• 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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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Coralie Lalonde

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Rideau-Goulbourn Ward Councillor Scott Moffatt, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Coralie Lalonde for her outstanding volunteer work in the community.

    Passionate about supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders, Ms.Lalonde is co-founder, board member, former chair and volunteer organizer of the Tech Venture Challenge, sparking entrepreneurial spirit among post-secondary students in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario by encouraging them to act on ideas, providing mentorship with successful CEOs and providing networking opportunities with the business community.

    Ms. Lalonde has also been a volunteer for various young entrepreneur programs including Junior Achievement of Ottawa-Carleton where she served as board chair, SHAD Valley, the Entrepreneurship Centre, OCRI, the Carleton Biz Camp, the Lemonade Stand Competition, Lead to Win, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, TIE, Venture Creations Group, the Ottawa Network and Adventures in High Tech.

    Apart from the entrepreneurship sector, Ms. Lalonde was a volunteer with Volunteer Ottawa for 11 years, including as board chair, co-founder of ENGAGE, a program to encourage business leaders to become engaged in their community, a volunteer with the Community Foundation of Ottawa, serving on the board for five years, and a co-founder of the Social Venture Challenge, which encourages students to use their talents to find solutions to community problems.

    Passionate about animal welfare, Ms. Lalonde has been a volunteer for the Ottawa Humane Society and a campaigner for the new facility, and a volunteer for The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, Paws for Life, Trinity of Hope, the West Quebec SPCA and Navan Animal Rescue.

    Also dedicated to quality health care in the community, Ms. Lalonde has been a volunteer and board member for both the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Ottawa Heart Institute Research Corporation and a volunteer advisor for FM-CFS Canada.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Pierre Gauthier

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Alta Vista Ward Councillor Peter Hume, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Pierre Gauthier for his community-minded dedication in managing, maintaining and operating the Brewer Park Speed Skating Oval and Skating Park for the past seven years.

    Mr. Gauthier has maintained the Brewer Park Speed Skating Oval and two hockey rinks from October to March for the past seven years, investing a considerable amount of his own time. He involves the local hockey association, the Ottawa Pacers, the Gloucester Concordes Speed Skating clubs, the City of Ottawa and volunteers.

    The Brewer Park Speed Skating Oval is the only long track speed skating oval serving Eastern and Southern Ontario and adheres to Speed Skating Canada specifications, enabling Ottawa to host the Ontario Provincial Speed Skating Championships every two years. All the area’s nationally ranked speed skaters, including recently retired four-time Olympic medalist Kristina Groves and Leo Landry from Chelsea, Que. have skated at the oval. In the winter of 2010-11 alone, 75 per cent of the speed skaters representing Ontario at the Halifax Canada Winter Games were from Ottawa and all practised at the oval.

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