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Media Advisory: Governor General to Present Caring Canadian Award to 46 Volunteers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/04/14 -- His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award to 46 volunteers from various sectors, on Monday, April 7, 2014, at 11 a.m., during a ceremony at Rideau Hall. This event is part of His Excellency's program to highlight National Volunteer Week, from April 6 to 12, 2014.

About the Caring Canadian Award

Created in 1995, the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad. Often working behind the scenes, these individuals volunteer their time and efforts to help their fellow citizens. The award also brings to light the example set by volunteers, whose compassion and engagement are a part of our Canadian character.

Over the last two years, the contributions of more than 475 volunteers from across the country have been recognized with the Caring Canadian Award. Discover these recipients and some of their stories at www.gg.ca/caring.

The ceremony schedule, the list of recipients and their citations, and a fact sheet on the award are attached.

Media wishing to cover this event are requested to confirm their attendance with the Rideau Hall Press Office, and must arrive at the Princess Anne entrance no later than 10:45 a.m. on the day of the ceremony.

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter.


11 a.m.:     Ceremony begins
             Remarks by the Governor General
             Governor General presents the Caring Canadian Award
12 p.m.:     Ceremony ends
12:10 p.m.:  Interviews with recipients


Elisabeth Aldridge             Ottawa, Ont.
Sandra Beaudoin                Hanna, Alta.
Bethany Bisaillion             Ottawa, Ont.
Lachlann Bisaillion            Ottawa, Ont.
Dawn Blain                     Ottawa, Ont.
Devora Caytak                  Ottawa, Ont.
Jean Dansereau                 Gatineau, Que.
Robert Derry                   Ottawa, Ont.
Veronica Donovan               Nepean, Ont.
Michael Dougherty              Whitehorse, Y.T.
Margaret Duffy                 Ottawa, Ont.
Stanley Dzuba                  North Vancouver, B.C.
Wilfred Edmond                 Donkin, N.S.
Ronald Evans                   Fredericton, N.B.
Katie Fitzgerald               St. Albert, Alta.
Kevin Freedman                 Winnipeg, Man.
Claude Gagnon                  Ville-Marie and Temiscamingue, Que.
John Thomas Gibb               Pointe-Claire, Que.
Rochelle Greenberg             Ottawa, Ont.
Jacques Gregoire               Outremont, Que.
Sophie Louise Harrington       St. John's, N.L.
Gillian Heginbottom            Wakefield, Que.
Gillian Lawrence               Amherst, N.S.
Carol Laws                     Hudson, Que.
Tony Loffreda                  Westmount, Que.
Ruth Loomer                    Ottawa, Ont.
Lesia Maruschak                Ottawa, Ont.
Bob Putko                      Flin Flon, Man.
Elizabeth Robinson             Kingston, Ont.
Katharine Robinson             Ottawa, Ont.
Gale Dennis Rogers             Napanee, Ont.
Yvonne Sam                     LaSalle, Que.
Denise Samson                  Cornwall, Ont.
Valerie Saunderson             Nepean, Ont.
Hugh Saunderson                Nepean, Ont.
Edward Sawdon                  St. John's, N.L.
Landry Signe                   Montreal, Que.
Christine Steer                Cornwall, Ont.
Cindy Stewart                  Aberdeen, Sask.
Norman Wilson Tape             Ottawa, Ont.
Susanne Tarle                  Cornwall and Long Sault, Ont.
Suzanne Theriault              Orleans, Ont.
Michel Theriault               Orleans, Ont.
Robert Thibault                Moncton, N.B.
Candace Thorne                 Yellowknife, N.W.T. and Edmonton, Alta.
Robert Waisman                 Vancouver, B.C.


                             Elisabeth Aldridge
                              Ottawa, Ontario

Elisabeth Aldridge is the co-founder of Pancreatic Cancer Canada, a national
non-profit organization that raises awareness and funds to support those
with pancreatic cancer. She has ensured that families and patients have
access to a telephone hotline, a comprehensive and informative website, and
care packages to support various health-related situations. The charity has
raised over $1 million for research, notably through an annual golf
tournament she organized.

                              Sandra Beaudoin
                               Hanna, Alberta

Sandra Beaudoin is passionate about preserving history in her community. In
2010, she helped found the Hanna Roundhouse Society, an organization
dedicated to preserving and restoring a century-old building and turntable
once used by the Canadian Northern Railway to service locomotives. She
continues to educate residents about the Roundhouse's historical
significance through special exhibitions and through her fundraising efforts
with the Society.

