APRIL 2016 NOMINATIONS!

Name of Nominee:  Aason Stillee
Why: incredible efforts and astounded focus on bringing awareness to new products and alternative therapies that enhance recovery from brain injuries

Name of Nominee:  Garth Riley
Why: the Riley Perspective is a TV show that provides a platform to discuss many important topics that often include ways to make communicating more accessible and engaging. 

Name of Nominee:  John Gordon
Why:  Why: Going over and above his job with a positive great personality, patience and eagerness to help other help! 

Name of Nominee:  Scott Bremner
Why:  Scott has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to issue surrounding access and inclusion. 

Name of Nominee:  Jim Wilson
Why:  That outstanding work in adult education and especially his extorts to work with Participation House

Name of Nominee:  Lisa Ann Chattren
Why:  her dedication to making programs more accessible. 

Name of Nominee:  Todd Kierstead
Why:  Dedication in working the game of golf agreeable through. Bring back the game. 

MARCH 2016 NOMINATIONS!

Name of Nominee:  Rudy Oppersma Ajax automotive Oppersma
Why:  The whole team goes over and above to serve customers and make sure prices are not draining your pocket book. Great customer services and knowledge of vehicles, they go the step above by helping in fundraisers, and people in need. This business has been in Ajax for 30plus years and the quality of service has never been compromised. They do full mechanical and exhaust work, fully licensed mechanics.

Name of Nominee:  Simon Karivi
Why:  Simon is a Whitby resident does a lot of Rotary Club of Whitby but most importantly he is helping local people make a big difference in Kenya. Especially his work in helping young people get a high school education. 

Name of Nominee:  Archie Allison
Why:  Archie has lead FITNESS FRIENDS which provides support and opportunities for more than 1000 students with special needs in the Region of Durham each spring. Since its inception in 1998 the program has worked with all the schools in the region and provided ideas, equipment, t-shirts and a very special Festival that facilitates increased active living for students with physical, developmental, behavioral and any other exceptionalities. 

Name of Nominee:  Sue Robinson
Why:  Minor Hockey has historically been the domain of Men who focused on outcomes that allow the best to get to the top. Sue has volunteered with Whitby Minor Hockey and the OMHA for more than 2 decades. She always puts the needs of the youngsters first and can be counted on to do what is right so that ALL youngsters find hockey an rewarding experience.

Name of Nominee:  Gord Garner
Why:  Gord is the owner of Gord Garner Automotive Services LTD repairs in Whitby. We have required his expertise to keep our accessible vehicles on the road and making sure our clients get to their appointments on time. On several occasions he has provided quick and effective service and most importantly he routinely follows up to make sure that everything is working well.

Name of Nominee:  Elgin Knopp
Why:  Elgin has contributed to our community and far beyond. His work with Rotary and while he was at MTC was exemplary.  He is always one to answer the call when volunteers are needed and he is a great person with unique ideas that work.
Comments: At MTC he started a program that helped women's shelters by providing quality appliances.

Name of Nominee:  Shizue Sukushima
Why:  Why: Shizue is a great hairdresser and connects very well with her clients. I always enjoy having my hair cut by her. 
Comments: Shizue works at NRG Salon at Pickering Town Centre

Name of Nominee:  Elgin Knopp
Why: Elgin has contributed to our community and far beyond. His work with Rotary and while he was at MTC was exemplary. He is always one to answer the call when volunteers are needed and he is a great "solutions" person with unique ideas that work. 
Comments: At MTC he started a program that helped women's shelters by providing quality appliances. 

Name of Nominee:  Gord Garner
Why: Gord owns Gord Garner Automotive Services LTD repairs in Whitby. We have required his expertise to keep our accessible vehicles on the road and making sure our clients get to their appointments on time. On several occasions he has provided quick and effective service and most importantly he routinely follows up to make sure that everything is working well. 

Name of Nominee:  Sue Robinson
Why: Minor Hockey has historically been the domain of Men who focused on outcomes that allow the best to get to the top. Sue has volunteered with Whitby Minor Hockey and the OMHA for more than 2 decades. She always puts the needs of the youngsters first and can be counted on to do what is right so that ALL youngsters find hockey an rewarding experience. 

