950s, Ethel volunteered with the South Neebing Winter Carnival as well as South Neebing Brownies and Guides. She also served on the South Neebing Community Centre Board and on the Planning Committee for the new Hall. Ethel has volunteered with Telecare Suicide Prevention and Support for Depression and at the Smith Clinic, sitting on the Board of Directors and Planning Committee. In addition, for 30 years Ethel was an active volunteer with ALANON throughout Northwestern Ontario. During this time she was also on the Board of Directors for the Council for Positive Aging for Thunder Bay and District, assisting seniors with Income Tax, Old Age Security and other government services including hospital visits. Ethel was a volunteer for, and on the Board of Directors of the John Howard Society. Ethel is a most valued volunteer and is certainly worthy of this Award.
 Frances and Vince Fragale
Vince and Frances have, over the past 10 years, raised $300,000 for persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Thunder Bay through an event they initiated called the “Valentines Dinner Dance’. Vince manages the coin boxes and organizes the annual Cava Golf Tournament that gives financial support to the Chapter. He is also on the executive of the Italian Cultural Centre, and a fundraiser for St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church Holy Name Society and the Thunder Bay Chill Soccer team. Frances has had Multiple Sclerosis for 25 years. She has been on the MS Society Board of Directors for 15 years as Fundraising Director (and Member at Large for one year). She helped to establish the Lakehead University “Hoops for Hope” Women’s Basketball Tournament that supports MS research and in her more active years she volunteered for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Associated Canadian Travelers.
 Dave Freeman
Dave has been volunteering in Thunder Bay for 20 years. He has volunteered with Camp Quality, Children’s Aid Society and. Thunder Bay Area Victim Services. He also volunteers with the Fort William Rotary Club, selling tickets for Fort William Rotary Club House Lottery, preparing and serving meals at the Shelter House, Rotary Christmas Parade and Bicycles for Humanity. Through his over 1000 hours of service to many organizations, Dave has demonstrated his passion for volunteering and worthiness of recognition.
 Linda Gambee
Linda has been Chairperson of the Christmas Cheer Fund in Thunder Bay for 15 years. Every year she overcomes the massive organizational challenges including fundraising, promotion, food collection, organization and distribution in order to provide food to many people and families in need in Thunder Bay at Christmas time.  She has recruited an army of volunteers that returns year after year to assist in the organizing and distribution of the food hampers. Linda has touched the lives of many people and is well deserving of the Good Citizen Award.
 Pat Gilbert
Pat has volunteered at Grandview Lodge for 22 years. He began volunteering with Life Enrichment Activities and later found his niche as weekly bartender. The residents enjoy Pat’s companionship and appreciate the time he spends with them. He also volunteered in a musical group for five years at Pioneer Ridge. Pat is a truly dedicated volunteer.
 Emilie Gosselin
Emilie has been a member of the Oliver Road Community Centre since 1999 as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. She has been a willing volunteer and supported special events such as the Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Tea, the annual winter carnival, annual flea market and makes donations for bake table or canvasses for prizes. She also helps out at her Church by making perogies for them to sell. The Oliver Road Community Centre values the ongoing support Emilie has provided over the past 11 years.
 Arlene Graham
Arlene has given the gift of music to the residents of Pinewood Court for the past six years, playing piano for special events. She has worked with the residents in the development of an intergenerational choir with School House Play Care Centre. The residents with Alzheimer ’s disease greatly appreciate the times that she plays for them. She also provides music for the ‘getting to know you’ teas for the new residents. Arlene’s love of music and magic fingers brighten the days of Pinewood Court residents.
 Pat Johnson
Pat Johnson has been volunteering with the West Thunder Community Centre for five years and has helped out in a variety of ways. Pat helps with the set up, clean up, and take down for cribbage, euchre and disking programs for the 45+ club. Pat always sports a warm, friendly and welcoming smile for the other members and friends. Pat also partakes in other committee work with the church, the Scotts Tournament of Hearts, Magnus Theatre and the Lakehead Square Dancing Club. She also hosts a site for Food Box services. Her spirit of giving helps to make the Westfort community a safe, healthy, happy place to live. Pat exemplifies the term: “Volunteers make a Community.”
 Sharon Johnson
Sharon has overcome her own personal grief and loss to become a leader and spokesperson in bringing the issue of violence against Anishnabe women to the attention of this community and beyond. What began in 2005 as a walk of 20 people along Simpson Street and the Neebing McIntyre floodway has now evolved to a larger annual Full Moon Memory Walk in September. This walk commemorates those Anishnabe and Metis daughters, granddaughters, and sisters whose lives have been lost to acts of violence.   A member of Seine River First Nation, Sharon began this volunteer work as a tribute to her sister, Sandra, whose unsolved murder took place in 1992. She has been an active fundraiser and takes part in presentations and events at Lakehead University., Sharon also provides refuge to Anishnabe teens to make sure they are not left vulnerable to danger. 
 Eva Jones
Eva is a dedicated volunteer who works alongside the staff to provide programming for the clients of the Manor House Adult Day Program at St. Joseph’s Heritage.  This program is a day respite for individuals with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia living in the community. Eva started out on the Adult Day Program Advisory Board 10 years ago and is now a direct care volunteer with for the Adult Day Program.  Eva brings comfort, joy and companionship to the clients attending the Adult Day Program. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Society for the past 10 years, currently serving as the President of the Board. Eva has also been an Honorary Chair of the Alzheimer’s Society Thunder Bay Walk for Memories. Eva’s dedication, compassion and ongoing care have enriched the lives of many clients.
 Pat Kruger
Pat’s leadership is evident through her role as President of Dawson Court Residents’ Council as an advocate and fundraiser for the residents. Each year Pat raises thousands of dollars that are put toward outings and events for the residents by organizing penny auctions, raffles, and yard sales. The money raised through the Council has also supported many worthy charities such as the Finlandia Club restoration project, sponsorship of an athlete for the Special Olympics, Christmas Cheer, payment of H.A.G.I. for outings into the community and an ear flush system purchased for use by the nursing staff. Pat also serves on the Ladies Auxiliary, helping them to run the tuck shop, raise funds and organize special events for the residents. For Pat “volunteering means to donate willingly of your time, giving of yourself without expecting anything in return, except a smile.”
 Herpeet (Herp) Lamba
Herp is a former executive member of the Port Arthur Rotary Club; formed President of Leadership Thunder Bay; is actively involved in the United Way and is a fund-raiser for a number of community and youth organizations in the city.  This past December, he again initiated a food drive for Shelter House, gathering more than a ton of food in the campaign. Herp is also very active in raising funds for the Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Wish Foundation, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Confederation College and Lakehead University. Whether it is a short term Campaign (United Way Billboard) or an extended volunteer involvement (Leadership Thunder Bay), Herp can be counted on to give 110% and inspire others to do the same. Speaking from the perspective of his dedication to Leadership Thunder Bay in the past three years, he definitely “moves the needle” with his impact on the quality of life in the city and his role in growing our emerging leaders.
