Walter Gretzky, Mary Welsh, Geronimo Henry lauded for lifetime of volunteerism

News Apr 26, 2017 by Sean Allen Brant News

Through volunteering, Walter Gretzky, Mary Welsh and Geronimo Henry have changed or saved lives.

“(Volunteers) don’t do it for that purpose, but because of their participation in the community, they’ve inspired someone or turned someone’s life around,” said Brant MPP Dave Levac, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism (LAAOV) committee member. “They may not believe it, but I can honestly tell you that each one of the people we’re honouring tonight have changed a life or saved a life.”

Levac’s comments on Monday at the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Community Centre were directed at the three recipients of the 2017 LAAOV awards.

Started in 2014 as a way to highlight the volunteer legacy of citizens in Six Nations, New Credit, Brantford and Brant, the LAAOV committee hosts an annual gala during National Volunteer Week to laud members of the communities.

[PHOTO GALLERY of Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism gala]

This year, the committee chose to honour Gretzky, Welsh and Henry for their lifetime of giving back to their respective communities.

“Walter … every award you’ve ever received, I like to believe this is a culmination of all that you do and all that you mean to all of us,” TDG Marketing’s Barry English said in presenting the award to Canada’s best-known hockey dad.

Gretzky was nominated for the award not only for the highly visible involvement he has with the CNIB, the Lung Association and other charitable causes, but also for the little things. His work in bagging leaves at his church or serving dinner at shelters were highlighted in his nomination for the award.

"I think of my mother right away,” Walter said in accepting the award. “This would have never happened to her as a commoner in Poland. We don’t have such a thing as a commoner here. We are all special, we are all equal in this great country of Canada.”

Henry was the first winner from Six Nations, nominated by Six Nations elected council for his lifetime of service in telling the story of residential schools and helping others heal.

“(Henry) and all the survivors had the courage and determination to tell their stories and continue to tell their stories,” Six Nations elected Chief Ava Hill said. “If they didn’t step forward, we wouldn’t have had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has helped push our issues to the forefront of the political agenda in this country.”

Henry, a resident of Ohsweken, spent 10 years of his childhood at the church-run Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford. The school was one of many across Canada where children were systematically abused physically and psychologically, and punished for being First Nations.

The abuse Henry suffered at the school led to alcoholism at an early age, the breakdown of his marriage and estrangement from his children. Yet, rather than let the traumatic experience continue to ruin his life, Henry has helped other survivors of the school system and volunteered his time to educate the public about its past. Henry’s own healing journey started in part because of his work as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

In his role with Six Nations health services, Henry founded and manages the Lost Generations restoring balance program, including sessions on parenting, identity, traditional teachings, loss and grief for those who suffer from the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system. The program started as a grassroots healing circle for survivors. Henry later got funding from Six Nations to support the program.

“I’d like to thank everyone for making this happen,” Henry said while accepting the award on Monday.

Welsh, from Mount Pleasant, is a founding member of the Brant Animal Aid Foundation and Brant Waterways Foundation with a laundry list of contributions through a 40-year dedication to volunteerism.

The nomination package for Welsh for the award listed 166 times she has volunteered over the years.

Welsh spearheaded and raised funds to develop 26 kilometres of the Trans Canada Trail through Brantford. She most recently played an important part in developing a missing link of 12 kilometres in trails through the County of Brant and the redevelopment of Mount Pleasant Nature Park.

“With volunteerism, the rewards are in the doing and having the opportunity to work with like-minded people,” Welsh said. “You can’t do it by yourself, you’ve got to have help.”

Should recipients choose to accept, the LAAOV committee will seed a legacy fund through the Brant Community Foundation in their name with $5,000. Legacy funds through the foundation keep the principal amount and use interest over time to fund community projects.

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism encourages those whose lives have been touched by the winners to consider helping build their legacy fund at the community foundation. More information on how to support the funds is available online at www.LifetimeAchievementAward.ca.