Name of Nominee:  Archie Allison
Why: Archie has lead FITNESS FRIENDS which provides support and opportunities for more than 1000 students with special needs in the Region of Durham each spring. Since its inception in 1998 the program has worked with all the schools in the region and provided ideas, equipment, t-shirts and a very special Festival that facilitates increased active living for students with physical, developmental, behavioural and any other exceptionalities. 

Name of Nominee:  Simon Karivi
Why: Simon is a Whitby resident does a lot of Rotary Club of Whitby but most importantly he is helping local people make a big difference in Kenya. Especially his work in helping young people get a high school education. 

Name of Nominee:  Community Care Durham
Why: Amazing volunteer placement attended by individuals in Community Activation programs at PH Durham.

Name of Nominee:  Stephanie LaBine
Why: Stephanie is a staff at Community Care Durham, where individuals from PH volunteer. She is always hard at work and lends a helping hand at every turn. 

Name of Nominee:  Andrea Cant
Why: Andrea is an enthusiastic staff at The Community Care Adult Day Program, where individuals from PH volunteer. She encourages everyone around with her contagious smile and warm heart

Name of Nominee:  Jennifer Crothers
Why: Windreach Farm is a great place for people with disabilities, especially the Learning 4 Life program.

Name of Nominee:  Jim Longo
Why: Jim single handedly kept the roads of Whitby safer for 20 years. His "Jimmy Cab" service for family and friends could always be counted on no matter how late or how bad the roads were. I think there were years where every student from grade 12 and 13 benefitted from Jim's generous giving of himself. 

Name of Nominee:  Martha Longo
Why:  Dedicated teacher and artist Mrs. Longo has made a very positive influence on hundreds of people in the Region of Durham over the past 3 decades:
Comments: Watch for her artwork at charity auctions and art shows across the region. 

Name of Nominee:  Clar Hayes

Why:  Clar is a phenomenal advocate for people with developmental issues and an authority on supporting people with Asperger's Syndrome. 

Comments: Clar understands what real support looks like. He knows the benefits of engaging people with special needs in work, recreation and how those benefits are essential to building strong communities.

Name of Nominee:  Matt Cardwell
Why:  The Royal Oak Pub staff, Chelsea, Kate and Alicia went out of their way to make Lila feel welcome and included, especially because of her disability. 
Comments: The Royal Oak has an amazing accessibility policy. Other businesses should follow their example. 

Name of Nominee:  Walter Dave Alex - DRT Specialized Services
Why:  When a supported individual or staff member calls to make a booking of transportation through DRT Specialized Services we are greeted with every effort possible to accommodate the request. Although, there are many employees who should be recognized, our communication has mostly been with these three staff Walter, Dave and Alex who have often gone above and beyond. Behind the scenes sometimes goes unnoticed, and we would like to thank you for all the hard work and efforts!

Name of Nominee: Diane Glasgow
Why: Successfully seeking contributions/donations from her employer - Schneiders in the last couple consecutive years ( 5k - 10k) to assist with our community programs.

Name of Nominee: Durham College Durham College
Why: Matt Markovic - Sales and Conference Manager - once again partnering with our Life Readiness program this summer for 4-5 weeks and offering a discounted rate to ensure everyone is able to attend again this year.

Name of Nominee: Rahim Virji
Why: Partnership with Durham College, supervising OT students which has lead to increased mobility, opportunity and new goals for several individuals we support.

Name of Nominee: Susan Lloyd
Why: For the generous donations over the past couple of years for computer equipment; printers; etc. These have been utilized for the individuals we support, internally and to assist with our day to day operations.

Name of Nominee: Dr. Mark Librach
Why: Incredible community support, especially with the large fireworks show they coordinate each summer and equally for the many smaller projects they support in the Region of Durham.

Name of Nominee: Dr. Steve Millman
Why: Incredible community support, especially with the large fireworks show they coordinate each summer and equally for the many smaller projects they support in the Region of Durham.

Name of Nominee: Oshawa Fire Department
Why: there are many times when Oshawa Fires Services are the first responders at situations where persons with disabilities are in need of assistance (seizures, equipment failure, behavioural issues etc). Especially the professionals at Station #2 at 1111 Simcoe St have helped PH and we are happy to say THANK YOU.

