• Mayor’s City Builder Award – Emily Tieu

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Kanata South Ward Councillor Allan Hubley, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Emily Tieu for her outstanding charity fundraising and dedicated volunteer work in the community.

    At 14 years old, Emily has raised more than $74,000 for research for sialidosis a rare enzyme disorder affecting children. There is no treatment and it so rare that only one known child in Canada, Tyler Huneault, is battling it.

    In April 2005, when Emily was seven years old, she became aware of Tyler’s illness and that he is the only child in Canada suffering with the disease and began the first of a series of garage sales and fundraisers. In that first year, Emily raised $91. In 2006, she held her second annual garage sale and raised $150. In 2007 she raised $2,600 and in 2008 Emily held her fourth sale and raised $4,060. In subsequent years, donations and fundraising proceeds have flowed in and so far Emily has raised more than $74,000.

    The only research being conducted on this disorder is at McMaster University by biology professor Dr. Suleiman Igdoura. All proceeds raised at Emily’s garage sales go to McMaster University to fund sialidosis research. Dr. Igdoura’s research team is working on a gene therapy that will replace the defective gene in sialidosis sufferers.

    Emily impresses all those around her positive energy and highly developed social conscience. Her desire to help others, her caring, positive attitude, and her generosity with her free time serves as an example to her peers and an inspiration in her Bridlewood community. She also volunteers with Valerie’s Flutter Foundation, a charity that raises awareness for all types of cancers, especially rare types that lack funds.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Diana Majury

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Diana Majury for her selfless contributions and dedication to the community.

    Diana has been on the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa volunteering her time, energy, experience and commitment to this charitable organization for the past six years. She is currently serving as Vice-President and is also the organization’s representative on the Board of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies as well as the representative on the Board of the Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ottawa.

    The Elizabeth Fry Society is devoted to helping women and female youth involved in the criminal justice system or who may be at risk of coming into conflict with the law. It provides support services for women incarcerated in provincial and federal institutions and offers a variety of programs and services to provide women with confidential and supportive living and learning environments.

    Diana spends more than 500 hours a year in her volunteer activities with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, helping to reintegrate women, which helps to keep Ottawa safer and to educate the public about pathways to criminalization – poverty, homelessness, addiction, lack of access to social services and victimization of women and children.

    Over the past six years, this means Diana has contributed approximately 79 weeks to the betterment of the agency, its client women and the City of Ottawa.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Jeanine and Dean Otto

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Barrhaven Ward Councillor Jan Harder, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Jeanine and Dean Otto for their selfless contributions to the community.

    The Ottos never expected or wanted to be in the spotlight but tragically, and with no warning, their five-year-old daughter Maddy went from being perfectly healthy on Sunday, July 15, 2007 to passing away two days later after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Maddy spent only one night at Roger’s House and died peacefully on July 17, 2007.

    As a tribute to Maddy, and in appreciation of Roger’s House, the Otto family have raised more than $125,000 for the eight-bed palliative care facility on the grounds of CHEO that enriches the lives of children, youth and their families facing progressive life-limiting illnesses. Roger’s House was built in memory of Roger Neilson, Hockey Hall of Fame Coach and Member of the Order of Canada.

    Maddy had briefly attended Jockvale Public School in Barrhaven and the Ottos dedicated a beautiful garden in front of the school as “Maddy’s Garden.”

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Mrs. Suzanne Doerge

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Alta Vista Ward Councillor Peter Hume, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Mrs. Suzanne Doerge on behalf of the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) for her leadership and commitment as director and the organization’s outstanding work towards promoting gender equality and creating a more inclusive city.

    CAWI is a collaborative group of women from diverse communities, organizations and academia working with municipal decision-makers to create a more inclusive city and promote gender equality. Women in the CAWI network develop their knowledge of how the city works while putting into practice skills such as facilitation, presentation, and communications. In turn, participants turn to their own unique communities to share what they have learned and engage others.