Walter Gretzky, Mary Welsh, Geronimo Henry lauded for lifetime of volunteerism

News Apr 26, 2017 by Sean Allen Brant News

Through volunteering, Walter Gretzky, Mary Welsh and Geronimo Henry have changed or saved lives.

“(Volunteers) don’t do it for that purpose, but because of their participation in the community, they’ve inspired someone or turned someone’s life around,” said Brant MPP Dave Levac, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism (LAAOV) committee member. “They may not believe it, but I can honestly tell you that each one of the people we’re honouring tonight have changed a life or saved a life.”

Levac’s comments on Monday at the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Community Centre were directed at the three recipients of the 2017 LAAOV awards.

Started in 2014 as a way to highlight the volunteer legacy of citizens in Six Nations, New Credit, Brantford and Brant, the LAAOV committee hosts an annual gala during National Volunteer Week to laud members of the communities.

[PHOTO GALLERY of Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism gala]

This year, the committee chose to honour Gretzky, Welsh and Henry for their lifetime of giving back to their respective communities.

“Walter … every award you’ve ever received, I like to believe this is a culmination of all that you do and all that you mean to all of us,” TDG Marketing’s Barry English said in presenting the award to Canada’s best-known hockey dad.

Gretzky was nominated for the award not only for the highly visible involvement he has with the CNIB, the Lung Association and other charitable causes, but also for the little things. His work in bagging leaves at his church or serving dinner at shelters were highlighted in his nomination for the award.

"I think of my mother right away,” Walter said in accepting the award. “This would have never happened to her as a commoner in Poland. We don’t have such a thing as a commoner here. We are all special, we are all equal in this great country of Canada.”

Henry was the first winner from Six Nations, nominated by Six Nations elected council for his lifetime of service in telling the story of residential schools and helping others heal.

“(Henry) and all the survivors had the courage and determination to tell their stories and continue to tell their stories,” Six Nations elected Chief Ava Hill said. “If they didn’t step forward, we wouldn’t have had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has helped push our issues to the forefront of the political agenda in this country.”

Henry, a resident of Ohsweken, spent 10 years of his childhood at the church-run Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford. The school was one of many across Canada where children were systematically abused physically and psychologically, and punished for being First Nations.

The abuse Henry suffered at the school led to alcoholism at an early age, the breakdown of his marriage and estrangement from his children. Yet, rather than let the traumatic experience continue to ruin his life, Henry has helped other survivors of the school system and volunteered his time to educate the public about its past. Henry’s own healing journey started in part because of his work as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

In his role with Six Nations health services, Henry founded and manages the Lost Generations restoring balance program, including sessions on parenting, identity, traditional teachings, loss and grief for those who suffer from the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system. The program started as a grassroots healing circle for survivors. Henry later got funding from Six Nations to support the program.

“I’d like to thank everyone for making this happen,” Henry said while accepting the award on Monday.

Welsh, from Mount Pleasant, is a founding member of the Brant Animal Aid Foundation and Brant Waterways Foundation with a laundry list of contributions through a 40-year dedication to volunteerism.

The nomination package for Welsh for the award listed 166 times she has volunteered over the years.

Welsh spearheaded and raised funds to develop 26 kilometres of the Trans Canada Trail through Brantford. She most recently played an important part in developing a missing link of 12 kilometres in trails through the County of Brant and the redevelopment of Mount Pleasant Nature Park.

“With volunteerism, the rewards are in the doing and having the opportunity to work with like-minded people,” Welsh said. “You can’t do it by yourself, you’ve got to have help.”

Should recipients choose to accept, the LAAOV committee will seed a legacy fund through the Brant Community Foundation in their name with $5,000. Legacy funds through the foundation keep the principal amount and use interest over time to fund community projects.

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism encourages those whose lives have been touched by the winners to consider helping build their legacy fund at the community foundation. More information on how to support the funds is available online at www.LifetimeAchievementAward.ca.

Walter Gretzky, Mary Welsh, Geronimo Henry lauded for lifetime of volunteerism

News Apr 26, 2017 by Sean Allen Brant News

Through volunteering, Walter Gretzky, Mary Welsh and Geronimo Henry have changed or saved lives.

“(Volunteers) don’t do it for that purpose, but because of their participation in the community, they’ve inspired someone or turned someone’s life around,” said Brant MPP Dave Levac, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism (LAAOV) committee member. “They may not believe it, but I can honestly tell you that each one of the people we’re honouring tonight have changed a life or saved a life.”

Levac’s comments on Monday at the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Community Centre were directed at the three recipients of the 2017 LAAOV awards.

Started in 2014 as a way to highlight the volunteer legacy of citizens in Six Nations, New Credit, Brantford and Brant, the LAAOV committee hosts an annual gala during National Volunteer Week to laud members of the communities.

[PHOTO GALLERY of Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism gala]

This year, the committee chose to honour Gretzky, Welsh and Henry for their lifetime of giving back to their respective communities.

“Walter … every award you’ve ever received, I like to believe this is a culmination of all that you do and all that you mean to all of us,” TDG Marketing’s Barry English said in presenting the award to Canada’s best-known hockey dad.

Gretzky was nominated for the award not only for the highly visible involvement he has with the CNIB, the Lung Association and other charitable causes, but also for the little things. His work in bagging leaves at his church or serving dinner at shelters were highlighted in his nomination for the award.

"I think of my mother right away,” Walter said in accepting the award. “This would have never happened to her as a commoner in Poland. We don’t have such a thing as a commoner here. We are all special, we are all equal in this great country of Canada.”

Henry was the first winner from Six Nations, nominated by Six Nations elected council for his lifetime of service in telling the story of residential schools and helping others heal.

“(Henry) and all the survivors had the courage and determination to tell their stories and continue to tell their stories,” Six Nations elected Chief Ava Hill said. “If they didn’t step forward, we wouldn’t have had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has helped push our issues to the forefront of the political agenda in this country.”

Henry, a resident of Ohsweken, spent 10 years of his childhood at the church-run Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford. The school was one of many across Canada where children were systematically abused physically and psychologically, and punished for being First Nations.

The abuse Henry suffered at the school led to alcoholism at an early age, the breakdown of his marriage and estrangement from his children. Yet, rather than let the traumatic experience continue to ruin his life, Henry has helped other survivors of the school system and volunteered his time to educate the public about its past. Henry’s own healing journey started in part because of his work as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

In his role with Six Nations health services, Henry founded and manages the Lost Generations restoring balance program, including sessions on parenting, identity, traditional teachings, loss and grief for those who suffer from the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system. The program started as a grassroots healing circle for survivors. Henry later got funding from Six Nations to support the program.

“I’d like to thank everyone for making this happen,” Henry said while accepting the award on Monday.

Welsh, from Mount Pleasant, is a founding member of the Brant Animal Aid Foundation and Brant Waterways Foundation with a laundry list of contributions through a 40-year dedication to volunteerism.

The nomination package for Welsh for the award listed 166 times she has volunteered over the years.

Welsh spearheaded and raised funds to develop 26 kilometres of the Trans Canada Trail through Brantford. She most recently played an important part in developing a missing link of 12 kilometres in trails through the County of Brant and the redevelopment of Mount Pleasant Nature Park.

“With volunteerism, the rewards are in the doing and having the opportunity to work with like-minded people,” Welsh said. “You can’t do it by yourself, you’ve got to have help.”

Should recipients choose to accept, the LAAOV committee will seed a legacy fund through the Brant Community Foundation in their name with $5,000. Legacy funds through the foundation keep the principal amount and use interest over time to fund community projects.

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Volunteerism encourages those whose lives have been touched by the winners to consider helping build their legacy fund at the community foundation. More information on how to support the funds is available online at www.LifetimeAchievementAward.ca.