Skip to main content
Mar 25, 2019

Volunteers Lift Our Community: 2018 Volunteer Award Winners Announced

Winners Announced

This spring, The Kidney Foundation of Canada joined together to recognize the efforts of volunteers from across the province. Volunteers lift our community and make it possible for The Kidney Foundation to fulfill its mission of providing help and support to Canadians living with kidney disease. The awards recognize volunteers who showcase caring, leadership and philanthropy within their respective communities to benefit those touched by kidney disease.

Ontario Branch President Craig Kerr emceed the awards presentation as part of The Ontario Branch's AGM and Leadership Conference on April 27, 2019 alongside Sue Tkachuk, chair of the Ontario Volunteer Awards Committee.

Outstanding Volunteer Awards, Justin Hayes, Maureen Bertrand and Caryl Potter

The Outstanding Volunteer Awards go to volunteers within the community for their devoted support of The Foundation. This year, three members of the kidney community were recognized for their outstanding efforts. The first honoree was Justin Hayes from Sarnia. Justin has been involved in the Pastalicious Event Committee for the past 13 years. He often takes on leadership roles and comes up with some great new ideas for the event, like offering VIP tables to some sponsors. From five VIP sponsors the first year, it has grown to 18 VIP sponsors this year. Justin is the franchise owner of Kernels Popcorn in Sarnia and is very generous in donating his product for many Kidney Foundation events. His commitment to the Foundation shines through and he has encouraged his children to volunteer and his wife Jaime is also involved in the Celebrity Men event committee.
The second honoree of the evening was Maureen Bertrand. Maureen exemplifies the true spirit of volunteerism for The Kidney Foundation. Maureen has been involved with The Kidney Foundation in Kingston for many, many years. She continues to attend all Foundation events and provides ideas for new events, such as the gift giving program within the dialysis unit. She is a great cheerleader and bridge builder. Maureen spends a great deal of time trying to get medical professionals to come out and volunteer within the Chapter. She tirelessly works to educate dialysis patients about the importance of The Kidney Foundation.
Carryl Potter also received an Outstanding Volunteer Award at this year’s ceremony. Carryl has been a loyal volunteer with the Eastern Ontario Chapter (Ottawa) since 2009. He is very reliable and dedicated to spreading awareness about kidney health to the broader community. He has represented The Foundation at local events, including participating in Health Partners, the United Way Seeing is Believing Tours, through awareness with CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), and many more avenues. He is also a lead event volunteer annually at the Ottawa Kidney Walk and exceeded his fundraising target this year within 48 hours of registering. The true testament of his leadership is that Carryl is involved in the Chapter at many levels. He is at ease representing The Foundation in official capacities, such as being an event speaker, and he has served on the Chapter Board and Patient Services Committee.

Programs and Service Award, Ingrid Watt, Sharri & Lewis Anderson

This year, The Kidney Foundation of Canada presented Ingrid Watt with the Programs and Services award. Ingrid is a quiet and humble supporter of the Chinese Renal Association (CRA) Chapter. She has been helping out and participating in various events for years, including the CRA Lunar New Year Dinner, Kidney Day and Kidney Walk. Ingrid is a nurse in the renal unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. Her professional and clinical skills provide tremendous support to many patients, especially Chinese-speaking patients. She understands hemodialysis is a life-changing event. She listens and provides support. She encourages patients to attend Kidney Foundation events so that patients feel connected to the kidney community.
Our second Programs and Services award was presented to a truly dynamic duo, Sharri and Lewis Anderson. Together, they organize the Niagara Peer Support meetings without fail and have attended numerous other events as guest speakers to share their story in the hopes of inspiring and/or educating others about kidney disease and the importance of organ donation. Even when the support meetings were fledgling and people uncertain about them, they made themselves available during the posted group hours, returning to the hospital each week no matter how few or how many turned up to talk. They are tremendous ambassadors for the Foundation, always willing to lend a hand whenever asked. Their commitment and passion to help the organization is an inspiration to all those who know them.

Excellence in Fundraising Award, Rhonda Noll, Jason McAdoo, Dawn Telgen

Three Kidney Walk participants were recognized for their outstanding commitment to the Kidney Walk program.

Rhonda Noll has been a tremendous support to The Kidney Walk in Sarnia for many years. Her involvement began at the Strathroy Walk, and now participates in the Sarnia Walk each year with her team - Gramma's Helpers. "Gramma" is Rhonda's mom. She was a single mom raising three girls on her own. She was on dialysis in the 1970's and struggled with health issues while continuing to raise her family. Rhonda's entire family has become involved and personally, Rhonda has raised more than $4000 each year to support the effort.

Jason McAdoo is a great supporter and phenomenal fundraiser for the Kingston Kidney Walk. Jason has frequently topped the leader board for the walks which has resulted in over $60,000 raised in the course of nine years. Because he is so willing to share his story so openly, his story inspires others near and far.

