Congratulations to our Volunteer Spirit Award winners!
The annual Volunteer Spirit Award recognizes an exceptional volunteer from each of our eight chapters and the National Office. These individuals help transform the lives of children and families we serve, and are truly the foundation of our wish-granting mission. We thank and congratulate this year's winners.
Volunteer Spirit Award Winners
Gerry Savaria has been a member of the National Board of Directors since 2011 and served on the Performance Assurance Committee since 2012. We appreciate his enthusiasm and incredible dedication to our mission. Gerry says, “The wish kids are amazing and every time I meet one of them, I get energized. I volunteer with Make-A-Wish to give back and I’m the one who gets something back.”
Owen MacNeil has been a Make-A-Wish supporter since 2004. In 2007, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to fundraise to help grant wishes. Owen has been on the chapter’s Board of Directors for 11 years, providing outstanding guidance and leadership to the chapter. Most recently, he has become co-chair of the annual fundraising event, Brokering Wishes New Brunswick.
BC & Yukon
Sean and Wendy Wallbridge exemplify what it means to be a volunteer with Make-A-Wish. Since 2015, these two have helped grant 12 wishes and took part in several fundraising events. They make every wish child feel special and go out of their way to meet wish families near and far. Wendy says, “As a Make-A-Wish volunteer, I have received so much more than I have given.”
Sarah Hopper and Lisa Shunock, have been involved with Make-A-Wish for six years and this dynamic duo goes above and beyond to ensure that wish children have an incredible experience. They engage their community to find ways to enhance the wish experience for children by obtaining donated items and services including: a barbeque party for wish families, a custom princess dress and more.
Sheikh Shakeel has worked tirelessly to support the chapter with their office administration duties. He has volunteered with Make-A-Wish for five years and in 2017 alone, spent 438 hours assisting with data entry and has been instrumental in ensuring that important records are up-to-date. His work has made a measurable impact.
Matt Chan is the kind of volunteer who will help out in any way he can, even at the last minute. Matt uses his creativity to help grant wishes and he sits on multiple committees at Make-A-Wish. In addition to being an incredible volunteer himself, Matt has brought other wonderful volunteers to the chapter.
France Poirier has been a devoted wish granter for three years. She truly cares about all of the families she works with and wants them to have a special experience with Make-A-Wish. She is always available to answer any questions a family may have and puts them at ease when any challenges arise in the wish process.
Jackie Hivert has been an incredible advocate for Make-A-Wish for years. In 1996, when she was in high school, Jackie held a fundraiser to help support a wish child named Jenna. Since then, Jackie has been involved with Make-A-Wish, assisting with Kids For Wish Kids®, Students for Wishes, fundraising events and as a wish granter, public speaker and ambassador.
Toronto & Central Ontario
Shannon Nicholson volunteered for almost 10 years and granted 20 wishes with the chapter. Shannon has recently moved out of the region and the team at Make-A-Wish considers themselves lucky to have had her as part of their team. Her infectious positivity and excitement inspired fellow volunteers and members of the community to invest their time and efforts into making every wish experience exciting and memorable.