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This spring, the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada joined together to recognize the efforts of volunteers from across the province. The volunteer awards were presented on April 28. Volunteers are the roots of The Kidney Foundation and their efforts make patient programs, services, and research initiatives a reality. The awards recognize volunteers who showcase caring, leadership and philanthropy within their respective communities to benefit those touched by kidney disease.
Terry Young, past president and member of The Foundation’s Volunteer Recognition Committee announced the award recipients over the course of the evening alongside Sue Tkachuk, chair of the Ontario Volunteer Awards Committee.

Award of Merit, Anita Lam
The evening’s ceremonies began with a special tribute through the dedication of the Award of Merit in honour of the late Anita Lam. The President of the Chinese Renal Association for over fifteen years, Anita served on The Kidney Foundation Board of Directors and drove policy and program decisions that brought constructive impacts to The Foundation. During her time supporting The Foundation, Anita was an active advocate for kidney health and organ donation awareness within the Chinese community, participating in numerous educational programs and fundraising events including spearheading the Chinese Renal Association Kidney Walk team. Anita will be missed and her award was received in her memory by her husband, Tom and children, Jacob and Vicky.


Outstanding Volunteer Awards, Liz Giacinti, Marina Tremonti and Pauline Young
The Outstanding Volunteer Awards go to volunteers within the community for their devoted support of The Foundation. This year, three members of the kidney community were recognized for their outstanding efforts. The first honoree was Liz Giacinti (photographed, left) from Brantford. A full-time dialysis nurse, Liz is the founding member and active leader of the Brantford Chapter of The Foundation. Her passion for patient care drives her dedication to the annual Brantford Kidney Walk and numerous volunteer initiatives with the kidney community.

The second honoree of the evening was Marina Tremonti, an active member of the Northern Superior Chapter since receiving a kidney transplant in 1994. Dedicated to raising awareness or organ donation, Marina has driven fundraising efforts through numerous campaigns with the Foundation for years.

Pauline Young also received an Outstanding Volunteer Award at this year’s ceremony. Pauline leads the Brampton Chapter and has dedicated countless hours to advancing the work of The Foundation. With Pauline’s leadership, both the Brampton Kidney Walk and the community partnership between the Brampton Civic Hospital renal program and The Foundation have grown.


Outstanding Partner Awards, Value Village, Heidi Westfield and Caesars Windsor
The Kidney Foundation of Canada presented the first Outstanding Partner award of the evening to Value Village. For six years, The Kidney Foundation has benefited from a fruitful relationship with Value Village through the Kidney Clothes program. With Value Village’s partnership and financial support, The Foundation has earned the financial means and space to invest in a better future for those living with kidney disease.


The second Outstanding Partner Award recognized the generosity of Heidi Westfield. Heidi has offered her time and writing talents to share the stories of countless patients alongside the Ontario Branch communications team since 2008. Heidi has helped the National Communications team through various writing projects and continues to demonstrate a remarkable dedication to The Foundation through participation in the Toronto Kidney Walk and most recently, as part of the Salud! committee which organized a signature World Kidney Day event this year in Toronto.

The final Outstanding Partner Award of the evening was presented to Caesars Windsor. Through the contribution of Caesar Windsor’s venue for Artilicious, the Windsor Chapter was able to grow this signature event and improve the number of funds benefitting kidney research initiatives in Canada. The staff of Caesars Windsor also showcase an intense level of dedication to the success of Artilicious each year by volunteering their time, skills, and an annual silent auction donation.


Programs and Service Award, Lion's Camp Dorset
This year, The Kidney Foundation of Canada presented Lion’s Camp Dorset with the Programs and Services award. Year after year, both staff, and volunteers at Lion’s Camp Dorset have lead the way in providing exceptionally high-quality care to support the needs of those living with kidney disease. Camp Dorset cottage life offers those living with kidney disease and their families a chance to come together and make memories in a unique camp environment. At Camp Dorset, families are able to leave behind the typical day to day routines of life with kidney disease and experience a real vacation out in nature, creating memories to cherish for a lifetime. The staff and volunteers of Camp Dorset are truly exemplary of The Kidney Foundation’s mission and values.