    The City of Ottawa and CAWI collaborated on creation and implementation of the City’s Equity and Inclusion Lens, a systematic way of considering the concerns of the full diversity of residents in all the work of the city. It enables the City to operate in a manner that embraces the spirit of equity and inclusion in the development and implementation of policies, programs and services.

    The Lens focuses on 11 groups who experience systemic barriers – aboriginal persons, women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and GLBT individuals, as well as six additional groups who are at risk of exclusion – recent immigrants, francophones, youth, seniors, people living in poverty, low-income residents and rural residents.

    Women in CAWI wear peach-coloured scarves when engaging with City Council as a way of saying that across their diversity, they share common concerns. They seek to open doors and leave them open so that others can walk through. For more information, please visit www.cawi-ivtf.org/

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Madat Kara

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Orléans Ward Councillor Bob Monette, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Madat Kara for his tireless volunteer work and outstanding contributions to the community as a Meals on Wheels volunteer and fundraiser.

    In January 1998, during the Eastern Ontario ice storm, when Madat heard that some elderly and convalescing people would not be receiving their daily meals due to the weather, he contacted Meals on Wheels and offered to help and he has a regular route delivering meals every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ever since.

    Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization, serving meals at minimal cost to the elderly or those who are disabled or convalescing. Each meal is nutritionally complete and the service helps them to remain independent and healthy in their own homes. The Meals on Wheels delivery also provides a daily visit by a volunteer to each client giving them an opportunity for social interaction with a caring visitor.

    Madat soon realized that there weren’t enough government subsidies to fund Meals on Wheels so he took on a fundraising role, organizing several large-scale functions which have contributed greatly to the program. His first event was a silent auction and a dinner dance, raising $13,000.

    Over the past few years, Madat and his team have hosted many events, including a golf tournament, boat cruises, hockey games, Elvis Gala night dinners and dances and other fundraising activities. In 2010, the team raised $5,000 and Madat contributed more than 500 volunteer hours, completing a lifetime total of 4,000 volunteer hours. The team was recognized by Meals on Wheels for being the first to organize large-scale events contributing to the success of the program.

    Madat is a model to others and inspires many with his perseverance, creativity and graciousness. He has received many awards and recognitions and, as a result of his fundraising, Meals on Wheels has been able to maintain its fees at a reasonable level and keep the meals highly accessible to all. This is important because a large percentage of clients are living on a fixed income.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Jeremy Dias

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Jeremy Dias for his tireless volunteer work and outstanding contributions to the community.

    As a youth, Jeremy was motivated by social and political inequality to take action, volunteering with numerous organizations and charities. In high school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, he started and led various clubs, including Stop Racism and Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving. He also founded and coordinated Sault Ste. Marie’s first regional LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning) youth group.

    After coming out in high school, Jeremy faced discrimination by students and school officials. He experienced daily bullying, violence and other forms of assault by students and teachers. At 17, he began a legal case against his school and school board and at 21 won Canada’s second largest human rights settlement.

    Now at the University of Ottawa, Jeremy used the settlement proceeds to found Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative and its annual event, the International Day of Pink, where students come to school wearing pink to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic bullying. The event was so successful in 2010 that more than 7.2 million people wore pink.

    Jeremy worked as board chair of Jer’s Vision and now as a volunteer director manages finances and is actively engaged in programming, workshops and day-to-day operations. Under his direction, Jer’s Vision began as a small youth charity managing a scholarship and speaker’s bureau. Their work in Canada was unique as they were one of a few organizations whose anti-homophobic and transphobic bullying work focused on straight people and working to turn bullies and bystanders into allies.

    Within five years, the small organization became Canada’s third largest LGBT organization working across the country and internationally doing workshops and presentations. Volunteers pick up where presenters leave off and continue to mentor youth, teachers and schools to create safer and more respectful spaces.

    The workshops and presentations reach more than 75,000 people and the organization has a budget of $92,000. Jeremy’s ability to turn a negative school experience into something that helps thousands of people every day and to mobilize volunteers, engage politicians and celebrities is remarkable.

