The Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship recognizes people who have made exceptional long-term contributions to the quality of life in the province.
Wendy Charbonneau of Berwick has been the volunteer president of the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley for the last ten years. Under her leadership, this organization has become a vibrant and viable source of hope for people living with traumatic brain injury.
Walter Fenlon of Kingston is a successful business owner and member of “Imagine Kingston,” where he volunteers his time and energy to maintaining a vibrant downtown, developing new tourism strategies and preserving the city’s cultural heritage, including Kingston’s historic Grand Theatre.
Lois Fraser of Georgetown’s volunteer accomplishments span three decades and include being the president of Georgetown Globe Productions, conductor of the Children’s Chorus and Youth Performing Arts troupe, and working to preserve a local municipally-owned historical building.
Al Gordon of Ancaster is a long-time volunteer with the Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario and the chair of the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre. In addition to other programs, he led the largest research study ever conducted with seniors in Ontario.
Melvin Hawkrigg of Waterdown, a former Chancellor of McMaster University, founded a number of sports teams, helped build local sports organizations by taking on roles from coach to president, and was instrumental in bringing the YMCA to Waterdown.
Walter Ireson of Elmira has been an active volunteer for the past 60 years with organizations such as the Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and Kiwanis Club. He is Southern District chair for St. John Ambulance and curator of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Heritage Museum.
Asif Khan of Toronto is President of the Canadian League of Pakistanis and vice-president of the National Federation of Canadian-Pakistanis, promoting inclusivity and providing education on Islamic culture and Pakistani customs to the Toronto Police Service. He helps organize an annual Halal Food Festival in Toronto.
Jay Mandarino of Etobicoke is the founder and president of the C.J. Skateboard Park and School. He sits on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, and has raised millions of dollars for charities that help at-risk youth.
Kathleen Martin Ginis of Dundas founded Spinal Cord Injury Action Canada, and developed the first evidence-based physical activity guidelines for people with these injuries. The Spinal Cord Injury Get Fit Toolkit is now used by 13,000 Canadians and 800 health care professionals.
Kevin McCormick of Sudbury is a well-known civic leader and founder of Project Honour and Preserve. He has worked with St. John Ambulance, the Maison Vale Hospice, the Vitanova Foundation for drug rehabilitation, as well as Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He also established health and education programs in India, Morocco, Haiti and Sri Lanka, among others.
Louise Sproule of Vankleek Hill is known for her exceptional local fundraisers, including the hugely popular “Yes, Women Can!” event showcasing female entrepreneurs. She also organized the restoration of the historic town’s Higginson Tower, a wind-powered gristmill built in 1832.
Chris Taylor of Toronto began his volunteer life as a hockey coach. After a difficult battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Chris applied his coaching skills to supporting people with cancer through the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Julie Toskan-Casale of Toronto is the co-founder of MAC Cosmetics. She started the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative which teaches the fundamentals of philanthropy to high school students, giving them a hands-on education about the local impact of non-profit organizations and volunteers.