Sue Klebold shares story of tragedy at annual Breakfast of Champions

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CMHA Middlesex CEO Dr. Steven Harrison presents Todd Devlin and Riley Doan with their awards during the 11th annual Breakfast of Champions, held April 26 at London Convention Centre.

Sue Klebold talked about her life after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and how it’s led her to become a passionate mental health advocate at this year’s Breakfast of Champions event.

More than 1,200 local community leaders and mental health advocates attended the event, which took place on April 26 at London Convention Centre.

St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Middlesex, hosted the breakfast.

“Some of the most spectacular work around mental health comes from those with an idea and a passion for making the community better, safer and healthier for all of us,” said Dr. Steven Harrison, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex. “CMHA Middlesex is proud to participate in the Breakfast of Champions where we recognize the region’s true champions of mental health — this year a recent university graduate, a paramedic, two volunteers, a police service, a physician and an expressive arts program — who are all creating change in significant and meaningful ways.”

In a one-on-one conversation with CBC News Host Heather Hiscox, Klebold shared her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the knowledge of her son’s role in Columbine, and the realization of his struggle with mental illness.

She also shared invaluable insights from her experience in an effort to help other families recognize when a child is in distress.

Afterwards Klebold joined local experts and mental health advocates for a panel discussion on youth mental health, which included Lori Hassall, Dr. Elizabeth A. Osuch, Dr. Javeed Sukhera, Scarlet Davidson and Jesse House.

“This breakfast has become an important event for mental health care, advancing the public dialogue as a way to demystify how we think and talk about mental illness,” said Michelle Campbell, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation. “It also enables us to invest in transformative mental health care that would otherwise not be possible”

The 11th annual Breakfast of Champions also recognized several individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to mental wellness in the community through the Champion of Mental Health Awards.

Todd Devlin and Riley Doan received the individual award for their efforts in bringing the Defeat Depression Campaign to London.

London Police Service received the organization award for the work they are doing to support the well being of their members and to enhance police and community response to mental health and addictions crisis in the community.

The full list of nominees for the CMHA Champion of Mental Health Awards includes:

Individuals

  • Todd Devlin and Riley Doan
  • Erin Huston
  • Dr. Julie Richard
  • Dustin Sutherland

Organizations

  • Nokee Kwe – Positive Voice Program, and Warrior Womyn Art Exhibition
  • London Police Service
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Earth Day 150 weekend kicks off with 20 Minute London Makeover

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Earth Day 150 Weekend will offer Londoners numerous opportunities to do their part in cleaning up the Forest City.

Earth Day 150 Weekend is a Canada 150 London Signature Event bringing business, volunteers and the community at large together to tidy up and green our city in celebration of the sesquicentennial.

There’s plenty of opportunity for Londoners to roll up their sleeves and join in the cleaning and greening fun this weekend.

“Earth Day 150 Weekend will help get our city prepared for the many Canada 150 events that will be taking place by encouraging Londoners to get out to clean city streets, sidewalks, neighbourhoods and parks,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “A strong and healthy environment is a key part of building a sustainable city, one of the main focuses of our Strategic Plan.”

Event schedule:

  • Day 1 — Friday, April 21: The 12th annual 20 Minute London Makeover. Local businesses/institutions are encouraged to take 20 minutes and tidy up outside their place of work and submit a photo of their team cleaning up for a chance to win a free pizza lunch (valued at $100) compliments of Joe Kool’s.

Send photos to cleangreen@london.ca or post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #20MinuteMakeover.

  • Day 2 — Saturday, April 22: The 22nd annual London Clean & Green Community Cleanup Day. Participants can learn more about the day at londoncleangreen.ca. Browse the community map to see where other residents will be out cleaning up.

There are many locations to drop off litter and garbage. Participants are encouraged to submit a photo of their clean up to cleangreen@london.ca or post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #519CleanGreen for their chance to win Tim Horton’s gift cards (valued at $200).

This event is supported by more than 40 community sponsors and has evolved from a single cleanup event in 1996 to a program that will extend over 85 days focusing first on cleaning up London followed by many greening events in May and June.

  • Day 3 — Sunday, April 23: Come celebrate Earth Day London and Trails Open London at St. Julien Park. Londoners are invited to a day of environmental discovery. Participants can meet a fluvial geomorphologist and learn how cities shape our rivers, learn about London’s amazing walking trails, experience hands-on science projects, tree planting and bird box building.

“Canada 150 is about experiencing wonders, making memories, and creating positive change for the next 50 years,” said Lia Karidas, Canada 150 London co-ordinator. “Talking about the Environment, and taking active measures to preserve it for future generations, is a perfect way to make your mark during our nation’s sesquicentennial!”

Full details on Earth Day 150 events can be found at Canada150London.ca. Contest rules can be found at www.londoncleangreen.ca.

City provides $80,000 in funding for London neighbourhoods

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Seventeen neighbourhood projects have received City of London funding totalling $80,000.

Londoners have taken advantage of two community granting programs, SPARKS! and TreeME Neighbourhood Matching Funds, to create change in their neighbourhoods.

SPARKS! Neighbourhood Matching Fund provides opportunities for Londoners to initiate projects in their neighbourhoods.

Successful applicants include activities that engage and bring more neighbours together, create gathering spaces, host community activities and beautify neighbourhoods.

“It’s wonderful to see the creative ways that Londoners come together to strengthen and celebrate their neighbourhoods and make London a great place to live, work and play” said Lynne Livingstone, managing director of neighbourhood, children and fire services.

This year, 17 new projects were funded (to a total of $80,000), bringing the total in seven years to 87 SPARKS! projects in 21 different neighbourhoods across the city.