 Anita McDowell
Anita has been a dedicated hospice palliative care volunteer with Hospice Northwest for the past five years. She has offered the gift of compassion and loving kindness to her clients at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Anita has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to her clients and their family members.  Anita can be seen sitting at her client’s bedside talking with them, holding their hand, or giving them a much appreciated foot massage. Anita is also a member of the Hospice Northwest Volunteer Advisory Committee where she offers advice to staff in all areas relating to palliative care volunteer management. She assists with the screening of potential hospice palliative care volunteers wishing to join the agency. She intuitively recognizes in others the unique emotional and spiritual qualities one needs to be able to serve those approaching the end of their lives.
 Kathleen Michalchuk
Since 2001, Kathleen has contributed endless hours of volunteer time to the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group. For the past nine years on the Chaban Executive, she has served as the volunteer secretary, and performed may other tasks. Kathleen’s forte is in photography, and there are few performances where you do not see Kathleen sneaking in to capture a great photo of dancers and events. Kathleen also volunteers outside of the group, for events such as the World University Service Canada (WUSC), University International Days, Safe Grad, and Thunder Bay Yacht Club activities such as The Bounty Tall Ship in Thunder Bay and the Women at the Helm Annual Race fundraiser for Breast Cancer. With her endless energy, patience, dedication and attention to detail Kathleen is certainly worthy of this Award.
 Wendy Morgan
Although Wendy has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), she has involved herself in a number of volunteer groups, and has taken a leadership role in all of them. While on the MS Board of Directors she was responsible for public education for a number of years and later served as fund raising chair, highlighted by her running of the highly successful ‘Carnation Campaign’. Wendy also served on the executive of Beta Sigma Phi, was a member of “W.I.L.D”, (Women Independently Living with Disabilities) and was President of the Thunder Bay Highland Dance Association for 20 years. Wendy’s positive attitude, gentle guidance and friendly smile exemplify her belief that “she has MS, but MS does not have her.”
 Jackie Najvar
Jackie has been volunteering with the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital for the past ten years. Utilizing her easy going, caring and patient disposition, Jackie interacts with and engages clients in activities, even those who live with severe mental illness. In addition to her regular volunteering, she also assists with many special events at the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, including painting windows at Christmas, helping at special events such as garden parties.  Jackie has also contributed by acting as an ambassador for mental health. She assists staff in educating the community about mental illness and advocating for community support and care for those suffering from brain diseases. Jackie’s contributions are greatly appreciated by the staff and patrons of the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, who describe her as an “outstanding and valued volunteer.”
 Mary Rabachuk
Mary has been volunteering for St. Joseph’s Care Group since 1995, and has been part of the volunteer team at Hogarth Riverview Manor for the past six years. Mary is a member of the Caring Hearts Palliative Care Volunteer team, assists with Spiritual Care Services by facilitating the Rosary Service weekly, and is a member of the St. Joseph’s Care Group Auxiliary, volunteering as a sales clerk in the gift shop. At Hospice Northwest, Mary volunteers her time providing support to residents at the end of life, bringing hope, love and friendship to residents and family during a very difficult time. Mary has demonstrated she is committed, compassionate and caring, those she works with are proud to nominate her for the Good Citizen Award.
 Ken Simard
Ken is Chairperson of the Northwest Senior Games and represents Northwestern Ontario on the Ontario Senior Games Board. Ken began volunteering at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre 15 years ago. An enthusiast of euchre, Ken has organized annual euchre tournaments at the Centre as well as Fort William Historical Park. For the past 19 years, Ken has been ‘Captain of the Hunt’ for the Métis Nation of Ontario in Region 2 and has also served on the Thunder Bay Métis Council and the Lands & Resources and Consultations committees for the Métis Nation Region 2. Ken is greatly admired for his leadership ability and cheerful disposition.
 Christine Stark
Christine has been the leading force in the drive to make Thunder Bay a hub for darts in Canada. She has traveled to many tournaments across Canada, promoting Thunder Bay as an excellent host for darts tournaments. Christine has served as the Thunder Bay District Director for the Northern Ontario Dart Association (NODA) since 1998, and has been on the Executive Board of NODA since 2001. She organized the Thunder Bay Open Dart tournament for 13 years. Thanks to her efforts, Thunder Bay is hosting the 2012 Canadian Youth Nationals, the 2012 Canadian Adult Nationals and the 2012 Canadian Open. These events will not only attract people from across Canada, but the Open will host players representing many countries from around the world. Christine has proven she is a tireless and enthusiastic ambassador not only for darts, but for our community.
 Arlene Veurink
Arlene and her family have been a Wesway Host Family for the past 10 years. During this time Arlene has supported many different participants, including some with extremely high personal care needs. As a Host Family, they have provided respite care for many families in our community.  Arlene has said, “I love working with people, whether it’s young children, adults or seniors. I appreciate the different dynamics that are unique to each family. I’ve had some really wonderful experiences working for Wesway, and they have helped me grow as a person.” Arlene and family are shining examples of what it means to make a significant contribution to our community.
 Terry Wainwright
Terry has been a committed volunteer with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation for over five years. She comes to the office on a weekly basis, ready and willing to help any way she can. Whether assisting with database entry, raffle ticket sales or providing reception coverage, Terry can always be counted on to do a great job. Her cheerful and friendly attitude makes her presence a welcome addition to the office. Terry’s dedication to improving healthcare in our community is inspiring and with her support, the Foundation has helped countless people receive the highest level of care possible.
 Catherine Wallace
Catherine had been volunteering in our community for 69 years, predominantly in the field of music. She began singing in choirs as a child and still continues today at the young age of 85. She was choir director for St Andrew’s Church throughout the 1960’s and choir director for funerals starting in 1988. Although her eyesight is deteriorating, she continues to sing using large print or memorizing most songs. Catherine has found time to volunteer with other groups including Corpus Christi choir, Catholic Women’s League (a recipient of their 60 year pin), Interlink Choir and The Saints singing choir. In addition, she is a life member of the Auxiliary to St. Joseph’s Care Group. Catherine has made a significant volunteer contribution to our community.