Name of Nominee: John Schoonerbeek
Why: John goes above and beyond in the hamlet of Mitchell Corners. He contributes in keeping our streets and roads clear of debris and genuinely contributing to the well being of the community.

Name of Nominee: Barb Fannin
Why: Barb gets it! Through the United Way she is in the business of helping communities solve serious, complicated issues and she makes time to help people. She is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I think she definitely deserves to be THANK'd.

Name of Nominee: Davina Jones
Why: She has taken the leadership roll in many town events over the almost 20 years she has been in Whitby. Raised funds to offset the costs to the community. Organized and manages the Port Whitby Residents Facebook site keeping people informed about events and building projects going on. Always there when a neighbour is in need to lend a hand.

Name of Nominee: Whitby Public Library Technology Trainers
Why: The Library's trainers help library customers and coworkers master the skills needed to navigate our increasingly digital world. They approach each teaching opportunity with respect and enthusiasm. No question is too big or too small, and there are no silly questions. Whether helping readers download ebooks, crafting how-to handouts or introducing 3D printing to students from grade one through college, they always embrace new ways to connect with the community and ways to help the community connect.

Name of Nominee:  Nicole Beason-Sheppard
Why:  Why: My so was recently diagnosed with cancer. Nicole went about the call of duty on several occasions. It truly helped our family focus on what was important and not the little things. Thank you so much for all the you do for Dec and for us :)

Name of Nominee: Jerry Huxter
Why: The Shiels family would like to thank Jerry and the entire staff and St. Bridgets community for all of their support during the last month.
Comments: Our son, recently diagnosed with cancer, is a student at St. Bridget. The school offered donations and gifts to our family - some even delivered to him personally while he was in the hospital. They truly embraced us and showered us with love. Thank you St. Bridgets for being a wonderful role model

 

FEBRUARY 2016 NOMINATIONS!

Name of Nominee:  Rocky Gualtieri
Why:  Rocky Gualtieri is in charge of Whitby Sports Hall of Fame.  His dedication and enthusiasm is very much appreciated.

Name of Nominee: Brian Kelly and Andrew Cormack
Why: All CRCS employees involved in the flood crisis at PH were nothing but professional, respectful and assisted in navigating PH through this crisis. Brian and Andrew kept us up to date and lessened the burden by taking on the role of mediator and guiding PH through the necessary steps to see the reconstruction of our office through to the end.

Name of Nominee: Nigel Foy
Why: For their generous donation of boxes and timely assistance during a flood crisis that PH experienced in January 2015.

Name of Nominee: Station Gallery Whitby
Why: For the 'wonderful' facilitation of the various arts programs that the individuals at PH so enjoy.

Name of Nominee: Mary Anne Souter
Why: We want to thank our Grandma for walking us to and from school, for taking us to our sports and for being our Grandma.

Name of Nominee: Andrea Shaw

Why: For many years Andrea's vision and leadership have built and guided Hearth Place, providing people who have been diagnosed with Cancer, and their families with support, love, hope and really good advice. She definitely makes our community stronger.

Comments: The entire team at Hearth Place is fantastic.

Name of Nominee:  Andrea Knowles

Why: Andrea came into our lives at a time when we were lost, confused, helpless. As our social worker from Kinark she helped guide us through an emotional, psychologically, and physically obscure time. Never having had dealt with the diagnosis of ASD, having our 3 1/2 year old son (at the time) diagnosed as high functioning ASD felt like running full force into a solid concrete wall; all of the unknowns, for him, for us, where do we go from here? who will help us? what are the supports available? How do we make sure we are being the best parents we can be? ... All of these questions one by one Andrea walked us through. From connecting us to a reputable health care provider (HCP) for diagnosis, to referrals for support, to education at home and HUGELY our main support and direct connection in the school system to ensure both our son and us, the parents, were getting the support and resources we needed; as well as supporting the school system with frequent visits to discuss challenges, strategies and resources the school itself has available too.

Andrea is my angel, the shadow I feel behind me that no one sees; that when in doubt, confused, afraid is right there, ready to extend a hand, any time and from anywhere.

