10:30 a.m., Feb. 14)
Ottawa-Orléans MPP honours
Leading Women/Leading Girls
By Heather Jamieson
The Orléans Star
depth of our community’s volunteer sector and its linguistic,
cultural and religious diversity were clearly evident
on March 9 as Ottawa-Orléans MPP Marie-France Lalonde
presented the Ontario 2018 Leading Women/Leading Girls
Building Communities awards.
a female-only International Women’s Day breakfast for
more than 160 local women, Lalonde recognized 30 women
and seven girls under the age of 18 as leaders, community
builders and outstanding contributors to the community.
of this year's Orléans Chamber of Commerce
Business Excellence Awards pose for a group
photo at the Hilton Lac Leamy. Fred Sherwin/Photo
number of recipients this year is a significant increase
from the 18 honoured last year, says Lalonde, indicating
both an increased awareness of the program and the value
the community places on their contribu-tions. Each nomination
requires two letters of support and recipients are chosen
by an independent committee.
women and girls honoured came from virtually every sector
of the community, including education, sports, advocacy,
faith groups and healthcare.
most emotional moment of the ceremony was the posthumous
presentation to former Blackburn Hamlet resident Linda
Platt, who died of cancer on February 13 at the age of
moved, Lalonde paid tribute to Platt for her kindness,
generosity and unfailing desire to help. The award was
accepted by Platt’s daughter Lisa Bilow, who described
her mother as “an amazing lady” who showed remarkable
positivity throughout her illness.
community service can be a family affair, two mother/daughter
pairs were honoured: Pascale Bazinet and her daughter
Celeste Bazinet Gill, 15, and Lisa DiNoble and her daughter
Alison Feltmate, 14.
cool that my mom is the person who inspired me to volunteer,”
says Celeste, who volunteers with the Heart of Orléans
Market and the City of Ottawa summer camps.
the highest praise went to Masjid Bilal volunteer Saida
Faiz, who Lalonde said was described as the mosque’s “single
most indispensable asset.”
Duval was recognized for her contribution to the Queenswood
Heights Community Association. She is serving her fourth
term as president and has been a member of the association
for seven of the 10 years she has lived in the community.
is very humbling to be recognized like this,” said the
mother of two. “When we get involved in our communities,
we don’t expect anything in return. My main reason (for
being involved) is because this is where I live. I want
to contribute to building a better neighbourhood and a
her welcoming remarks, Lalonde highlighted recent provincial
government strategies toward economic empowerment for
women and urged attendees to embrace the 2018 International
Women’s Day theme #PressforProgress.
a taped message, Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke of the remarkable
global movements that are empowering women.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)