2020 Digital Wall of Fame
2020 Digital Wall of Fame
On behalf of the Legacy Awards judging panel, our city, and all of our nominating organizations, Volunteer Toronto is pleased to release our 2020 Digital Wall of Fame. The Legacy Awards are presented annually by Volunteer Toronto, Canada’s largest volunteer centre. Earlier this year we received nearly 100 nominations from non-profits and community leaders for the 2020 awards.
The Digital Wall of Fame is an opportunity to celebrate individuals who make our city a stronger, more resilient city where everyone can thrive. They also bring attention to the very crucial services which non-profits and charitable organizations provide, and are often driven by dedicated, skilled and humble individuals who give their time.
Now more than ever we must thank the volunteers that have and continue to make Toronto a more caring place to live. Our 2020 Legacy Award recipients are examples for us all. They embody the best of our city and the spirit and dedication of volunteerism in our society that has carried us through some of our toughest times, including the pandemic we face today.
Join us in celebrating our six recipients, all of our 2020 nominees and
International Volunteer Day on December 5th.
Our 2020 Legacy Award Recipients
ANGELA SINGER-BUTLER: DEDICATION OVERCOMES DIFFICULT
Angela has been a board member for years but when they needed her most, she stepped up in a big way. As the President of the Board at Project Sunshine, Angela dedicated a year of her life to helping rebuild and restructure to secure the future of the organization. Project Sunshine's mandate is to bring programming and support into hospitals where sick children and their caregivers need it. Angela led the organization through a lease renegotiation, an audit, and other challenges all while forging ahead with meaningful programming. Because of this, they were able to continue offering support to hundreds of families across Canada. She used every skill and talent developed in her corporate life and as mom, giving hundreds of hours beyond a full-time role. Her dedication is extraordinary. And she still finds time to volunteer at her daughter's school and the ski hill too. For this we recognize Angela in our Being What's Needed category.
SHIRLEY ANNE HABER: JOIN HANDS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM
Shirley Anne Haber is a volunteer powerhouse whose dedication has raised critical awareness of antisemitism, an issue that all Canadians must care about to ensure a safe, inclusive society. She established the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation and has since educated at least two generations within the Jewish community on the need to stand proud of their heritage. She believes in the power of networking. Her interfaith relationships have stood the test of time, having recruited both a large volunteer base and organizational networks to co-produce programs. She’s worked to secure world-class speakers, donated venues, event sponsors, and the delivery of a major theatrical production in 2017 that told the Jewish people's story from Abraham to the founding of Israel in 1948. Shirley Anne remains an active board and committee member, fundraiser and networker. For this we recognize Shirley Anne in our Inclusivity category.
BERNARD LARYEA: YOUTH PROGRAM ENTREPRENEUR
Bernard’s true calling started when he lost both of his parents. Through that experience, he started to understand how to fully embrace his ultimate purpose in life. In 2016 Bernard leaned on his entrepreneurial spirit and founded the “Dare To Be Different/Mindset’’ program to offer young people a voice and a platform to learn through workshops, networking, goals mastery and one-on-one mentorship. Since then, he's organized the first Ghana network mixer, bringing more than 80 young professional Ghanaians together to build their communities in Toronto. And just last year he led Canadian youth to Ghana to educate people on recycling and sanitation issues. His drive as a founder of youth programs in Toronto is incomparable. He was one the members who started a Young Men’s cooking program at Rathburn Area Youth Community Centre and continues to deliver meals, supplies and support in the community during the pandemic. For this we recognize Bernard in our Positive Change category.
HELENA NYNAOH: STRENGTH BEYOND COMPARISON
Helena is an inspiration to all. She’s an example of dedication and is a self-directed contributor who cares deeply about the welfare of her community. A single moment - when she was hovering between life and death - became a significant tipping point for Helena. She prayed that if her life was spared, she would commit herself to helping others. And that is exactly what Helena has done. As a role model for other students and clients of Newcomer Women's Services Toronto, she has been the best possible volunteer for other programs. She takes her responsibilities seriously, using tact and a calm demeanour to maintain order in chaotic moments. It is her follow-through that sets her apart. Almost all of the students have faced violence in their home countries, social isolation here in Canada, poverty, and fear for their families back home. Helena is someone they can turn to in their worst moments. She tells us volunteering has helped her make friends and practice English. For this we recognize Helena in our Growth and Learning category.
KATHY PRUE: WITH LIFE ON THE LINE, DEPEND ON HER
Kathy was born with Cerebral palsy and has lived with a disability her whole life, but she has never allowed it to hinder her desire to serve others. Her volunteer journey began assisting kindergarten to grade 5 students with Special Needs and ESL. She has since volunteered for 38 years, and in 2003 took a role with Distress Centres of Greater Toronto. As a compassionate responder, Kathy takes calls transferred from Toronto Emergency Services, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and TTC platforms from people struggling with suicidal thoughts. She bears witness to their pain, honours their story and treats them with dignity. She's also stepped up as a mentor and trainer for others, and continues to be active three times a week accounting for 3.5% of annual call volume. Personally, she tells us she met her two best friends because of volunteering and many pets along the way. For this we recognize Kathy in our Connection category.
RICHARD BROOKS: A LIFETIME OF COMPASSION AND CARE
A volunteer for more than 50 years, Richard’s service with Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care is a drop in his bucket of his volunteerism. Twenty-six years ago, Richard was one of the first volunteers recruited to provide psychosocial and practical support to those living with a terminal and/or life-limiting illness. Up until the pandemic, he continued to provide emotional, spiritual, grief, bereavement and respite support to clients in the comfort of their own homes during the end-of-life journey. It takes a unique and extraordinary person to deliver a unique and extraordinary service to numerous people over many years. And better still, to do it consistently. Richard is our Lifetime Achievement recipient for two reasons: His life philosophy is to serve, stretching back to his time as a youth camp leader and through his years creating safe spaces for others. And secondly, as one of the Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care's first ever volunteers.
Meet Our 2020 Short-List Nominees
Exceptional Volunteers and Nominees
Read About Past Legacy Award Recipients
Volunteer Toronto’s Legacy Awards celebrate outstanding examples of volunteerism in our city. From mentors to fundraisers to educators, the Awards shine a light on unspoken heroes whose efforts are often unknown outside their local community.
On April 9th 2019, during our National Volunteer Week celebration, we recognized six exceptional volunteers with 2019 Legacy Awards.