  Bethany Bisaillion, Lachlann Bisaillion, Robert Derry and Margaret Duffy
                              Ottawa, Ontario

Bethany Bisaillion, Lachlann Bisaillion, Robert Derry and Margaret Duffy
have volunteered countless hours, musical skill and experience to the Sons
of Scotland Pipe Band. Through their mutual dedication, they have organized
fundraisers and concerts in support of charitable organizations. Ms.
Bisaillion also founded the Scottish Society of Ottawa; Mr. Bisaillion
encourages others to perform in the solo field; Mr. Derry is known as a
mentor to younger performers; and Ms. Duffy also volunteers as a companion
at High Horizons, a community social group for adults with physical

                                 Dawn Blain
                              Ottawa, Ontario

Dawn Blain's caring spirit has touched the lives of many over her 26 years
of volunteering at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Auxiliary. As
the director of the lobby desk volunteers, she has scheduled and trained
volunteers to work at this central station that is open 12 hours a day, 7
days a week. A desk volunteer herself, she has also offered support to
families of critical care patients. She is known for her dedication to
helping others in their time of need.

                               Devora Caytak
                              Ottawa, Ontario

For more than 30 years, Devora Caytak has tirelessly supported Ottawa's
Jewish population, as well as the broader community. She runs two successful
charities: the Friendship Circle of Ottawa assists families of children with
special needs, while the Jewish Youth Library of Ottawa offers books,
classes, educational entertainment and lectures to both Jewish and non-
Jewish residents. Her commitment to bridge-building between communities has
been a key factor in her volunteerism.

                               Jean Dansereau
                              Gatineau, Quebec

Jean Dansereau joined L'Arche Canada over 40 years ago and, ever since then,
he has been working with people with intellectual disabilities who want to
share community living. As the president of the Association des Arches du
Quebec and then as president of L'Arche Canada, he modernized the
organization's structures in harmony with the mission of L'Arche, which is
to give people living with or without an intellectual disability the
opportunity to live in the community. Today, he continues to volunteer in
the L'Arche Agape community in Gatineau.

                              Veronica Donovan
                              Nepean, Ontario

Veronica Donovan is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people
with intellectual disabilities. As a special education advisory committee
representative on a local school board, she provided information to parents
about individualized education programs and advocated for the inclusion of
special-needs students in mainstream classes. She has also been a rhythmic
gymnastics coach with the Special Olympics for over 20 years, promoting the
importance of enjoyment, fun and physical activity.

                             Michael Dougherty
                             Whitehorse, Yukon

For many years, writer, educator and outdoor enthusiast Michael Dougherty
has been an active leader in the community. He has been involved with
numerous organizations, including the Social Justice Committee at the Sacred
Heart Cathedral of Whitehorse; the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition; the Yukon
Human Rights Board; and the Downtown Urban Gardeners Society. He is also
known for his development work in South America.

                               Stanley Dzuba
                     North Vancouver, British Columbia

Stanley Dzuba has been an active volunteer in his community and
internationally for more than 20 years. At the local level, he assists with
building maintenance at the Silver Harbour Senior Centre, serves as a zone
chairman with the Army Cadet League, and helps out regularly at the Royal
Canadian Legion branch. In addition, he has visited developing countries
with CESO International Services, sharing his professional expertise in

                               Wilfred Edmond
                            Donkin, Nova Scotia

Wilfred Edmond has been a mainstay in his community for over half a century.
He served for 35 years as a volunteer firefighter, as well as a coach of
minor hockey and baseball. This decorated veteran has been an active member
of the Royal Canadian Legion at all levels. A talented singer, he toured
with The Men of the Deeps coal miners choir throughout Canada and the United
States. He continues to sing with the Cape Breton Legionnaires Choir on
visits to hospitals and seniors' homes.

                                Ronald Evans
                         Fredericton, New Brunswick

As a hockey coach, Ronald Evans saw that members of his team were starting
to experiment with drugs and alcohol. In response, he launched the Try Hugs-
Not Drugs program and created a mascot named Huggy Lion. Over the years, as
Huggy, he brought his message to schools throughout Fredericton. He is also
one of the founding members of the Portage Atlantic youth addictions
rehabilitation centre and has been active with the Nashwaaksis Lions Club
since 1968.

                              Katie Fitzgerald
                            St. Albert, Alberta

Katie Fitzgerald believes that you are never too young to start
volunteering. She has been actively involved in the Special Olympics Canada
Winter Games, the Clean-up the Sturgeon River Project, and the Second Chance
Animal Rescue Society. She has also participated in a number of fundraising
events, including the 30-Hour Famine. In 2012, she helped create SOARING, a
group that encourages young people to get involved in their community.