Alfred E. Coll Award, Craig Kerr
The Alfred E. Coll Award for Excellence, Leadership and Distinguished Service is given in recognition of an individual who has provided outstanding leadership and service and has made a significant contribution, impact, and commitment to the Ontario Branch. This year’s award was presented to Craig Kerr. As an active volunteer for the past decade, Craig has served as both Director and President of the Hamilton and District Chapter and recently accepted the role of President of the Ontario Branch Board. Craig’s unwavering dedication to the mission of The Foundation drives him to participle in countless chapter events, initiatives, and growing partnerships. Craig’s long list of achievements with The Foundation reflects the spirit of volunteerism, leadership, partnership, and stewardship that shines in Craig and has had an immensely positive impact on The Foundation.


Excellence in Fundraising Award, Al G. Brown, and Associates
Since 2009, Al G. Brown and Associates, insurance firm, has been a partner of The Kidney Foundation of Canada and this year, Al G. Brown and Associates was presented with the Excellence in Fundraising award. Through their commitment to the Foundation, Al G. Brown and Associates have directly impacted the work of the Foundation by providing over $30,000 in funding during the years of their partnership, and, by sharing their family’s personal connection to kidney disease, Al G. Brown and Associates have raised significant awareness of kidney disease in the community.


Leader in Philanthropy Award, Susan Storey
Susan Storey, a former Ontario Branch Board member, was also recognized during the evening’s events as a Leader in Philanthropy. Through numerous positions as both an employee and volunteer with The Foundation, Susan has set in motion strategies for the future success of The Foundation through the establishment of a major gifts program, keen insights on fruitful fundraising events, and a continued dedication to the fulfillment of The Foundation’s mission in numerous roles.

Excellence in Leadership Award, Greg Robbins
The Excellence in Leadership award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism and has made a positive impact in supporting the mission of The Kidney Foundation through exceptional commitment, service, creativity, cooperation and/or leadership. Since, 1973, this year’s recipient of the Excellence in Leadership award, has dedicated his time to support the work of The Foundation. After the passing of his late wife, Susan, who lived with kidney disease, Greg Robbins continued with his passion and commitment to make the future a better place for those living with kidney disease. A few of the many ways in which Greg has been involved as a volunteer include: active member of the Branch Board for nearly a decade, former President of the Sarnia Lambton Chapter, member of numerous committees to benefit the Foundation, and director on the National Board of Directors for the past three years. This year, Greg’s fellow National Board members have recognized his leadership abilities and commitment as their next National President of The Kidney Foundation.
After accepting his Excellence in Leadership award from Terry, Greg presented the final award of the evening, the President’s Award.

President’s Award, Terry Young
The award is presented to an individual selected by the Branch President in recognition of an individual or group who has assisted the president in advancing the work of The Foundation. This year’s award was presented to Terry Young, who, through engagement with numerous boards, committee, and Chapters with the Foundation, is an exemplary representation of the spirit of volunteerism. A transplant recipient of nearly 45 years, Terry has led the Foundation through his volunteering for many years and, while he steps down from the Ontario Branch Board as president this year, intends to stay active and involved in government relations work with The Foundation and support local initiatives.




Chapter of the Year Award, Waterloo-Wellington and District Chapter
The Chapter of the Year award is presented to a Chapter area which has demonstrated sustained commitment and has impacted the Ontario Branch in a demonstrated way. This year, the Chapter of the Year award was presented to the Waterloo-Wellington and District Chapter. From highly successful local fundraisers to engaging the renal community and an unwavering dedication to renal care through representation on both the Patient and Family Advisory Council and Regional Steering Committee, the Chapter continues to grow and make significant strides in promoting the Foundation’s mission.

Finally, the Timmins-Porcupine Chapter was recognized for celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary with volunteer Marlene Smith at the helm since the inception of the volunteer-driven Chapter. Marlene and volunteers within the Timmins community were recognized for their remarkable contributions to improving the lives of local patients and their families.

Through the unwavering compassion and devotion of volunteers and community partners such as those recognized at this year’s Ontario Branch award ceremony, The Kidney Foundation is able to provide programs and services to those touched by kidney disease. Volunteers play a crucial role in improving the lives of those affected by kidney disease and, as the roots of The Foundation, help the kidney community grow and prosper each year.
To find out how you can become involved as a volunteer with The Foundation, please see our latest volunteer opportunities.

Ontario Branch - 1599 Hurontario Street, Suite 201, Mississauga, ON L5G 4S1 - Tel.: (905) 278-3003 / 1-800-387-4474
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001