 

 

2011 Youth

 Ashley Bjorlund
Ashley has accumulated over 400 hours of community service throughout her time attending Superior High School. For the past three years she has been a coach for youth bowlers at Superior Bowladrome. She has also entertained several audiences playing violin for youth and parents at open houses at her High School. Her teachers are very appreciative of all the work she has done.  
 Matthew DeGagne
Matthew has been volunteering in the community for over six years. As a grade twelve student at St. Patrick High School, Matthew is dedicated to providing service and leadership to the City of Thunder Bay. Currently he is a volunteer at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Matthew has volunteered with: Elk’s Minor Hockey, the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy Planning Committee, the Ontario Student Trustee’s Association, the Thunder Bay Youth Action Council and the YouthScape project which engaged youth in renovating the New Hope Youth Centre. Matthew has many notable achievements in athletics, business, community and leadership, all of which have helped to build a better Thunder Bay. 
 Candace Ferguson
Candace has been a student and active volunteer at Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute for over three years. She is very involved in organizing events to raise awareness about the schools Gay-Straight Alliance. In addition, Candace has also helped organize events such as Take Back the Night to help raise awareness of the group’s objectives. Candace has also appeared in commercials to raise awareness of racial tolerance and acceptance. Candace is an active member of the Regional Multicultural Youth Council helping to spread awareness of services offered by the organization.
 Stephanie Harri
Stephanie has proven herself to be a leader both in and out of the classroom at Westgate High School. Stephanie maintains an excellent academic record while boasting exceptional extracurricular achievements. Stephanie has volunteered with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, leading several tobacco free youth initiatives and collecting student input on matters pertaining to youth. She is an active volunteer at Volunteer Thunder Bay Canadian Blood Services and the Lake Suoperior Ski Division.
 Aisa Kuper
Aisa has been a determined, talented and generous member of the Kam Valley Fiddlers for over eight years. Aisa performs for senior citizens, at church functions, hospitals and many other events for the city of Thunder Bay. Alisa is a strong role model for young fiddlers at the Kam Valley Fiddlers. She shares her love of music with new, younger musicians, teaching them the basics and passing on her love for the music.
 Brittany LaFontaine
Brittany has been an active volunteer at the Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association for over two years. Brittany is always looking to help the riders. She works well with children, encourages them to ride the horses and take part in activities with the Association. She is a fundamental part of the Association and they are very appreciative of all the work Brittany has done for them and are looking forward to working with her in the future.
 Vanessa Luhtala
Vanessa is active volunteer at St. Ignatius Catholic School, boasting over 500 hours of community service in the Thunder Bay community. Vanessa has volunteered at Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario (B.I.S.N.O), Oliver Road Recreation Center, Murillo Fall Fair, Scouts Canada, Shelter House Thunder Bay, Easter Seals, Volunteer Thunder Bay and several church groups in the city. Vanessa has been very generous with her time in Thunder Bay and agencies she volunteers with are very appreciative of her help and support.

 

 

2010 Awards

2010 Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards Winners

Volunteer contributions for the 2009 calendar year.

