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(Posted 7:30 a.m., June 25)
Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards honour accomplishments of 23 deserving recipients
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orléans Ward Coun. Bob Monette presents an Orleans Outstanding Youth Award to Brianna Clarke from St. Matthew High School. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Madison White is a 10-year-old cancer survivor and fundraiser. Kevin Yang is a gifted pianist and student, and Carolyn Williams is an Honour Roll student and successful athlete who also happens to have type-1 diabetes.

All of these young people are outstanding in their own unique way and on Sunday they were joined by 20 other amazing kids at the Orléans Online Outstanding Youth Awards.

This year's awards ceremony was held in the theatre at École secondaire Béatrice-Desloges. The youngest recipient was seven-year-old Braeden Clements who has raised over $4,500 in the fight against cancer by selling lemonade in memory of his late grandfather. He raised over $2,000 alone, selling lemonade the day before the award ceremony.

Eight-year-old Ryder Peterson received an award for his work in raising awareness about autism. The St. Clare Catholic School student was diagnosed with the condition when he was four. As an advocate and fundraiser for fellow autistic children he's been invited to speak on Parliament Hill a number of times and is a regular participant in the Parliament Hill ceremonies for World Autism Awareness Day.

This past winter, Chantal Prouse, 15, won a gold medal at Skate Canada Eastern Ontario sectionals and was the 2014 winner of Skate Canada's Volunteer Program Assistant of the Year Award for Eastern Ontario. She's also managed to maintain a 90 per cent average at Béatrice Desloges where she recently graduated from Grade 9.

Carolyn Williams was one of five students from St. Peter High School who received an award. The Grade 11 student has managed to overcome a thyroid condition and type-1 diabetes to become a gifted athlete in soccer, hockey and rugby while mainaining an 88 per cent average at school. She was recently named to the provincial under-18 rugby team and has raised over $23,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Other recipients from St. Peter include Nicolas Cosenza, 14, Jacinta DaNova, 15, and singers Lindsay White and Michelle Treacy, both 17, who also performed for the 150 people who attended the award gala.

Cairine Wilson Secondary School and Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School weren't far behind St. Pete's with three recipients each. Among the award winners from Cairine Wilson was Alexia Lamothe, who recently won a bronze medal in the 100-metre hurdles at the OFSAA provincial track and field championships, and Meghan Bryson, 17, who is active on the student council and has raised over $6,000 in the school's annual Relay4Life in honour of her late father who passed away from cancer when she was seven.

Amaresh Parameswaran was the other recipient from Cairine Wilson. The 16-year-old, Grade 10 Honour Roll student is an avid rugby player, pianist and volunteer who also holds an advanced brown belt in jiu-jitsu.

Sir Wil's award recipients were Sabrina Chan, 15, Amanda Collie, 16, and Sara Siddiqi, 15. Chan is an accomplished fashion model and musician with a 90 per cent average, while Collie is a member of the senior girls basketball team and an active member of the student council who created and designed over 100 costumes for the high school's production of "My Fair Lady".

Siddiqi is an accomplished student and a zealous champion in the fight against autism.

Among the other award recipients on Sunday were Cassandra Lavigne and Audrey Matheson, both 16, from École secondaire Garneau; Kevin Yang, 13, from Henry Larsen Elementary School; Ashley Mbwa, 9, from École élémentaire Le Prélude; Ashley De Almeida, 16, from Collège catholique Samuel-Genest; and Brianna Clarke, 16, from St. Matthew High School.

Both De Almeida and Clarke are members of Leeming Danceworks which had an incredibly successful competitive season, winning dozens of awards in Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Ottawa.

The two girls were among the six young artists who performed at the awards. They each danced a solo routine and then joined forces for a duet before being joined on stage by a dozen other dancers from Leeming to present this year's Miza Davie Award .for a lifetime commitment for youth to Leeming Danceworks owner Sharon Leeming Mann.

Victoria Powell from École secondaire Gisèle-Lalonde also performed at the awards along with Lindsay White and Michelle Treacy from St. Peter, while Danielle Lemieux did a reprisal of her Gloucester Music Club performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.

The Orléans Online Outstanding Youth Awards were first organized in 2003 as a way to celebrate the many accomplishments of area youth. Since there inception more than 190 individuals have received an award.

This awards were made possible thanks to the support of a number of sponsors including J.A. Laporte Flowers and Nursery, M.L. Bradley Ltd., J.T. Bradley's Country Convenience Store in Navan and TMSI Sports Management.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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