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Jun 17, 2022

Celebrating Our Volunteers: 2022 National Volunteer Award Recipients Announced

In the past year, our community of volunteers once again surpassed our expectations with their hard work, determination, and enthusiasm. Our many volunteers from coast to coast allowed us to take a giant step forward towards accomplishing our mission of creating a future that is free of the burden of kidney disease.
This year’s Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards, conducted virtually on June 17, put a spotlight on 13 exceptional volunteers whose contributions made a significant impact. 

“We are immensely grateful for their work and continuously inspired by their generosity and compassion,” said Sylvie Charbonneau, National President of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "The Foundation is fortunate to be able to work with so many creative and compassionate volunteers.”

“Our volunteers bring their expertise, share their personal experiences and build relationships for The Kidney Foundation, which results in great success for our programs and community outreach,” said Elizabeth Myles, National Executive Director. “Their commitment to fundraising, which allows us to invest in programs and research, is deeply appreciated.”

Congratulations to the following volunteers or group of volunteers who were recognized:
  • Dr. Todd Alexander, recipient of the Dr. John B. Dossetor Research Award, is program director of the KRESCENT program. In 2021, Dr. Alexander was the principal applicant in the Canadian institutes of Health Research Training Platform Grant, resulting in the procurement of $2.4 million to help expand the KRESCENT program for the future.
  • Vince Andrews, recipient of the David Ornstein Distinguished Service Award, demonstrated tremendous leadership of the Atlantic Branch through some challenging times, while being an active spokesperson and advocate for kidney disease awareness by sharing his experiences with media.
  • Chinese Renal Association, recipient of the National Fund Development Award, led an educational radiothon that raised over $125,000 in one day, helping to increase access to resources and support for the Chinese kidney community.
  • Mario Fortin and Louise Laviolette, recipients of the Organ Donation and Transplantation Award, have contributed greatly to the promotion of organ donation through participation in fundraising and awareness events. Louise has worked with the University of Montreal’s Hospital Center patients and staff while Mario has frequently supported promotion about peer support and research.
  • Kris Gaudet, recipient of the Mary Lou Karley Patient Services Award, contributed immensely to our Kidney Community Kitchen website by sharing more than 30 mouth-watering recipes, developing cooking videos and webinars, and sharing easy-to-follow meal planning advice for kidney patients.
  • Stephen Gillis and Michael Teigen, recipients of the Public Awareness Award, helped start important conversations about kidney disease and organ transplantation through social media and fundraisers, sharing light-hearted entertainment pieces, and participating in numerous Kidney Foundation events as emcees, hosts, and guest speakers, including Green Shirt Day and the BC virtual Kidney Walk, Kidney Health Month Game Show, and Kidney Gala.
  • Kurtis Krug, recipient of the Harold W. Ashenmil Award, has been a devoted member of local and National boards and numerous committees and task forces, providing his business acumen and expertise in finance to help set strategic direction and monitor risks, especially as the Foundation navigated through COVID-19. 
  • Annick Lim, recipient of the Mary Lou Karley Patient Services Award, helped raise over $100,000 for Kidney Walk, directed virtual social activities to allow patients to connect through the Kidney Friends Circle, and spearheaded the Warm the Souls initiative.
  • Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative (ODTC), recipient of the National President’s Award, has a pivotal role in improving the organ donation and transplantation system in Canada by creating a collaborative and inclusive environment focused on breaking down barriers and identifying solutions to achieve high-impact change in the organ donation and transplantation ecosystem.
  • Kevin and Molly Stacey, recipient of the Special Appreciation Award, contributed to the success of various fundraising events, including earning the title of top fundraisers in Atlantic Canada’s Kidney Walks for three years in a row. In addition, they participate in awareness and are engaged in advocacy efforts.
  • Benson Sy, posthumously recognized with the David Ornstein Distinguished Service Award, supported The Kidney Foundation for 24 years by providing important patient resources for the Chinese community, raising funds to support programs and research, and developing numerous several events, most recently a radiothon, which raised over $125,000 in 2021.
  • Tanya Work, recipient of the National Fund Development Award, made great strides to advance Kidney March with a dynamic team of volunteers she assembled called Sole Sisters & The Misters. Her team helped raise more than $280,000, despite challenges encountered when this event converted to a virtual format.
The event also recognized employees for their exceptional contributions:
  • Jessica Eugenio, recipient of a Special Appreciation Award, is a former employee of The Kidney Foundation who has consistently provided an unprecedented level of volunteer support by training new staff and supporting us during transition times, including implementation of key system enhancements.
  • Laura Fleming, recipient of a Circle of Excellence Award, has elevated the achievements of Kidney March through her role as Event Manager, leading the event to raise over $7 million in her nine years at the helm. 
  • Eric Laperrière, recipient of a Special Appreciation Award, goes above and beyond to help staff with IT. He participated in transformation of our IT system in 2018 and has provided outstanding support throughout the pandemic as all employees transitioned to work from home. 
  • Lydia Lauder, recipient of the Bresinger Award of Excellence, has led work to significantly expand and evolve program delivery to meet the changing needs of our patient community, including implementation of virtual educational opportunities. She also led advocacy and public policy efforts to be a voice for the kidney and organ donation/transplant communities and ensured the kidney community was well informed with resources throughout the pandemic.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada applauds all of our award recipients and thanks them for helping with fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and the development of programs and patient services. Thanks to them, our kidney community continues to thrive.

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