Among the SPARKS! projects receiving funding are:

  • Mushkeeki Gitigan Medicine Garden — Local residents will build and maintain an Indigenous cultural teaching and sharing garden within the Carolinian Food Forest in South Branch Park.
  • Wood Street Summer Concerts — Free monthly Wood Street Park concerts will be held under the new gazebo in the park showcasing local musicians.
  • Byron Rocks! Music Festival — The community organization will host a free event of local music artists, entertainment and family activities to celebrate the neighbourhood and Canada 150.
  • Oxford Park Pride Community Connections — The new community association will be demonstrating and promoting pride through lawn signs and a neighbourhood newsletter.
  • Multicultural Fair — A free event will be held at the Al Taqwa Academy to share cultures, increase community engagement and create and celebrate a welcoming community.

This year the TreeME Neighbourhood Matching Fund will fund five projects that allow neighbourhood groups to plant trees and make a difference to our urban forest for today and the future.

Residents will plant more than 2,000 trees on private properties to help increase tree coverage across the city.

“I am so pleased to see Londoners put forward so many innovative ideas to better their neighbourhoods, and overall, our entire community,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “The past seven years of the TreeME and SPARKS! Neighbourhood Matching Fund have brought so many people together to make our already wonderful neighbourhoods even greater.”

Among the TreeMe projects are:

  • London Food Bank — Planting of fruit trees by volunteers who will care for and harvest the fruits for distribution to food bank patrons.
  • Neighbourhood Tree Blitz 2017 — More than 300 trained community volunteers will plant 1,6500 trees in low tree coverage homeowner yards across the city.
  • Planting Hope, Phase 3 — Volunteers and residents will plant are care for more than 110 shade trees in five subsidized housing complexes to increase tree coverage and beautification.

 

London Clean & Green 2017 launches the 12 Days of Cleaning

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Jay Stanford, City of London director of environment, fleet and solid waste shares his thoughts on this year’s London Clean & Green schedule at a public launch on April 11.

Community partners, volunteers, sponsors and city staff gathered together on April 11 to kick off the 22nd annual London Clean & Green program with the 12 Days of Cleaning.

The 12 Days of Cleaning focuses on information and general awareness on litter prevention, garbage and illegal dumping from occurring. It highlights programs such as recycling paper cups, safe disposal practice for household special waste, how to recycle renovation materials and what to do with used clothing.

“The 12 Days of Cleaning is a great way to mark the changing of the seasons, and is a simple way for us to work together to tidy up our community for all of the Canada 150 London events planned,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “This weekend will create awareness for waste reduction and environmentally friendly habits, which is a key part of our Strategic Plan. We want to make the Forest City one of the greenest communities in Canada.”

London Clean & Green has evolved from a single cleanup event in 1996 to a program that will extend over 85 days focusing first on cleaning up London followed by many greening events in May and June.

New this year, the 12 Days of Cleaning leads up to a special Canada 150 London signature event — the Earth Day 150 Weekend.

The Earth Day 150 event schedule includes:

  • Friday, April 21: The 12th annual 20 Minute Makeover. Local businesses/institutions are encouraged to take 20 minutes and tidy up outside their place of work.
  • Saturday, April 22: The 22nd annual London Clean & Green Community Cleanup Day. There are many cleanup locations throughout the city to pick up supplies and drop off litter. Participants can register their cleanup locations and learn more about the day at www.londoncleangreen.ca. The website offers a mapping feature allowing residents to place their cleanup locations on the map (it is not a requirement to register to participate). More than 40 community sponsors support this event.
  • Sunday, April 23: Earth Day London and Trails Open London at St. Julien Park. Londoners are invited to a day of environmental discovery, meet a fluvial geomorphologist and learn how cities shape rivers. The public is also invited to learn about London’s walking trails, experience hands-on science projects, and assist with tree planting and bird box building.

Full details on Earth Day 150 events can be found at www.Canada150London.ca.

Pillar inviting Londoners to help recognize community innovation

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Pillar Nonprofit Network is once again looking to Londoners to help tell stories of community innovation. Nominations for the Pillar Community Innovation Awards are open until Wednesday, May 31.

The inspirational stories of innovative Londoners have been recognized for the past 10 years through the Pillar Community Innovation Awards.

Pillar Nonprofit Network is looking to continue that tradition and is once again accepting nominations in the evening’s four award categories of innovation, leadership, impact and collaboration.

The Pillar Community Innovation Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at the London Convention Centre.

Award recipients will receive $2,500 to be directed to the registered charity of their choice and will be presented with a custom-designed award, accompanied by their names being engraved on the perpetual plaque in the Hudson’s Bay Passageway at the London Central Library.

The innovation awards bring together the three pillars of society — the non-profit, business and government sectors. The evening is a celebration of collaborative work that highlights community members and organizations that strive to improve the quality of life in London.

The Pillar Community Innovation Awards is an opportunity to acknowledge the people and organizations that are making a difference in the community.

The public is invited to tell these stories and nominate a non-profit or charity and the individuals, businesses and government sector organizations that work with them to the London community brighter.

A rising leader in London, Anooshae Janmohammad is a student at Western University and a member of the selections committee for her third year.

Janmohammad has been involved in the Pillar Community Innovation Awards for eight years and is reminded of her first year attending the ceremony.

“You never know who you may meet or what kind of impact they have on the community until someone highlights their work,” she said. “It’s always a fantastic time and an inspirational night.”

Nomination guidelines are available online at Pillar Nonprofit Network’s website, www.pillarnonprofit.ca. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, May 31.

An external selections committee reviews nominations and 12 finalists will be selected.