Volunteers who are setting milestones
Across Canada each year, thousands of people from all walks of life – be they healthcare professionals, people living with diabetes, parents with children who have the disease or individuals who care deeply about our cause – help us lead the fight against diabetes.
Each year, the Association commemorates the exceptional contributions of individuals and organizations with our eight national awards.
Frederick G. Banting Award
Ken’s volunteer work started 50 years ago in support of his late wife, Helen, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age. Since then, Ken has dedicated himself to helping people with diabetes live better lives on local, national and international levels as both an employee and volunteer for the Association. Ken and his wife Helen were two of the earliest volunteers for the Association when it formed its first branch in Toronto. In the early 1970s, Ken and Helen moved to Camp Huronda, one of the Association’s camps for children with type 1 diabetes, where he took the position of Camp Manager. After retirement from camp residency, Ken and Helen went on to be active volunteer ambassadors. Ken now resides in Dryden, Ontario. Helping people with diabetes live healthier lives has been a lifelong mission of Ken’s, and his unwavering loyalty and dedication has been an inspiration to everyone he meets.
Charles H. Best Award
Presented by sanofi-aventis Canada Inc.
Dr. Vladimir Vuksan
Dr. Vladimir Vuksan has contributed greatly to improving the lives of those with diabetes and has been a strong supporter of diabetes organizations, both in Canada and internationally. As an outstanding scientist, Dr. Vuksan has devoted his lifetime to researching optimal nutritional and complementary treatments for people living with diabetes, and to translating this research into practical applications. From the beginning of his career—initially in Croatia and subsequently with the World Health Organization in the Republic of Malta—Dr. Vuksan has been actively involved in research and public health interventions targeted to help people with diabetes. Since moving to Canada in 1986, he has progressively moved up the ranks to become a Full Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, and is a much-valued member of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is past chair of the National Nutrition Committee and continues his volunteer work for the Association as a member of the Operating Grants Committee.
Outstanding National Corporate Award
Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd.
Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd. is a Canadian, family-owned company founded by Ken Gerrie in 1957. Built on the tradition of service, Gerrie Electric has since become one of the largest independent electrical distributors in Canada. For the past 8 years, the Association has been Gerrie Electric’s charity of choice. Each year, Gerrie Electric has extended their donations by encouraging their sixteen branches to hold fundraising events, and as a result has raised over $145,000 for the Association. Ken Gerrie, Chairman of Gerrie Electric, was recognized by the Central South Ontario Region of the Canadian Diabetes Association as the 2007 Volunteer of the Year for Outstanding Achievement.
Kurt Kroesen National Inspiration Award
Six years ago, when Yves was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he was shocked and felt that his body had let him down, as he was dependent on insulin almost immediately. Although the diagnosis was hard to take, Yves was inspired by reading stories of others raising funds for good causes. In the summer of 2009, Yves decided to cycle 6,000 km from Victoria to Halifax to raise funds and awareness for the Canadian Diabetes Association. Yves completed the challenge and inspired others along the road as he shared his story with others. His dedication to the Association continues today through speaking engagements as he continues to be a true role model and inspiration for others.
Outstanding National Partnership Award
Health Association of African Canadians (HAAC)
The Association’s partnership with the Health Association of African Canadians has been instrumental in moving our diversity strategy forward, in a community that is at high-risk for diabetes. Together we have worked closely for the past three years on a number of diabetes-related initiatives. The mission of HAAC is to promote and improve the health of African Canadians in Nova Scotia through community engagement, education, policy recommendations, partnerships, and research participation. The organization has identified diabetes as a priority issue in their community and has dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to raise awareness of the seriousness of the disease, particularly amongst youth. In 2008, HAAC successfully secured funding from Public Health Agency of Canada for an African Nova Scotian Youth Diabetes Prevention Project.
National Volunteers of the Year Awards
Dorothy Calbeck has been an outstanding volunteer at the Association for more than 12 years, demonstrating her dedication, creativity, kindness and achievement with the Brantford Branch. Throughout this time, Dorothy has acted as an exceptional ambassador for the Canadian Diabetes Association, and has taken on a number of volunteer roles. Some of these roles include Director/Secretary for the Board of Directors, Current Chair of the Advisory Council, Captain and Canvasser, and Branch Support. Her initiatives have included organizing 10 golf tournaments that have raised over $130,000 for Camp Huronda! Dorothy’s willingness to help and support the Association and to create unique fundraising initiatives is appreciated by all.
Chinese Program Advisory Committee
The role of the Chinese Program Advisory Committee is to identify issues of particular importance to the diverse needs of the Chinese community across Canada. The committee assists in creating plans and supporting tools to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Canadian Diabetes Association Chinese Services. The group also raises awareness and funds in support of the Association’s mission, and engages and mobilizes the community in supporting Chinese programs through education and advocacy. The committee has been instrumental in translating and adapting Association educational materials such as “Just the Basics”, and “Are you at risk” into Chinese and has helped many communities across the country. This year the committee held a fundraising dinner that raised more than $25,000 to support the Association’s Chinese services.