While we have transitioned since from Kinark, it was Andrea Knowles who ensured that our transition to other community agencies for support both at home and at school were in place, and that our next steps were clear as night and day.

Never failing to provide even just a tissue for the tears that come along with NOT the diagnosis but with seeing your perfectly imperfect child struggle any, sometimes every day.

Comments: Thank you Andrea for you made the beginning of our journey less arduous, less confusing, more tangible, more manageable. You ensured we saw the light through the grey, and today while the emotions continue to be the same we are more confident in the choices we make. All for the better, for our beloved baby boys sake.

January 2016 Nominations!

Name of Nominee:  Elizabeth Ann Williams
Why:  
Elizabeth is Program Co-ordinator at the Boys and Girls Club of Durham. She always goes above and beyond for the children in Durham Region and is always willing to give a helping hand to anyone that needs it. Her commitment to youth and ensuring that they have a safe and educational place to play is what makes her outstanding.

Name of Nominee:  Kary Murphy
Why:  The SUPER mom and foster mom who promised that she would care for others.  When Kari and husband Don had their second child there were significant issues and at one point it was questionable if either would survive. Promise…. If we get through this we will help others and they have taken that promise very seriously adopting 8 other children and fostering many, many more.

Their house has always been busy but through the turmoil you will always find love, mixed with leg braces, walkers, wheelchairs and a big dog running around.

Their family of 12 is one that’s filled with boisterous dinners, practical jokes and laughter, and family trips that require two vehicles.  “Your life may take unexpected turns, and obstacles will be put in your path, but keep your eyes open for other opportunities that this universe has for you,” the mother told the room. “Our dream of having a large family came true in a much richer way than we could have imagined.”
Put by her another way, the lilacs may not be what you’re looking for in a perfect garden but they’re every bit as lovely as the roses.

Comments: The Murphy’s make our community stronger but in fact I think their home qualifies as a community of its own.

Name of Nominee:  Marcey Wilson
Why:  
Marcey Wilson – Fairview Lodge
Marcey is representing the leadership team at Fairview. A team that provides incredible long term care to nearly 200 residents with special needs. Every day the staff at Fairview bring incredible, skill and caring to all those who live there. In Oct. 2014 there was a very serious fire and they proved they were well prepared when they jumped into action. Thanks to continuous training, staff and emergency workers averted a worst case scenario.

The news is full of situations where things go wrong. We saw it in L’Isle-Verte but, at Fairview we saw everyone evacuated and relocated efficiently and with the greatest degree of safety possible.

Comments: We saluted Marcey and Fairview at the Launch event and PH will say THANK YOU to the team at Fairview on Feb 10 2016.

Name of Nominee:  Catherine Partlow
Why:  Catherine has a welcoming attitude that makes anyone who knows her feel they can accomplish important things and reach their personal dreams.  She is a veteran international competitor in Special Olympics where her most recent games (Los Angeles 2015) were her best performance yet, showing she is indeed getting better with age by winning three gold medals on the track.

She understands what others go through stating that in elementary school she only had one friend “the other kids didn’t really bother with us much because we had special needs.”  Catherine is quick to point out, “I love to run, and feel like I am flying when I am on the track!”  Along the way, she met coaches who believed in her, always inspiring her to do her best in fact when she was told that she was being THANKed her first words were and I would like to thank my coaches especially Clive Foster who has helped me for a long time.  Catherine has volunteered for more than 10 years at her former school, St. Theresa, where she helps with gym classes.

Comments: Along the way, she met coaches who believed in her, always inspiring her to do her best in fact when she was told that she was being THANKed her first words were and I would like to thank my coaches especially Clive Foster who has helped me for a long time.