2010 Spirit of Thunder Bay

 Mattie and Gilbert (Gib) Adams
Mattie and Gib have been active volunteers at Volunteer Pool since the late 1950s. They have served as Board members, as Directors and President, devoting a tremendous amount of time and energy for so many years. Mattie continues to care for the centre as if it were her home and runs many of the day to day operations that make the centre a viable organization. Gib took on the lead role in gathering volunteers in the early 1960s to hand dig what is now Volunteer Pool. He was instrumental in helping to build the facility that enclosed the pool as part of the community centre. They both were always there for any kind of fund raising event, whether it be bingos, spaghetti dinners, children’s skating or hall events. The neighbourhood and the community are very grateful to these two wonderful people for their ongoing contributions.
 Robert Bradley
For over 20 years, Robert has demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation and meaningful volunteer contribution in Thunder Bay. Of particular note are his contributions to cross country skiing starting in 1988 when he served on the executive of the Thunder Bay Nordic Trails. During his tenure on the board he was the volunteer coordinator and served on the fundraising committee, chalet building committee and the liaison committee with Big Thunder. Since 2000 he has been actively involved with the Jack Rabbit program at Kamview in many capacities. Robert has demonstrated his leadership skills and innovation by spearheading the design and construction of the “maze” and most recently “animal track.” In addition to his involvement at Kamview, Robert has been a volunteer with the Sibley Ski Tour, now the Sleeping Giant Loppet. From 2002-2005 Robert was a coach with Volunteer Pool Soccer and provided off ice backup to coaches with the Thunder Bay Speed Skating. As well he has been an active canvasser for Multiple Sclerosis Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, volunteered with the Diabetes Association with the Camp Firefly program and served as Council chairman and youth group leader at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. His commitment and dedication truly demonstrate that Robert is worthy of a Spirit of Thunder Bay award.
 Fred Bragnalo
Fred has volunteered for many years with the Metro Council of the Royal Canadian Legion. His efforts have also significantly enhanced the opportunities in sport for the youth of Thunder Bay. For quite a few years, Fred was on the executive of the District 3 Little League Baseball Association. Along with others, Fred was the driving force and innovator of the Sports Celebrity Dinner and was the Dinner Chair for over 25 years. Money raised from this event helped offset the cost of youth sports leagues sponsored by the Legion. Fred was also instrumental in establishing and developing the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame which preserves our rich sporting heritage and honours citizens who have made a significant contribution to our community. Fred has been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Fred is now working on the erection of a memorial wall that will honour those from Thunder Bay who have given their lives while serving in our military forces.
 John Collins
John is celebrating his 32nd year as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Westfort. He has served five terms as President and has won the Distinguished President Award. John was the Lt. Governor for the Western Region and was the Western Canadian Representative to the Kiwanis International Foundation located in Indianapolis, Indiana. John has volunteered in numerous other Kiwanis projects, acting as chairman for such events as the Kiwanis Playground Centre, Father’s Day Motorcycle Raffle, Hymers Fair food booth, and the Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot. John’s contribution to our community also includes supporting many sports teams as well as such agencies as the George Jeffery Children’s Treatment Centre, the local food bank, and Shelter House. John is a most worthy recipient of the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award.
 Nancy Elmslie
Nancy is a dedicated community minded volunteer whose sole passion in life is service to others. For 44 years she has been a leader in hospital volunteering beginning with the General Hospital of Port Arthur and then with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. In 1985 Nancy was honoured locally with an Auxiliary Life Membership and in 1995 a Provincial Life Membership from the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario. Nancy has also been very active in St. Paul’s United Church currently organizing a monthly education session and luncheon for senior ladies. She is also an active and enthusiastic member of the Sounds of Superior Chorus – Sweet Adelines International. The words “kind”, “sincere”, “thoughtful”, and “wise” describe this woman who truly cares about people and always reaches out to lend a helping hand.
 Bob Foley
Bob has been an active member in a volunteer leadership role for Trinity United Church, Thunder Bay Kinsmen K40 club and the Industrial Accident Prevention Association. In 1982, Bob joined the Lakehead Shrine Club and has served as Club Secretary, Circus Secretary, Drill Patrol Unity President, and Lakehead Shrine Club President. Through Bob’s efforts, particularly his fund raising and administrative skills, it has been possible for the Lakehead Shrine Club to fund transportation for hundreds of children from Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario to Shrine Hospitals and Burn Centers throughout North America where they receive medical treatment at no cost to their parents. In recognition for his service in 2009 Bob received a 40 year volunteer award from the Province of Ontario.
 Laura Fralick
Laura has been an active volunteer in a variety of capacities over many years.  Most recently she has been tireless in her promotion of the realization of the Lake Superior Discovery Place project since its inception in 2005.  Laura has volunteered with the PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise for over 8 years serving on the boards and with various advisory committees.  As a Host Ambassador for the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association, she assists newcomers adjust to life in Canada and particularly in Northwestern Ontario.  With the Thunder Bay Institute of Professional Advisors, Laura enjoys serving as a mentor for young women starting out in their careers. Laura is also a volunteer for St. John’s Anglican Church, sitting formerly as a Council member.  Laura’s capacity for caring and helping serves as a terrific role model for people of all ages.
 Kay Geravelis
Kay has been a part of the Vale Community Centre for 36 years. She is there every day, sometimes starting early in the morning to open for the Breakfast Program. She also steps in and cooks so the children do not go hungry. Kay also volunteers to help at the Wednesday Hot Lunch Program. If there is a job to get done, Kay can always be counted on to lend a hand. If you visit the Vale Community Centre and Kay is not there, then you know she must really be under the weather. The number of lives she has had an impact on are far too numerous to count. For 36 years Kay has made an outstanding contribution to our community and is most deserving of the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award.
 Len Godwin
Len has been involved with the Scouting movement with the 16th Fort William Scout Troop for more than 30 years. His interest in and support of the youth of Thunder Bay has been without bounds and has been an inspiration to other adult volunteers. He works hard to ensure that the leadership and programs being offered are both effective and efficient of volunteer time. His encouragement and involvement in offering a supportive training program for all volunteers is outstanding. He has also attracted and retained an active parent association to provide administrative & financial leadership. He has also adapted a fundraising program consisting of the manufacturing and selling of winter sand bags by the Scouting youth. This program helps the youth experience the direct benefit of their own efforts and labour and minimizes the need for other fundraising ventures that take valuable time away from program activities. In a large youth program such as that which Scouts Canada offers it is important to be patiently dynamic, adapting and evolving to youth interests, needs and skill sets which change annually. Len Godwin has always insisted on the motto “Always only the best”.
 Susan Imperius
Sue has been devoted to St. Joseph’s Care Group since 1973. She started volunteering in pastoral care and with the rheumatic disease program at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Currently Sue volunteers every Friday with the Adult Day Program in the Manor House at St. Joseph’s Heritage.  She assists clients with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia with a wide variety of activities.  She patiently helps them in communicating and working on their tasks. She has brought humour and many smiles to those in the program.  Sue is also a hospice volunteer and sits as volunteer representative for St Joseph’s Heritage on St Joseph’s Care Group Volunteer Services Advisory Committee.  Sue has truly touched so many lives over her 37 years of volunteering with St. Joseph’s Care Group.
 Viola Inkila
Viola started dancing with the Finnish Folk Dancers Kiikurit in 1970. She was one of the members of the first group in Thunder Bay and is still dancing and performing with them today.  In addition to performing at many activities with Kiikurit, she has also done Irish tap dancing and sings with the Finnish Female Choir, ORAS, as well as the Silver Sound Choir at the Thunder Bay 55+ Centre. For 40 years, Viola has provided entertainment and promoted the Finnish Culture locally as well as outside Thunder Bay. She is an inspiration to this community and all who know her.
 Elsie Koivisto
Elsie has been an active and dedicated volunteer at the Thunder Bay 55 + Centre for the past 10 years. Her involvement has included fundraising for the Centre, special events and organizing the bus to Grand Portage from the centre once a month. She was part of the Cando Players and the Saints; a shopper for Christmas cheer and in earlier years volunteered at the Port Arthur General Hospital’s gift shop and at the Shelter House. She is a life member of the Ladies of the Moose, the Eastern Star and the Ladies Auxiliary Branch 5 of the Port Arthur Legion. Today, at almost 95, Elsie sings in the Interlink choir, works at bingos, luncheons, teas and banquets at the Legion, the Moose and the 55 Plus Centre. Elsie’s commitment and enthusiasm for volunteering is a wonderful example for all generations in our community.
 Roy Lamore
Roy has been a member of the Port Arthur Branch #5 Royal Canadian Legion for 66 yrs, serving as President of Branch #5 for 17 years, Royal Canadian Legion Zone commander for 10 years and R.C.L. Correspondent for 23 years. He refereed and worked the lines in the Thunder Bay Hockey Association for 40 years. Roy also umpired Little League Baseball and Men’s Fastball and coached Ladies Fastball (Northshore Hotel) winning the City Championship 5 times. He also took that team to the Western Finals in Winnipeg.  Roy has also been involved as a volunteer with CNIB. He has received many awards for his volunteer service and dedication including Sportsman of the Year from Port Arthur Branch #5 Canadian Legion; the Royal Canadian Legion Meritorious Service Award and in  May 2000 the highest award in the R.C.L – the Palm of Leaf. Roy is truly deserving of the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award
 Frank Macdiarmid
Frank is currently the treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay Food Bank and has contributed countless hours on behalf of that organization. He is also on the Board of Directors of Trinity United Church and has served in various capacities on this board for over 20 years. Frank has also served on Boards for the Nishnawbe-Aski Development Fund and the United Way, where he was President for four years. Frank loves the natural beauty of Thunder Bay and ensures the preservation of this beauty by making his daily sun rise walk through Hillcrest Park cleaning up debris left by others. His visits to the Mission Marsh always include bringing a garbage bag for the litter he collects in the conservation area. Frank’s commitment to his community includes his neighbourhood as he often found mowing someone’s lawn, helping with gardening or doing other chores that a neighbour may not be able to do. Frank embodies all that it means to be an outstanding citizen and is a worthy recipient of the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award.

 

 Rudy Maronik
Rudy began volunteering at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition 25 years ago. He served in the position of Associate Director for many years and then advanced to the position of Director on the C.L.E. Board. He served for many years in the position of Vice President of Buildings and Grounds. Rudy has spent countless hours volunteering on many of the C.L.E. different working committees. At present he is serving as Chairman of the Cooking Show, an annual event held each August at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition.
 Bonnie Paajanen
Bonnie’s many years of outstanding leadership and commitment in Thunder Bay have enriched the lives of many young people.  For 23 years, Bonnie served as a Board member with the Thunder Bay Figure Skating Club. She has also served on the  North West Ontario Board as Treasurer and on the larger Section Board. She chaired many competitions in Northwestern Ontario and was hostess for Skate Canada competitions in Thunder Bay. Bonnie has received awards from Skate Canada for her dedicated service and volunteering including the Skate Canada Volunteer Award of Excellence for devoted service 1973-2002.Bonnie was actively involved in Scouting leadership at St. Michael and All Angels Church for 12 years as well as a volunteer at CD Howe Elementary School as President and Treasurer of the Parent Association. She coached 3 pitch baseball, track & field, for 12 years. She still volunteers at St. Pius X School teaching sewing and making teddy bears. In 2004, and then in 2009 she co-chaired the 75th and 80th anniversary celebrations of Hillcrest High School.  Bonnie has provided committed and enthusiastic volunteer leadership in our community for almost 40 years

 

 Doris Pomanti
For the past 26 years, Doris has been a devoted member of the Auxiliary to St. Joseph’s Care Group. She continues to be an active participant in most fundraising activities sponsored by the Auxiliary assisting in many different areas including baking, jewellery donations and even modeling in fashion shows. Doris received her life membership from the Auxiliary in 2000. In 2009, at a special awards ceremony Doris received life membership from the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario, in recognition for her leadership and volunteering efforts. Her care, compassion and commitment contribute to the success of the Auxiliary and make Doris most deserving of the Spirit of Thunder Bay Award.
 Carolyn Syvitski
Carolyn recently received her 30 year service award from the Amethyst Trefoil Guild of Girl Guides of Canada. She started work in the Youth Units which provided many enrichment opportunities for both the girls and the leaders. Later she became a member of the local Council including a term as Division Commissioner. Most recently, Carolyn has served as the President, acting as the liaison between the local Guild and the Provincial & National offices. Throughout all of Carolyn’s 30 years of service, her upbeat enthusiasm has been a true attribute. Recently, there have been many organizational changes in Guiding. As they work through these changes, Carolyn continues to present issues fairly. Her personal and organizational skills and fair-mindedness are admired and respected by all who serve with her.
 Katie Zuber
Katie is one of those people that love to be busy and helpful. Some of her volunteer commitments over the past 20 years include Thunder Bay Community Bingo, Advertising Committee and Vice President of Sponsors Association; Judge for Annual Business Awards for Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce; Director and Chair of marketing and advertising committee for Heart of the Harbour BIA; awards committee for Thunder Bay Business Womens Network; and Chair of Advisory Board for EcoTourism and Travel Program  at Confederation College. She has also volunteered for large fundraising events for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. The M.S. Society, Wesway, and Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group, Thunder Bay Multicultural Society, Canadian Hearing Society, Lions Club and Boys & Girls Club have also found her a very enthusiastic volunteer. She also managed and coached as well as fundraised and worked on a yearly tournament for Thunder Bay Women’s Hockey project activities. 

