Governor General David Johnston (left), along with Lt.-Gov. Frank Fagan, presented the Governor General’s Canadian Caring Award to six recipients at Beachy Cove Elementary Thursday. Among the recipients were sisters seven-year-old Julianne and nine-year-old Rachel Moss, who raised funds to support the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centree. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
Gov. Gen. David Johnston celebrated community service in the St. John’s area Thursday as part of his two-day visit to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Johnston was at Beachy Cove Elementary School in Portugal Cove-
St. Philip’s Thursday afternoon to present six Caring Canadian Awards, which recognize volunteers who have made a significant impact in their community.
Among those honoured at the school, Rachel Moss, 9, and her sister, Julianne, 7.
The girls were honoured for their fundraising contributions for the Janeway children’s hospital.
For the last three years, the girls have been selling crafts to help raise money for the Janeway. The girls proudly say that they’ve raised more than $30,000 so far.
The sisters beamed while they were onstage receiving their award from Johnston and Lt.-Gov. Frank F. Fagan.
“I was excited!” Julianne exclaimed.
Todd Churchill, Father Michael Horlick, George Powell and Marie Ryall were also honoured by the Governor General for their contributions to their communities.
Churchill was recognized for his fundraising for the charities that have helped his disabled son, Carter; Horlick for his organization of events to recognize veterans and their families; Powell for his volunteer work with seniors, immigrants and refugees; and Ryall for her fundraising campaigns to support hospitals in the region.
A short time later, Johnston was at Marguerite’s Place to help announce the launch of the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (CFNL) Smart & Caring fund.
Jennifer Guy, the chairwoman of the CFNL, explained the new fund will operate similarly to the existing funds the foundation operates. Donors will be able to channel their money through the fund to prefered causes across the province.
“It’s up to the community foundation to work with these donors to make sure that those funds are allocated to where the goal of Smart & Caring is met,” Guy said.
The inspiration came from a call to action from the Governor General after he took office in 2010. He challenged community foundations to have a Smart & Caring fund available to every community across Canada.
“The variety will be just as broad as Canada is, different initiatives for different communities,” Johnston explained. “But all with a view to improving the lives of people who need a hand up.
“It’s as simple as … we look after one another, we especially are sensitive to our neighbours who need a little help, and with that kind of help in many, many cases, those people then in turn are in a position where they lend a hand to someone else.”
Guests assembled at the announcement heard from Paula Walsh, a woman who came to Marguerite’s Place initially looking to volunteer after being in an abusive relationship for many years.
“The person you see in front of you today is not the person that I was a number of years ago,” Walsh said.
She said the women’s centre, which received funding from the CFNL, was a turning point in her life.
“When I hear the word women’s shelter, I hear safety, I hear support, I hear love and connection.”