Name of Nominee:  Arthur and Kim Mototsune
Why:  Arthur and his wife Kim have been volunteers with the OCHL in Oshawa for over 20 years.
I have personally seen the great volunteer work that they do with their initiation hockey program. My 3 boys have all gone through this program and Art never forgets their names or something special about each child and I know that others would share the same experience.
Not only do they sacrifice their weekends and wake up early to be at the rink before anyone else gets there, but they are always so full of energy and ready to greet each child with a smile.
In addition, they give kids who once attended their program an opportunity to come back as volunteers to make up their hours for their high school programs. Rarely will you find a weekend that Art and Kim do not have upwards of 10 high school aged kids on the ice helping out. Kim always makes sure that they have drinks and treats to keep them going for the long Saturday morning sessions.
All in all, when I attended your launch at the Durham Regional Headquarters this week and I heard the goals and mission of the "Thank You Durham" program, Art and Kim came to mind very quickly. For all that they do for our community, I would like to nominate them as Thank You Recipients.
I thank YOU, for your time and consideration and for your initiative in this truly innovative endeavor.

Name of Nominee:  George Pappas
Why:  George is one of the most dedicated and generous individuals in Durham Region. Be it his volunteerism with St. Vincent's Kitchen, Harmony off leash dog park, or working with the disabled, such as taking the Oshawa torch bearer to the Para-Pan Games, and collecting clothing for refugees, I think it is fair that he be recognized for his efforts.

Name of Nominee:  Marion Cozens
Why:  : Marion Cozens is the Chief Executive Mother and founder of Wings Maternity Home for young mothers. In 2009 Marion opened up her own home to provide this environment of safety and nurturance to pregnant women of all walks of life including prostitution, drug addictions, jail, teen moms from CAS etc..Marion believes in young mothers and their ability to chose life over abortion. Wings provides community outreach, as well as a school program to assist young mothers to graduate highschool.

Comments:  Marion's dedication to pregnant mothers is extraordinary and I can't think of anyone who deserves recognition more then her for all she does for our community.

Name of Nominee:  Richard Gauder
Why:  Richard Gauder has been an incredibly active community member in Scugog and beyond for many years. As the co-founder of the 100 men in Scugog group (which has collectively donated more than $20,000 to local charities, he can always be relied on to find ways to help people. He's always looking for opportunities to build relationships, bring like-minded people together and connect money and time with the people who need it most. He most definitely needs to be recognized for his efforts.

Name of Nominee:  Scott Riley, Motion Specialties
Why:  Scott goes above and beyond with the individuals we support. He will always come out and do a house call when we are trying to figure out new equipment. He gives the individuals and staff options of buying products a little cheaper, whether its new or used.

Name of Nominee:  Great Clips Oshawa
Why:  Most
 of the individuals we support go to this great clips to get their hair cut. The staff there are very attentive to their needs and treat them with respect. Whenever an individual leaves there, they praise the staff, no matter who cut their hair

Name of Nominee:  Doctor Kotak
Why:  
When we go to Port Perry Hospital with our supported individuals, he is always very professional and thorough. He will even call us sometimes to remind us that someone is due for a check up. He always follows up with paper work and makes sure we are provided with the proper forms a month or two before the appointment so that we are prepared.

Name of Nominee:  Cameron Hoffman
Why: Cameron Hoffman is a community champion. He saw many in his community quietly suffering as the need for accessible transit kept rising. In early February of 2013 Cameron partnered his company, Bracebridge Taxi with Community Living South Muskoka to test his first “pilot project”. He purchased a MV-1, a vehicle he says was the only clear choice. This undertaking had no funding of any kind so the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance were his expense. The pilot initially was intended to service a demographic of approximately 400 people in the South Muskoka area. Cameron, Community Living South Muskoka and even MV-1 Canada started receiving feedback that not only warmed our hearts but made it very clear there was a high demand for accessible transit. Cam single handedly had started to expand horizons for members of his community who were otherwise confined to their homes. Since February 2013 Cameron and his company Bracebridge Taxi have turned heads all over Northern Ontario. He has added 4 MV-1’s to his fleet with immediate plans to add an additional 3 as he strives to meet the needs of accessible transit in his northern community. Cameron is on the road daily and has provided employment to members of his community as drivers as well. He not only provides this service but loves doing it; interacting with each client and helping them live their lives unrestricted.

“My horizons have certainly expanded with access to this transportation option and I can say with certainty that as a result my quality of live in Bracebridge has definitely improved.”