2010 Good Citizen

 Sandy Axent
Sandy is a dedicated volunteer with the Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association. She has a special talent for working with autistic children as they experience horseback riding. Sandy is the Association’s secretary and always steps up to volunteer for new projects. Sandy is a kind, caring and committed volunteer.
 Janis Beebe
Janis has been a volunteer with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation for 10 years. Her work on the Board of Directors, as Chair of the special Events Sub-Committee, support of individual events – including the Save a Heart Ball – make a world of difference to the Foundation.  Janis’ passion for improving healthcare in Northwestern Ontario shines in all her work for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. 
 Tina Bucknell
Tina serves as treasurer for the Ladies Auxiliary of the Oliver Road Community Centre and volunteers for the Centre’s various events and activities. Tina is also a 15 year member of the Thunder Bay Museum, serving on their Board and fundraising committee.
 Laura Butler
Laura has been a volunteer at Pioneer Ridge Home for the Aged since 1994. She was instrumental in setting up the Family and Friends Advisory Committee which she co-chaired for 10 years. Laura is also a volunteer of the Soroptomist Society and past president of the Memorial Society of Thunder Bay.
 Dave Knutson
Dave has served as a member of the City of Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory Committee for the past 10 years. Since 2004 he has served as the Chair of that Committee. His leadership in the preservation of heritage buildings has provided the community with a thoughtful, informed approach to renovation and restoration. Thunder Bay is fortunate to have such a strong advocate for community heritage.
 Lynda and Barry Lahteenmaa
Lynda and Barry are active volunteers at Hogarth Riverview Manor – instrumental in bringing the “Gardens” back to life. Their mission has been to involve residents in making the gardens a place for all to enjoy. While Lynda teaches and demonstrates and chooses the right plants for the gardens, Barry is self-directed, picks up his tools and off to work he goes.  In addition to their beauty, the gardens contribute to improved physical, social, mental and spiritual health.
 Joan Loftus
Joan has been a dedicated volunteer of St. Joseph’s Hospital for the past eight years, and is past president of the auxiliary. She volunteers at the Thunder Bay 55+ Centre, as well as being past president of St. Margaret’s church C.W.L. and assisting in church fundraising activities. Joan’s contributions and commitment to St. Joseph’s Hospital and the community are greatly appreciated.
 Ken and Denise Carroll
Ken and Denise, the “Rusty Notes”, have been entertaining Thunder Bay and the surrounding area for the past 7 years. It all began with Ken bringing his Karaoke machine and a variety of music to Pioneer Ridge. The residents at Pioneer Ridge look forward to their visits. Ken and Denise now volunteer their time entertaining for nursing homes, 55+ Centers and supper clubs all the way from Thunder Bay to Tennessee.
 John Ellsworth
John has been a volunteer on the Port Arthur Curling Club Board of Directors for 10 years, the last two as President. John has taken the lead on many bonspiel committees, the most recent the 2010 Scotties. With his team of volunteers, John led the way in hosting the most successful event the club has ever held. Thunder Bay is fortunate to have the commitment, passion and selflessness of citizens like John Ellsworth.  
 Paddy and Rosemarie Fuchek
For over 22 years, Rosemarie and Paddy have organized and run The Grand Portage Casino Senior tenpin program at Mario’s Bowl for all citizens over fifty. They also organize golf tournaments and day trips and the year end award banquet for the seniors. They have created a welcoming, fun and competitive atmosphere for all the participants no matter how well they play the sport. Their dedication is very much appreciated by all who belong to this fun program
 Glenys Huskie
For the past 15 years, Glenys has been a dedicated volunteer at the Herb Carroll 55 + Centre, serving on the Board of Directors for the past 10 years. She is the convener scheduling and training volunteers for the Host/Hostess program as well as assisting with the Centers projects and fundraising events. Glenys is also involved in other organizations such as the Canadian Militia, Humane Society, Alzheimer’s Society and Sibley Township Waste Management. 
 Jil Meyer
Following retirement from the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Municipality of Greenstone, Jil Meyer began her volunteer career with CNIB in December 2005. She has contributed her professional experiences, competence, commitment and knowledge to support CNIB’s volunteer services and fund development initiatives. Jil is admired and respected by the management and staff of CNIB and is truly a special part of the team.
 Sets Oda
Sets has been an active volunteer with the West Thunder Community Centre for 15 years. She is also a dancer with the Japanese Cultural Association and is a regular dancer at the Folklore Festival. She also volunteers at her church in entertainment, bazaars, and teas. An accomplished knitter and seamstress, she spends hours making beautiful items of clothing and then donates these creations to volunteer groups to assist with their fundraising.  Seta is a most valued volunteer, worthy of this award.
 Paul Olsen
Paul has been a dedicated member of the Kiwanis Club of Thunder Bay for over 15 years. He has served on Board of Directors, chaired the Nevada Committee and contributed countless hours in other fundraising events. He has also volunteered for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Easter Seals, Arthritis Society, and the George Jeffrey Children’s Fundraising Events. Paul Olsen is a dedicated volunteer who works for the benefit of the citizens of our community.
 Larry Perrier
Larry began volunteering at St. Andrew Dew Drop Inn in 1999. He is so conscientious; he comes in every day, seven days a week. In his position of supervisor of volunteers Larry coordinates and trains the volunteers needed to run the Dew Drop Inn 365 days a year. Larry is caring, compassionate and dedicated to the volunteers and the service that they provide.
 Thunder Bay Police Pipe Band
For 25 years the volunteer members of the Thunder Bay Police Pipe Band have dedicated their time and energy to learn the most difficult of instruments and to practice weekly.  Members of the band have performed for all ages of students to educate and promote the Scottish cultural heritage. The band has played at numerous charity events in Thunder Bay. Their enthusiasm and dedication has led to invitations to perform at such prestigious international and national venues as well as closer to home in the surrounding communities and the northern states.
 Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service Volunteers
Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services (VCARS) is a 24 hour, 7 day a week service providing free, immediate, on-site assistance to victims of crime or tragedy. VCARS volunteers provide extraordinary support within the Thunder Bay community and surrounding area.  Over 40 volunteers log in over 30,000 volunteer hours a year! The VCARS volunteers have supported those within our community through their most difficult and vulnerable moments.
 Denise (Dee) Polowski
Dee has been a volunteer for Knox United Church for most of her adult life. She has helped on many committees, most recently on the 100 year Anniversary Committee. She has been a volunteer with the Association of Early Childhood Educators in Thunder Bay for at least 10 years serving on the Executive of the Association for over 5 years.  Dee has also mentored many Early Childhood Educators though a certification process that furthers their education in the field of ECE.
 Karen Pontello
Karen volunteers for the Brain Injury Association of Thunder Bay and area. As a board member, she has been a driving force in a number of initiatives, one of which is the Community Garden, and has spent countless hours developing innovative ways to serve brain injury survivors in Thunder Bay.
 Lynda Roussel
Lynda coordinates the Hospice Northwest Palliative Care Program and a group of volunteers in one of the long term care facilities. They offer palliative care support to those who are in the final stages of their lives and those who are not expected to recover from illness. As well as being an active volunteer supporting the clients of the program, Lynda manages referrals and liaises with staff, family members and residents to ensure compassionate and comprehensive end-of life care.  Lynda believes that it is an honour to help people during this part of their lives.
 Robert (Rob) Speer
Bob has been a relentless and invaluable volunteer of George Jeffrey Children’s Centre (GJCC) for many years. Since 1999, Bob has served as Chair and President of the Centre’s Board of Directors. In addition to this, in 2005, when the Centre realized the need to form a Foundation to steer its fundraising efforts for its newly constructed building, Bob also volunteered for and was elected to the position of Chair of the George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation Board of Directors. Spearheading the Foundation board, Bob’s vision and hard work was instrumental in helping to raise the $4.5 million that was needed to fund construction of the Centre’s new facility.
 Kathy Van Vliet (In Memoriam)
Kathy was a volunteer with the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay for the past 10 years. She contributed over 423 hours of service with the Christmas programs, assisting with hamper deliveries and as a special friend volunteer for the agency. Kathy brought a passion to her volunteer work that was contagious and affected all who worked with her. Kathy also sat on the Volunteer Advisory Board assisting with planning volunteer recognition events, ways to improve service to the families and suggesting new programs. Kathy was an inspirational volunteer, dedicated to helping others and improving their quality of life. Sadly Kathy passed away following her nomination for this award. Accepting on her behalf this evening is…..
 Wendy and Brian Vistorino
 Wendy and Brian have been outstanding volunteers at Grandview Lodge. Wendy began volunteering with friendly visiting 13 years ago. Brian often joined her on her visits then formally joined Grandview volunteers 6 years ago. They treat the residents they visit as their own family and celebrate many occasions with them. Their caring, friendly and kind natures endear them to the residents they visit and also the staff.
 Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group of Thunder Bay
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Chaban Ukrainian Dance Group of Thunder Bay is known throughout the community for its volunteer contributions during the past 3 decades. Chaban is an outstanding group of dedicated and talented citizens, sharing their heritage and culture through the beautiful art, music and athleticism of Ukrainian dance.  Thunder Bay has truly benefited from the teaching and performing of these volunteers who are dedicated to sharing the art, music and athleticism of Ukrainian dance.
 Kiwanis Club of Westfort
For over 55 years, The Kiwanis Club of Westfort has supported many causes in Thunder Bay. The Kiwanis members donate countless hours toward fundraising events that in turn benefit the whole community. Organizations such as the Kiwanis Playcare Centre, George Jeffrey Children’s Centre, Thunder Bay Food Bank, Shelter House, Dew Drop Inn, Salvation Army, have benefited from the proceeds from the hard work of the Kiwanis membership.
 North McIntyre Recreation Centre Ladies Auxiliary
The Ladies Auxiliary of the North McIntyre Community Centre are an  exemplary group of women who have spent unlimited volunteer hours over 20 years assisting with the growth and sustaining of North McIntyre Recreation Centre in order to help others enjoy life’s activities. Their ongoing dedication to providing activities and events for all ages has made a great contribution to the community.
 Principe Di Piemonte Society Ladies Auxiliary
For 28 yrs, the ladies of the Auxiliary touched the lives of people living with diabetes and their families. They have dedicated approximately 600 volunteer hours each year toward organizing and running their annual Primavera Tea and then donate the proceeds of the tea to the Canadian Diabetes Association. These proceeds are used to provide education and support to persons with diabetes.