Russ Cordocedo has been an extremely dedicated and committed volunteer with the Association for the past 35 years, since first being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. During this time, Russ has cheerfully taken on a variety of roles and has been an exceptional ambassador for the Association throughout Prince George and Kelowna in BC. Russ has had many roles with the Association, including Branch executive, Volunteer Coordinator, Fundraiser and Event Coordinator, just to name a few. His willingness to help and support the Association and to reach out to his network has been appreciated by all.
Dr. Michael Dennis
Dr. Dennis has been actively involved with the Association on a local and national level since 2002, and has dedicated over 25 years of service to the diabetes community of Prince George, BC, as a practicing optometrist. He has served the Association in a key leadership role as the Northern BC and Yukon Regional Chair, where he led the branch in organizing and planning a number of fundraisers and educational events, including Road to a Healthy Lifestyle, World Diabetes Day and Picnic in the Park, as well as many annual general meetings and expos. Dr. Dennis is an excellent spokesperson for the Association within the medical and optometry field. He helped develop and implement a national project to provide optometrists with a tool that would help educate patients on the importance of eye care for people living with diabetes.
The Flynn and Hiscock Family
The Flynn and Hiscock family—including parents Roger and Donna, sons Matthew and Cameron, grandparents Mark and Patsy Hiscock and Richard and Eliza Flynn—is a family living with diabetes. In 1997, one day after his first birthday, Matthew Flynn was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Then in 2004, just 10 days before his second birthday, his brother Cameron received the same diagnosis. The Flynn and Hiscock family have been selected as one of the recipients of the this award in recognition of their tireless efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and funds for the Association through their annual Matthew and Cameron Flynn and Friends Walk for Diabetes Research. To date, the walk has raised more than $61,000 for the Newfoundland and Labrador Region of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
The Sudbury Rocks Running Club
The Sudbury Rocks Running Club was formed in 1998 when a small group of people started casually running and training together on a regular basis. The mission of the club is to encourage and support the development of public participation in running for fitness, health and enjoyment. In 2004, the Sudbury Rocks Running Club and the Canadian Diabetes Association entered into a partnership to create the “Sun Run for Diabetes”. The following year, the event was expanded into the “Sudbury Rocks Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes”, which is now Northern Ontario’s largest competitive running event. In the past 5 years, the event has raised more than $200,000 for the Association through pledges and proceeds. It has raised the awareness of diabetes as a serious disease and has created many new relationships with donors, corporate sponsors and media.
Venesa Vallese has been an active volunteer with the Association since January 2006. As an essential team member, a skilled office assistant and a valuable representative for the Association, Venesa brings a great sense of pride to her work. She often goes above and beyond by volunteering on weekends at Association events in addition to her twenty hours in the office during the week. Venesa is knowledgeable of all Association public programs and services and is often found helping people in the resource centre. She greets people with a smile and is a wonderful first contact for the many people connecting with the branch office either in person or on the telephone. Her professionalism and dedication to the Association has truly been an inspiration to us all.
Warren has been a dedicated volunteer with the Association for over 15 years, and has contributed on all levels—from leadership to volunteer management to community engagement and development. During this time, Warren has been active in helping those living with diabetes by raising awareness in the community through fundraising events and by engaging and supporting grassroots volunteers within the Association in the fight against this epidemic disease. Warren’s presence in the community, his respect for diversity, as well as his commitment to actively finding solutions, has given volunteers across the province a sense of energy and value as they advance the important work of raising awareness about diabetes.
National Young Volunteer of the Year Award
Celso was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19, and at that time committed himself to learning as much as possible about the disease. Since then, Celso has become a powerful spokesperson and a particularly good motivator for young people who are dealing with similar issues related to diabetes. He has planned third-party events for the Association, including the “Dining for Diabetes” event which has raised more than $40,000. He is also a member of the Flame of Hope Walk, Run and Ride planning committee. In the spring of 2007 Celso applied for and was granted a millennium grant from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, which he in turn invested into his third-party fundraising event to benefit the Association.
National Advocacy Leadership Awards
Sponsored by Pfizer Canada
Andrew and Derek Lawrence
In early 2004, Andrew and Derek Lawrence, along with Regional Director Suzanne Sterling, were invited to meet with Ontario MPP Michael Gravelle to discuss the Association’s involvement and support of the Private Members Bill to have OHIP cover insulin pumps and pump supplies. The invitation led to a province-wide campaign in support of the private members bill. As a result of the campaign and the unanimous support from all parties, the Ontario government included financial support for insulin pumps and supplies for youth 18 years and younger in the April 2006 provincial budget. In September 2008, the Ontario government extended its insulin pump coverage to adults with type 1 diabetes. Today, five other provinces have followed suit by providing some coverage for insulin pumps and supplies.
Without the support of these people - people like you - we would not be able to provide educational or community support for people living with diabetes, we would not have the funds to support or translate research into practical clinical applications, and we would not be able to advocate on behalf of Canadians living with diabetes.
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