“Cameron is a good guy. They help me put on my seatbelt, they take me to Friendship Group and they ask me how my day was”

“I like Cameron because I can sit up front in my wheelchair, he lets me listen to the radio and bring in my CDs”

Cameron is an outstanding individual who daily sacrifices his needs to serve those of the community. His desire to make a difference has trickled into surrounding communities and townships that recognized a need for change in accessible transit. This is not only a nomination for Cameron and his strides in accessible transportation in northern communities but the spirit he illuminates that inspires us to be kind, be human to one another.

Name of Nominee:  Mary Krohnert
Why:  The Livingroom has been very kind, warm and responsive to all those who drop by the studio. Mary is sure to create an inclusive environment for everyone regardless or skills and abilities. She makes a positive impression on anyone who meets her and her kindness has made a huge impact on the people that are supported at participation house when they attend either as a volunteer or a consumer.

Name of Nominee:  Will White
Why:  As the Director of the Durham Regional Police Children's Games, Will White continues to lead the event committee as they organize an accessible event for disabled children and teens. This event enables disabled children to participate in a day full of fun, and competition that helps to highlight the abilities of the participants.

Name of Nominee:  Al from Durham Region Handi Transit
Why:  This man is a driver for Handy Transit who picks up and drops off the individuals from 165 he goes out of his way by helping them with coats and hats and talks to the Individuals with respect. Hes always in a good mood and jokes with Individuals and staff. The Individuals are always happy to see him.

Name of Nominee:  Salvation Army Oshawa Thrift Store
Why:  
Aside from providing food and clothes for people, The Salvation Army Oshawa gives an opportunity for PH's Community Activation Program to volunteer in their Thrift store, which is very much appreciated.

Name of Nominee:  Laurel Pochadt
Why:  Laurel, Activity Leader at Community Care Durham, provides a positive, open and inclusive environment for which individuals participating in the Community Activation Program are able to volunteer.

Name of Nominee:  Rita Evans, Whitby Shores Public School
Why:  Mrs. Evans, Vice Principal and Mr. Barkley (Principal) have helped and encouraged our Participation House Project individuals' in a welcoming and inclusive environment, where they do volunteer placement.

Name of Nominee:  Bev and Dave Fowler

Why:  For decades Dave and Bev Fowler have given back to their community. They volunteer at many events and do great work with the Whitby Seniors Centre. I am a big fan.

Comments:  You don't have to be a big name to make a big difference. Often those who give of themselves a little at a time for a long period of time can make a real difference to a lot of people.

Mary-Ann Nova

Why: Because Nova's Ark is a fantastic place for people of all abilities and one of the few truly unique summer camp experiences where everyone is welcome. Her passion is 24 7 365 and our community is better because she lives here.

Comments: Special is normal at Nova's Ark and the animals bring out the best in all of us

Name of Nominee:  Tom Brown

Why:  He does great things in many communities across the GTA most recently his leadership in Toy Mountain made Christmas a lot nicer for more than 100,000 individuals.

Name of Nominee:  Vasile Tsinokas

Why:  Owner's of Valentino's Grande Salon and Valentino's Academy have been making a difference in the Durham community for over 30 years! Being involved in many charity events and programs such as Relay for life, Cuts for Cancer, Participation house of Durham and most recently raising almost $20,000 for Look Good Feel Better. They have opened an Academy to train new passionate students and open them up to a wonderful world in hairdressing. I owe all my success to George & Vasile of Valentino's.

December 2015 Nominations!

Name of Nominee:  Terry Johnston

Why:  Terry has helped many organizations, campaigns and individuals do great things in the community. His energy, sense of humour and sincere caring make a huge difference.I love starting my day with the team at CKDO for local news, sports, traffic and equally important are the updates on events, concerts and other important things. It is also nice when I hear a familiar voice at a Gens Game, at Harbour Days and most other events.

I know he goes way beyond the call of duty, and I am pleased to say "THANK YOU" to him. 

Name of Nominee:  Gateway Three Sixteen

Why: Gate 3:16 Outreach Centre is a drop in centre for homeless people within Oshawa, They are selflessly devoted to helping those who are in despair. They also provide volunteer opportunities for others and the opportunity for interaction, social fellowship and friendship. Their objective is to model the life of Jesus Christ and to institute a system of accountability in the centre for the purpose of positive behaviour change.