 

 

2010 Youth

 Kayla Berst
Kayla, a third year student at Lakehead University, has a goal of pursuing a career as a physician. She currently volunteers at the TBRHSC (emergency room liaison) and as part of the stroke recovery patient liaison program. At L.U. she participates in province wide research and promotes a campus campaign which aims to reduce smoking rates among fellow students. She has also coordinated community wide tobacco free initiatives.
 Colton Burdick
Colton already has an impressive history of volunteering. His volunteer contributions include: helping with pancake breakfasts and bingos, helping with parking at the Murillo Fair, collecting garbage (with the Scouts), planting trees at the new city dump site, and volunteering at the Recreation Centre (collecting garbage, doing dishes). Colton is a very hard working young man. He is only in grade 10 and has accumulated over 500 community volunteer hours.
 Cynthia Khaper
Cynthia has been a volunteer with the Canadian Diabetes Association since April 2007. Her roles have included everything from putting up displays at different events, assisting with presentations, and assisting with ticket sales for various fund raising events. Cynthia was also a committee member for the 2008 Youth Event, and in 2009, worked the registration desk at the Diabetes Expo. She was the display attendant at the Youth Volunteer Fair at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and a youth team member with the Canadian Diabetes Association. Cynthia is always willing to lend a hand where needed.
 Janine Landry
Janine, a 19 year old student at Lakehead University, has been active with the Thunder Bay Metis Council and Community for the past two years. Janine has been an ambassador for Thunder Bay, representing youth, across the province at Annual Assemblies as well as at youth and elder meetings and workshops. She was chosen to be one of only 11 aboriginal youth flame keepers with the Olympic torch relay. Unlike the standard torch bearers, Janine’s journey began in Fredericton, New Brunswick on November 22nd and ended in Winnipeg on January 5th. Janine is such a positive role model not only for Metis youth but for all youth in Thunder Bay and across the country.
 Andrew and Allan McCutcheon
Andrew and Allan are nominated together as it would be difficult to separate their service to Scouting, as they do everything together.  Over the past two years they have volunteered many, many hours at the Dog Lake Cabin helping restore the cabin.  They volunteer at Grey Wolf Scout Camp doing general maintenance and helping with the Beaver & Cub spring and fall camps. For Andrew and Allan volunteering is now a big part of their lives.
 Elizabeth Nucci
Elizabeth has been very involved in a variety of volunteer positions and has amassed over 850 community hours. She has volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society, the City of Thunder Bay, the Dragon Boat Festival, and St. Anthony’s Church. Her church youth group raised over $15,000 in two years to build a school in a third world county. Elizabeth is a hard working and selfless young lady who loves to help others.
 Danielle Pollari
Danielle, a grade 12 student at St. Patrick High School, began volunteering as a child and since then has not stopped being active in our community. Her creativity and artistic talents have increased the profile of youth in Thunder Bay. As a result of her involvement in the school’s drama program, and the extension of it beyond the classroom, Danielle has contributed to arts culture of the school and local community. In addition to her involvement in drama, Danielle has an extensive history of volunteering for a wide variety of organizations in Thunder Bay.
 Niharika Shahi
Niharika is a student in the International Baccalaureate Program at Sir Winston Churchill High School. She is excelling academically while balancing remarkable community service. Niharika is active with the Youth Volunteer Corps, the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association and most notably, the India Canada Association. This has allowed her to share aspects of her own heritage with others in the community and at her school. Niharika truly believes in the value of giving back to her community and is a worthy recipient of the Citizen of Exceptional Achievement Youth Award.
 Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps
The Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps consists of teens between the ages of 13 to 19. They are instructed in all aspects of policing through volunteering with the various police agencies in addition to Corrections and the Ministry of Natural Resources Law Enforcement. The cadets are learning at an early age how to be contributing members of our community and the importance and rewards of volunteering. “Lead by example” is the standard to which they aspire and definitely live up to.

 

 If you have any questions regarding past award winners before 2010 you can contact the Office of the City Clerk.

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