                               Kevin Freedman
                             Winnipeg, Manitoba

Kevin Freedman has been a volunteer for over 20 years, often working with
young people. As a teenager, he taught free swimming lessons to inner-city
youth; later on, he was a distress counsellor for teens. His gift for public
speaking and engaging audiences has influenced youth groups to take local
action on global concerns, from high school students learning about blood
types to young people involved with the Manitoba Environmental Youth

                               Claude Gagnon
                   Ville-Marie and Temiscamingue, Quebec

For over 40 years, Claude Gagnon has been an important link in the
Temiscamingue community. He has chaired the Lake Temiscamingue winter
festival and the Temiscamingue development corporation. He has organized
numerous fundraising initiatives to improve services for clients in
disadvantaged communities. He is involved with the Abitibi-Temiscamingue
tourism association, and spearheaded the fundraising campaign for the Fort
Temiscamingue National Historic Site, where partnerships between Aboriginal
peoples and city residents were first established.

                              John Thomas Gibb
                           Pointe-Claire, Quebec

John Gibb is an active volunteer at The Cambridge, a seniors' residence in
his hometown. He sets up bingo games three times a week and encourages new
residents to join. He also organizes events for Remembrance Day, Canada Day
and St. Jean Baptiste Day. In addition, he convinced city officials to place
a bus stop and shelter in front of The Cambridge, so that residents could
have greater access to the wider community.

                             Rochelle Greenberg
                              Ottawa, Ontario

Rochelle Greenberg is the founder of An Evening With Abigail, a series of
inspirational and creative fundraising events in support of the Ottawa
Regional Cancer Centre. A cancer survivor herself, she continues to counsel
women who need support and guidance as they undergo treatment. She has also
raised funds for Ottawa Therapy Dogs and participates in their therapy
program with her own dog. The pair are regular visitors to the palliative
care department at Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital, where they provide comfort to
terminally ill patients and their families.

                              Jacques Gregoire
                             Outremont, Quebec

Jacques Gregoire has been active in the community since he was 12 years old.
His involvement dates back to 1954, when he founded Outremont's first junior
hockey league. Following the tragedy in Lac-Megantic, he volunteered with
the Red Cross to answer calls from people looking to make donations to the
victims. He is very involved as the president of the Outremont seniors'
association and, during elections, he provides transportation to those who
need help getting to polling stations.

                          Sophie Louise Harrington
                   St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

As a student at Memorial University, Sophie Harrington became a volunteer
with the non-profit international organization Enactus, which promotes
entrepreneurial action to improve the standard of living of those in need.
With Enactus, she managed a team of 73 volunteers and participated in 23
projects. She has also served as a volunteer board member for the Mile Zero
Ultimate sport club, where she helped to double its membership and assisted
in developing a number of initiatives to make ultimate Frisbee safer and
more accessible.

                            Gillian Heginbottom
                             Wakefield, Quebec

Gillian Heginbottom is a founding member of the Quebec Association for
Independent Living. In 1994, she helped found Quail House, a permanent
residence for English-speaking or bilingual developmentally challenged
adults in the lower Gatineau Valley. She has been the driving force in its
fundraising initiatives for the last 15 years, notably through the sale of
her renowned jams and chutneys, and her handcrafted quilts.

                              Gillian Lawrence
                            Amherst, Nova Scotia

Gillian Lawrence has had a lasting impact on therapeutic horseback riding in
Canada. A founding member and past president of the Canadian Therapeutic
Riding Association, she wrote the Instructor Certification Manual and hosted
regional showcases for disabled riders. For 13 years, she was a volunteer
with the Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International. In
addition to her work with horses, she initiated a Meals on Wheels program in
her community, collected items for the food bank and served with St. John

                                 Carol Laws
                               Hudson, Quebec

Carol Laws has long served others in her community who are going through
difficult times. She and her group of volunteers at Le Pont/Bridging Food
Bank provide food, basic necessities and school supplies to more than 35
families every month. Mrs. Laws is particularly known for her thoughtful
attention to special requests from her clients; whether it's for gluten-free
items or baby food, she ensures their needs are met. Her tireless efforts
have earned her the love and respect of the community at large.

                               Tony Loffreda
                             Westmount, Quebec

Tony Loffreda has served his community since 1997. Several organizations and
events have benefitted from his involvement, including the Montreal Heart
Institute Foundation's Grand Bal des Vins-Coeurs; the Kidney Foundation
gala; the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada; the Montreal Cancer
Institute benefit concert; La Voce golf tournament; the Fondation Quebec
Jeunes; the doctors' ball at the Jewish General Hospital; and the Centaur
Theatre gala.

