Congratulations to our 2016 Volunteer Spirit Award winners!
The Volunteer Spirit Award is an annual award which recognizes outstanding volunteers from each of our eight chapters and the national office. These individuals bring hope, strength and joy to Make-A-Wish in everything they do. Their devotion and love of our mission is an inspiration to all.
We recognize, thank and congratulate all of our 2016 winners:
Daniel Bourque National Office
Daniel has been a member of the Make-A-Wish Canada board of directors since 2013 and in 2015 became the board secretary. He has been an important member of other Make-A-Wish committees and has acted as a Volunteer Counsel to Make-A-Wish since 2011. His dedication and compassion towards our mission is immeasurable. Daniel says, “What I cherish most, is hearing the stories of how wishes have changed lives, and then seeing the faces of the children and families we serve. When we all come together, it is a very moving experience for me, knowing that I have in some way contributed to sharing the life-transforming power of a wish."
Ainsley Gilkinson Toronto & Central Ontario
Ainsley feels a connection with wish kids because she herself spent a lot of time at Sick Kids Hospital due to a heart condition during her childhood. While she didn't have a wish of her own granted, Ainsley is thrilled to be a wish granter and to be able to help make dreams come true for wish kids because she knows how hard it is to live with a life-threatening medical condition. She is honoured to be a part of the journey of a wish for so many kids and we appreciate her dedication, kindness and understanding in her work with our wish families.
Eileen Little Southwestern Ontario
Eileen has been a dedicated office volunteer since 2003. For the past 14 years, Eileen has visited the office weekly, ready and willing to take on any task that she can. From scanning and reconciling files, to crafting Wish Kid stars with glitter glue for our walls, she is always in good spirits with a warm smile on her face. We sincerely appreciate Eileen's dedication and consider her a part of our Make-A-Wish family.
Ross Townsend Eastern Ontario
Ross has volunteered for more than four years and launched an employee engagement program through his employer to help support wishes. Along with the assistance of his co-workers, he as played an important role in many room makeovers, spending hours putting furniture together, painting and assembling toys. Regardless of what challenge or task is presented, Ross is always determined to make it work. His energy, positive attitude and contagious smile are greatly appreciated by everyone around him.
John De Rosa Quebec
John De Rosa has cycled in every 48-HOUR RIDE event since 2007 and has helped raise close to $500,000 for the event, thanks to his fundraising efforts and his help recruiting participants. He is even known as Mr. 48-HOUR RIDE at his company! John is a fantastic ambassador for Make-A-Wish and says that the “most important thing is to make the kids smile, it is just a blessing to be able to do it for the children.”
Ann and Darrin Butcher Atlantic Provinces
Darrin and Ann Butcher have been dedicated volunteers and fundraisers since 2010. To date, their Atlantic Tiltload Night of Three Wishes event has raised more than $200,000. Ann says that they got involved with Make-A-Wish in order to teach her sons to consider others in need in their community, and to show them that they can make a difference. They have gone above and beyond for wish kids and we couldn't be more grateful for their support.
Loan Do Northern Alberta
Loan has been a dedicated wish granter/event volunteer/ambassador for Make-A-Wish for three years. She is an integral part of our Activity Committee, has helped recruit volunteers for events and works directly with wish families. Loan has a can-do attitude and doesn’t hesitate to step up and offer her support when we need it. Loan is an integral part of our Activity Committee that organizes and supports a monthly craft night with our charity partners. Her enthusiasm for volunteering and her positive energy is contagious!
Steven Douglas Southern Alberta
Steve has been a valued member of the Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta board of directors since 2012. He volunteers, helps grant wishes and has engaged his company in Make-A-Wish events. In 2016, he encouraged a group of interns to participate in Rope for Hope as a team. He led by example – he volunteered at the event and made a personal donation to each rappeller on his team and was there to cheer them on!
Diane MacFarlane British Columbia & Yukon
Diane has volunteered with Make-A-Wish since 2002. She has given her time and talents to both wish granting and fundraising for our mission. Diane has attended 80 events on our behalf, providing countless hours in support of our fundraising efforts. We can count on Diane to bring her positive attitude, sense of humor and great organizing skills to every job we give her. For fifteen years Diane has also put her heart into granting 50 wishes!