    In addition to his work at Jer’s Vision, Jeremy continues to volunteer with a number of organizations including, Housing Help, the Canadian Human Rights Monument and the International Imperial Court.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Kay Johnston

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Osgoode Ward Councillor Doug Thompson, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Kay Johnston for her selfless volunteer work and many contributions to the community.

    Ms. Johnston, who turned 80 in October, has been a resident advocate for more than 30 years volunteering at the Township of Osgoode Care Centre and involved in all aspects of fundraising at the Centre. She also volunteers with the Osgoode Home Support Program, making appointments, answering phones and driving patients to appointments.

    Among other activities Ms. Johnston brings her energy and devotion to, she is Treasurer of the Catholic Women’s League and sits on the Parish Church Council Board. She is President of the Gloucester South Seniors Club and a member of Councillor Thompson’s Osgoode Ward Advisory Committee.

    Kay Johnston has been a member of the Women’s Institute in Vernon for more than 60 years, she is a member of the Winchester Hospital Fundraising Board, a member of the Greely Friendship Club, volunteers at soup kitchens over the holidays and makes Christmas boxes to send to needy children. In her very little spare time, she enjoys a good game of cribbage.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Fran Squire

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Gloucester-Southgate Ward Councillor Diane Deans, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Fran Squire for her outstanding volunteer work, fundraising and contributions to the community.

    Ms. Squire has worked with the Parkinson Society Ottawa for seven years on the Board of Directors as Chair and as Vice-Chair of Parkinson Society Canada for six years. She has also served as editor of the Parkinson’s newsletter, which is distributed across Canada and published quarterly. The Parkinson Society Ottawa helps those afflicted with the disease learn about their condition and manage how to live with it.

    Over the past 10 years, Ms. Squire has personally raised $26,200 in the Ottawa Parkinson’s SuperWalk. These funds help more than 100,000 Canadians with Parkinson’s disease through education, support services, advocacy and research funding.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – John Higgins

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to John Higgins for his outstanding volunteer work and contributions to the community.

    Over the past 10 years, Mr. Higgins has been an active member of the Elgin Street Public School. Parent Council as Treasurer, Council Co-Chair and is currently Fundraising Chair. He is Assistant Coach of the girl’s soccer team and also the Elgin Street P.S. Accommodation Review Committee Representative for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Treasurer of the Ottawa Carleton Assembly of School Councils.

    Every student in the school benefits from the tireless energy that Mr. Higgins exerts in collecting books and item donations from all over the city, making the annual fundraiser a tremendous success. As a result of his efforts, students are able to attend and host many special events.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Phil Nguyen

    Mayor Jim Watson, with West Carleton-March Ward Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Phil Nguyen for his outstanding volunteer work and contributions to the community.

    With his wife Amelia, Mr. Nguyen co-created and has taught the award-winning Bully Bustersprogram to more than 1,000 school children and raised $4,000 for non-profit organizations such as the Western Ottawa Community Resources Centre and Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa.Bully Busters teaches children and youth skills in assertiveness, communication and martial arts to respond to bullying and other schoolyard conflicts in a confident, non-physical and peaceful manner.

    Mr. Ngyuen is also active in supporting youth education in entrepreneurship and was the keynote speaker for the 2006 Canadian Junior Achievement Conference held in Ottawa which attracted more than 175 students from around the world who are destined to be future entrepreneurial success stories. He was also the keynote speaker at the Young Entrepreneurs Business Awards in 2007 where he motivated more than 300 high school student entrepreneurs to conquer their fears and follow their dreams.

    Among other community and motivational activities, Mr. Nguyen has been a member, president, area governor, club mentor and contest champion for the non-profit Toastmasters International, leading, motivating, coaching and mentoring hundreds of individuals to help them improve their communication and leadership skills.

    He and his wife Amelia have also delivered the ABCs of Self-Defence, teaching students in local schools as well as Boy Scouts and Girl Guides safety tips, self-empowerment strategies and self-defence techniques. In 2006 he also served as MC for World Religion Day in Ottawa, an event that attracts adherents of various faiths to promote oneness of the world’s religions.

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