                                Ruth Loomer
                              Ottawa, Ontario

For decades, Ruth Loomer has been committed to helping people in her
community and abroad. In Ottawa, she teaches English as a second language to
newcomers. She was a board member of the Debra Dynes Family House, which
helps low-income families, and she works tirelessly to create local outreach
initiatives through the Carleton Memorial United Church. Additionally, she
has partnered with Bridgehead to support small-scale coffee farmers in
Central and South America, Indonesia and Africa by selling fair-trade coffee
through churches in the Ottawa area.

                              Lesia Maruschak
                              Ottawa, Ontario

Lesia Maruschak is a volunteer with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of
Canada (LLSC). She has organized fundraisers and promoted awareness walks,
and has spoken on behalf of the LLSC about her personal challenges with
chronic lymphocytic leukemia. She convinced retailers to donate a portion of
their profits to the LLSC, and inspired international students visiting
Canada to continue their engagement once they return home. She also put
together an online newsletter that features personal stories, tips on
nutrition, recipes and recommendations on how to stay positive during

                                 Bob Putko
                            Flin Flon, Manitoba

Bob Putko is dedicated to helping seniors in his community. He volunteers at
bingo and games nights at the Northern Lights Manor seniors' centre, and
drives residents to appointments throughout the city. He is an active force
with Meals on Wheels and the Simonhouse Bible Camp. When he discovered both
Simonhouse and the Northern Lights Manor were lacking in a recycling
program, he started his own to promote waste reduction.

                             Elizabeth Robinson
                             Kingston, Ontario

For nearly 60 years, Elizabeth Robinson has supported various causes,
particularly those involving art therapy. She has held volunteer executive
positions with the Ontario Art Therapy Association, the Toronto Dance
Theatre and the women's auxiliary of the Canadian Hearing Society. She also
helped veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome by organizing
an exhibition of their art, photography and poetry.

                             Katharine Robinson
                              Ottawa, Ontario

As a long-serving member of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society, Katharine
Robinson has helped plan and fundraise for several events including the
Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Society's fall/winter
concert series. She has been involved at every stage of the process, from
working as an usher and ticket seller to stuffing envelopes and scheduling
volunteers. She also teaches highland dance, and has helped raise funds for
Music and Beyond, the Chamber Players of Canada, and Ars Nova.

                             Gale Dennis Rogers
                              Napanee, Ontario

For more than 25 years, Gale Rogers has supported The Salvation Army
Community Church in Napanee. Active in many fundraising initiatives, he is
best known for his 'cut-your-own' Christmas tree farm, from which a share of
the proceeds benefits the parish. As well, he was instrumental in the
acquisition of the church's current sanctuary and office facilities.

                                 Yvonne Sam
                              LaSalle, Quebec

Since Yvonne Sam immigrated to Canada in 1975, she has been a mentor and a
valuable resource to new Canadians. Through the Guyana Cultural Centre, she
tutors children and attends parent-teacher conferences with new families to
help them better understand the local school systems. She has also
volunteered at a summer school program that helps students improve their
academic skills and gives them an opportunity to foster their cultural

              Denise Samson, Christine Steer and Susanne Tarle
                      Cornwall and Long Sault, Ontario

Denise Samson, Christine Steer and Susanne Tarle have dedicated a
significant amount of their time and energy to the Cornwall Handi Social
Club, an organization that matches volunteers with adults who have physical
disabilities. Mrs. Tarle founded the club to provide people with limited
mobility the opportunity to share common interests and struggles. Mrs.
Samson served as the club's vice-president, ensuring members could
participate in various activities, such as bowling and swimming. Ms. Steer
supports her fellow volunteers who work and live with the club's clientele.
The trio also volunteers with many other organizations, including the
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Meals on Wheels and the Children's Aid

                   Valerie Saunderson and Hugh Saunderson
                              Nepean, Ontario

For over 15 years, Valerie and Hugh Saunderson have supported Operation
Christmas Child, a program that distributes gift-filled shoeboxes to
children living in desperate circumstances throughout the world. They have
transformed their basement into a small warehouse of toys and supplies,
where they fill approximately 1 200 boxes per year. Every November, they go
to the Kitchener sorting centre and help inspect thousands of shoeboxes
before they are packed and shipped to countries around the world.

                               Edward Sawdon
                   St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Edward Sawdon has been a long-time advocate for people living with mental
and physical health issues. He has volunteered with the Independent Living
Resource Centre, the St. John's Ostomy Chapter, the Coalition of Persons
with Disabilities, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Pottle
Centre, a local not-for-profit organization that provides a social and
recreational environment for adults requiring mental health services.