Dawn Telgen is another tremendous supporter of The Kidney Walks. Her passion for the cause is inspired by her daughter who is living with polycystic kidney disease. Dawn is generous with her time and resources and has gone above and beyond in her leadership of the Brockville Walk. The 2018 Brockville walk surpassed the previous year's results, making it the most successful Kidney Walk in Brockville's history. Dawn takes the time to connect with past walkers and recruits new champions as well. She secured donations for the BBQ, prizes for a silent auction and is the spokesperson for the walk in the community.

Outstanding Partner Awards, Doug Bain, Royal LePage Reality Sarnia, Benson Sy, Greenfield Golf

Doug Bain has been a supportive partner for many years of the Sarnia-Lambton Chapter. In fact, he has provided free office space to the chapter for five years, which adds up to an in-kind donation of $50,000. Support for the Foundation is a family effort. His son Andrew, also a realtor, is involved with the Chapter's Celebrity Men Event and his wife Janet has been a member of the organizing committee for the event since its inception eight years ago.

Benson Sy has been supporting The Kidney Foundation and the Chinese Renal Association for nearly 30 years. A kidney patient himself, he has shared his own personal experience with kidney disease with his friends, co-workers and the public. He encourages people to talk about their kidney health and he provides support to many patients and caregivers. As the General Manager of Greenfield Golf, he has hosted the largest annual charity golf tournament in the GTA supporting The Foundation. It draws much attention in the Chinese community. Over the years, he has raised an astounding $600,000 for kidney research.

Excellence in Leadership Award, Anna Monteduro, Mario Frangione and Susan Tkachuk

Together, Anna and Mario they are the drivers of the annual La Serata Italiana Gala in Ottawa, which is celebrating its 35th year in March 2019. Anna and Mario’s leadership ensures success year after year, and the sold-out event sees annual net profits exceeding $60,000. In all, well over $800,000 has been raised since its inception. Funds have been dedicated to research, supporting ground breaking advances which help improve the lives of those impacted by kidney disease. Guided by Anna and Mario's leadership, they go above and beyond to secure sponsorship and donations from key businesses in Ottawa, build meaningful partnerships in the Italian community, and recruit the best prizes for a lively auction at the event.

Susan Tkachuk is a true team player, as evidenced by the fact that she's involved in every aspect of the Hamilton Chapter events, Ontario branch events and is a donor. She is a passionate about helping others, educating them on kidney disease, how the Foundation can help them and advancing the organization as a whole. She has served the organization on numerous boards and committees and she always looking for new innovative ideas to help make an even greater impact.

President’s Award, Carol Kostoff

The award is presented to an individual selected by the Branch President in recognition of an individual or group who has assisted the president in advancing the work of The Foundation. This year’s award was presented to Carol Kostoff, Manager of Executive and Support Services at the Ontario Branch. She works tirelessly to not only assist the President but supports leadership volunteers and employees in several ways. Her efforts in organizing Board meetings, staff meetings, and events like this volunteer recognition celebration often happen in the background.  We all benefit from her efforts. Details behind these events are managed in such a professional manner that makes all of our lives easier and we are fully prepared to participate in a meaningful way.

Chapter of the Year Award, Central Ontario Chapter

The Chapter of the Year award is presented to a Chapter area which has demonstrated sustained commitment and has impacted the Ontario Branch in a demonstrated way. This year, the Chapter of the Year award was presented to the Central Ontario Chapter.  The Chapter executes 10 walks in September. In 2018, it generated over $400,000, which represents about 44% of all the walk gross revenue in Ontario, representing a 23% increase over 2017. Those events included 790 walkers and 142 teams.

The Chapter’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Event attracted over 100 attendees and recognized the outstanding efforts of individuals in the GTA.  It’s a gathering of program and fundraising volunteers who support activities throughout the year. Chapters come in many shapes and sizes with different structures.  The Central Chapter continually excels with the support of hundreds of volunteers.  Their success is a testament to their tireless efforts, and the commitment of dedicated employees.

Finally, three chapters were recognized for celebrating their forty-fifth anniversary. Congratulations to the Eastern Ontario Chapter, Norther Superior Chapter and Waterloo Wellington Chapter. with volunteer Marlene Smith at the helm since the inception of the volunteer-driven Chapter. Marlene and volunteers within the Timmins community were recognized for their remarkable contributions to improving the lives of local patients and their families.

Through the unwavering compassion and devotion of volunteers and community partners such as those recognized at this year’s Ontario Branch award ceremony, The Kidney Foundation is able to provide programs and services to those touched by kidney disease. Volunteers play a crucial role in improving the lives of those affected by kidney disease and, as the roots of The Foundation, help the kidney community grow and prosper each year.

To find out how you can become involved as a volunteer with The Foundation, please see our current volunteer opportunities.

Please note you are viewing content from another region. The information provided here may not be available in your area.