RELEASE — Every year Kingston celebrates its most outstanding citizens – usually at the Canada Day ceremony. Unfortunately, the Canada Day ceremony has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.
But the winners of this year’s Civic Awards aren’t likely to mind!
“Whether it be raising millions of dollars to build a hospital, making sure our most vulnerable citizens are fed during a pandemic or offering positive messages, companionship and forums to combat violence, our Civic Award winners show us that a can-do attitude is the best tool for getting things done for Kingston,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
And this year’s winners are…
First Capital Distinguished Citizen – Susan Creasy
Susan is an outstanding volunteer fundraiser known for setting and then exceeding ambitious goals.
As the campaign Chair for University Hospitals Kingston Foundation from 2005 to 2007, she helped raise $65 million. As Chair and Co-chair of the Kingston General Hospital’s Black Tie for 17 years, she annually broke fundraising goals. She is also the first committee Chair for the Rose of Hope annual golf tournament to surpass the $100,000 fundraising mark, and helped the committee fulfill a $400,000 pledge to outfit the chemotherapy suites at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario.
Susan has also served the Limestone Learning Foundation, the CNIB Kingston District Endowment Committee, Frontenac Lennox and Addington Children’s Aid Society, The Grand Theatre Restoration Campaign and Junior Achievement.
First Capital Honourable Achievement – William Arnaud
William (Will) started to feed marginalized Kingstonians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lionhearts’ Meals to Go program now hands out more than 700 meals a day, seven days a week in four locations.
It is thanks to Chef Will Arnaud’s full-time volunteerism that this program grew to distribute hundreds of gourmet meals each night.
Chef Will cooks the food, recruits other chefs, and plans the menu for this program. His efforts have brought hope and smiles to a community that is enjoying having a gourmet chef cook for them through the pandemic.
Mayor’s Award for Youth Volunteerism – High School: Olivia Elliot
Olivia has a long history of volunteering, leading and looking for ways to improve the world. In addition to being a member of the Track Team and Senior Advisor of the LaSalle Student Council, Olivia also started a chapter of Jack.org – a youth mental health advocacy group – at her school.
In addition to holding a part-time job, Olivia found time to sit on the Maltby Youth Advisory Council, complete a service trip to the Dominican Republic to teach English, volunteer for the Kingston Health Sciences Children’s Outpatient Clinic since 2017 and participate in the SHAD Canada Program where she worked on a team that created EcoBind – a biodegradable baling product.
Mayor’s Award for Youth Volunteerism – Post-Secondary: Mariam Atnasious and Miriam John
Mariam Atnasious and Miriam John are co-founders of Queen’s University’s Freedom from Violence Club (FFV), aimed at normalizing discussion surrounding all forms of violence, and connecting students to available resources. FFV has held a number of events, including a free discussion night with survivors of domestic abuse, an open mike night with approximately 70 guests and distinguished local performers in honour of Black History Month and a winter clothes drive in support of local charities.
Mariam and Miriam are also in the process of co-founding another exciting organization: Thrive Art Centre. It targets adults with disabilities and aims to give them a creative outlet to allow them to express who they are.
As if co-founding two excellent organizations isn’t enough, both women have a number of other volunteer efforts to which they bring their time and excellent energy.
Video of the Mayor announcing the Civic Award Winners: