On September 24, under our new name, United Way East Ontario celebrated volunteers, organizations and change-makers who work hard to make their communities a better place for everyone in Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark County and Renfrew County.
In Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson and United Way’s Volunteer Recognition Team representatives Stefan Keyes and Suzanne Pinel unveiled 21 new names on the Wall of Inspiration, including:
- Elaina Martin, founder of the arts and culture festival WestFest
- Kevin Waghorn, volunteer with the Carlington Community Association who organizes the Carlington Cup hockey tournament each year
- Rawlson King, former President of the Overbrook Community Association and now city councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe
- The Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses, who were awarded “Community Builder of the Year” at United Way’s annual gala last May.
- And 17 others.
The Wall of Inspiration at Ottawa’s City Hall has been refreshed to reflect the organization’s new brand and work.
United Way East Ontario also added the names of local Community Builders to newly-unveiled “Walls of Inspiration” housed in L’Orignal, Pembroke, and Perth.
Prescott-Russell’s Wall of Inspiration was unveiled to feature past recipients of the La Lumière award, which was established in memory of Lucie Brunet, a community builder from Prescott-Russell. Liza Sutherland, a past recipient of the award, spoke at the event about the importance of giving back to the community and supporting those most in need.
In Lanark County, United Way celebrated the first ever Community Builders in the region, adding the names of Donna Davidson and Dennis Staples to the new Wall of Inspiration. Donna has volunteered with eight different provincial and local organizations, and, in her retirement, continues to work towards a more inclusive community. Dennis is a past councillor and mayor in Smiths Falls who now fundraises for local charities with his band.
United Way also honoured its first ever Community Builders in Renfrew County. Rolland and Lynne Kelly have long worked to enhance quality of life for seniors in Renfrew County. Rolland is the President of the Seniors Friendship Club, which connects isolated seniors to community activities; and Lynne volunteers with North Renfrew Long Term Care. Both are also fundraisers for the local hospital and youth programs, and dedicated volunteers at several local agencies.