                                Landry Signe
                              Montreal, Quebec

Landry Signe is a volunteer who is dedicated to improving African society.
He is the chairman and co-founder of the Global Network for Africa's
Prosperity, a non-profit organization based in Montreal. The Network
comprises over 3 000 organizations in over 40 countries, with the objective
of improving basic living conditions. The organizations facilitate access to
education and technology, while generating economic and social opportunities
for disadvantaged persons. He also chaired the Vogt Red Cross Club, and
organized first aid training and vaccination campaigns for 2 000 students in

                               Cindy Stewart
                           Aberdeen, Saskatchewan

Cindy Stewart is a committed volunteer with the Saskatoon branch of the Army
Cadet League of Canada. In 2008, she chaired a committee to establish an
army cadet unit in an indigent neighbourhood of downtown Saskatoon. The unit
is now thriving and has a positive impact on local youth. She is also a
supporter of the Wounded Warriors organization, which raises funds for
individuals with mental health issues following their service in the
Canadian Armed Forces.

                             Norman Wilson Tape
                              Ottawa, Ontario

A retired scientist, Norman Tape has shared his time, knowledge and
leadership talents with various sectors in his community for over 30 years.
He has served on the governing boards of two Ottawa hospitals and has
volunteered for the YMCA, the Ottawa Grace Manor, the Kidney Foundation, the
Big Rideau Lake Association, and the United Way. He also provided advice on
regional health care programs and services for the Ottawa-Carleton District
Health Council for several years.

                   Suzanne Theriault and Michel Theriault
                              Orleans, Ontario

Through their hard work and kindness, Suzanne and Michel Theriault have
enriched the lives of many seniors in their community. As president and
vice-president of programs at the Roy G. Hobbs Seniors' Club, they volunteer
every day, organizing a regular roster of activities, planning special
events and ensuring that all members enjoy their experiences at the Club.
Membership has more than tripled during their tenure.

                              Robert Thibault
                           Moncton, New Brunswick

Robert Thibault has been serving his community for the past 40 years. He
volunteers with a variety of organizations, including Big Brothers Big
Sisters of Greater Moncton; the Heart and Stroke Foundation; the Canadian
Cancer Society; the Kiwanis Club; and Nazareth House, a free, short-term
homeless shelter. In addition, he has been the bingo caller at the Villa du
Repos seniors' residence on Tuesday evenings for the past 20 years.

                               Candace Thorne
          Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and Edmonton, Alberta

Candace Thorne is dedicated to supporting military families. She first
volunteered with the Military Family Resource Centre in Comox, B.C. In March
2010, she joined the National Military Family Council, where her skills and
experience, combined with a passion for family support, meant she could
speak on behalf of military families to the senior leadership of the
Canadian Armed Forces. She raised awareness of such key issues as child
care, mental and physical health, employment, and access to support

                               Robert Waisman
                        Vancouver, British Columbia

A survivor of the Holocaust, Robert Waisman dedicates his time to educating
others on how hate, racism and indifference can harm our society. As a co-
founder of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, he has spoken with
youth and community groups throughout Canada and the United States to remind
us that the lessons of the Holocaust continue to be relevant today. He has
also served as a mentor to survivors of the Rwandan genocide and as an
honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


When the Right Honourable Romeo LeBlanc became Governor General of Canada, he was determined to thank the thousands of caring people who give so much to their fellow citizens-the unsung heroes who volunteer their time, their efforts and a great deal of their lives to helping others, and who ask for nothing in return. In 1995, the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award was created.

The award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time to help others and to build a smarter and more caring nation. The award also highlights the fine example set by these volunteers, whose compassion and engagement are so much a part of our Canadian character.

Eligibility criteria

The award recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad.

Nomination process

Nominations can be made directly through the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. They will be received by the Chancellery of Honours and reviewed by the advisory committee which will make recommendations to the governor general. There is no deadline for submissions. Nominations are accepted throughout the year.

If you know a friend, neighbour or member of your community who deserves this unique award, please share their stories by completing a nomination form at www.gg.ca/caring.

Description of the award

The award's emblem represents Canadians who selflessly give of their time and energy to others. The maple leaf symbolizes the people of Canada and their spirit; the heart depicts the open-heartedness of volunteers; and the outstretched hand portrays boundless generosity. The blue and gold colours, which appear on the viceregal flag, indicate the award's connection with the governor general.

The Caring Canadian Award consists of a certificate and a lapel pin presented to recipients by the governor general or by lieutenant governors, territorial commissioners, mayors or partner organizations. Where this is impossible or if a recipient requests an early presentation for personal reasons, the award will be sent by mail.

Marie-Pierre Belanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
[email protected]

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