Seniors honoured at Hamilton’s 20th awards banquet

Community Jun 25, 2015 Ancaster News

Twenty-five nominees and nine award winners were honoured Tuesday tonight in front of a crowd of 500 at the City of Hamilton’s 20th Annual Senior of the Year Awards gala event at Michelangelo Events and Conference Centre.

The awards program recognizes seniors in Hamilton who have made outstanding voluntary contributions to enriching the social, cultural or civic life of our community.

The 2015 Senior of the Year Awards winners are:

Fred Miscio — Senior of the Year Award

Miscio has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 40 years and has served in every possible capacity. His ability to empower his peers to give back is evident in his commitment to L’Arche Homes, where he has spent over 25 years helping with programming and fundraising. Miscio’s strong leadership ability is highlighted with the Annual Bishop’s Dinner, which he started over 30 years ago. Since that time, the event has raised $1.2 million. For the last four years, he has been a true advocate and fundraiser for breast cancer research by participating as a family team in the Run for Cancer. He has also spent 12 years as a coach and manager for the Steel City Minor Hockey Association, and seven years with the Slow Pitch Knights of Columbus for seniors and pastors. Miscio has also dedicated over 10 years to the Catholic Youth Organization, where he has helped with fundraising initiatives to assist children in need.

Jan Lukas – Bernie Morelli Lifetime Achievement Award

As a high school guidance counsellor in the early 1980s, Lukas joined the newly formed Suicide Prevention Council of Hamilton, and co-wrote The Suicide Handbook. In the early 1990s, she organized a full-day violence prevention workshop for 1,500 students and wrote an anti-violence plan titled, Break the Silence, published by CAVEAT (Canadians Against Violence Everywhere Advocating its Termination). Ms. Lukas also helped to establish the CAVEAT Youth Council and social justice groups for Grade 9 and 10 students such as HOPE (High Schoolers Opening People’s Eyes). She founded the Ancaster Community Food Drive, led over 400 volunteers, and collected over 1,357,500 pounds of food. Lukas has also been involved in helping women’s movements, such as Take Back the Night and The Beautiful Women Project with the YWCA. She is also a member of the Status of Women Council. She has also been a member of the Ancaster Community Council for 13 years, where her focus is supporting our youth. Lukas was instrumental in establishing the Ancaster Youth Council and Teen Centre at Morgan Firestone Arena. For over 30 years she has also dedicated her time to the Hamilton Poverty Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

Jean McEachern – Mary Smithson Compassion and Companionship Award

The Compassion and Companionship Award was dedicated posthumously to Mary Smithson, who dedicated countless hours to supporting the city’s more vulnerable populations and championing accessibility for all Hamiltonians. Smithson passed away in May 2014. Award winner McEachern began her volunteer path at St. Peter’s Hospital over 34 years ago as a tuck shop volunteer and hospital auxiliary fundraiser. Soon after, she took on the roles of medical appointment escort, special event volunteer and palliative care volunteer, and has mentored other volunteers in the palliative care unit.

Lou DeStephanis – Healthy and Active Living Award

DeStephanis has been a volunteer of the YWCA Seniors Active Living Centre since 2005. In addition to his positions as previous vice-chair and currently as chair of the seniors advisory board, DeStephanis is a true entertainer. For the past 10 years, he has been a volunteer performer for the Golden Age of Variety through Theatre Aquarius, and with a local Hawaiian dance group. More recently, DeStephanis has been performing with the Hamilton Geritol Follies. For 25 years, he has been a church choir leader at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, and has contributed much of his time to the Knights of Columbus for various charities. DeStephanis has also volunteered with the Burlington Gymnastics Club, Mount Hamilton Soccer Club, Canadian Red Cross and Canadian Cancer Society.

Chester Faulknor – Leadership Award

For over 23 years, Faulkner has served and been president of the Ancaster Village Non-Profit Homes and was instrumental in the design-build of 79 geared-to-income residences. For over 30 years, he coached Ancaster High School’s girls track and cross country teams. He was chair of the Ontario High School Cross Country Championships in Ancaster in 1994 and was the lead organizer for the event, involving 1,700 athletes and 100 volunteers. For over 10 years, Mr. Faulknor was president of Ancaster Minor Soccer League, where he established a beginner’s program for four- to six-year-olds. He has been involved with the teacher’s federation for over 40 years, and as vice-president of District 36 Wentworth, he was instrumental in creating the Excellence in Education Award in all schools. For eight years, he was a member of the OSSTF educational finance committee, where he co-wrote an alternative budget submission for educational grants. For the past 15 years, he has been a member and chair of the Active Retired Members of Hamilton.

Dave Watts – Behind the Scenes Award

Watts is one of Neighbour to Neighbour’s longest serving volunteers. For over 23 years, he contributed two to four days per week receiving, sorting and picking up food donations. His efforts have helped to serve 1,200 families (5,000 individuals) each month. Over the past 20 years, he has also given his time to the Ancaster Community Food Drive,. On Oct. 31 each year for the past 10 years, Watts works alongside high school students sorting food donations for Halloween for Hunger. Throughout the years and over three generations, he has influenced family and friends to join his volunteer commitment to the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre.

Michael Edward Grant – Diversity and Cultural Award

Since immigrating to Canada in 1964, Grant has made significant volunteer contributions to children’s and senior’s choirs in Hamilton. As an elementary school teacher, he taught children to sing at many events in Hamilton, including Remembrance Day at City Hall. He has also served as conductor for the Harvester Male Chorus for over 25 years with performances in Canada and the U.S., 12 years at First Place Seniors residence, 15 years as piano player for the residents of Blackadar Seniors residence and over 10 years as music cirector at Glenwood Special Day School for children with special needs. Today, he continues to volunteer, directing the Sackville Hill Seniors Choir, is the music director for Black History month celebrations and performs at private and special events.

Bob Thomson – Economic Leadership Award

Thomson has held the position of president of the Kinsmen Club in Streetsville where he was an integral part of the development of a community swimming pool. He continued on his volunteer path when he moved to Ancaster over 16 years ago and has held various positions on the board of directors at Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre, including over seven years as chair. . Thomson was also instrumental in enabling a partnership between the City of Hamilton and provincial and federal governments for an expansion of the centre. He implemented technology for credit and debit card payments, and redeveloped and maintains the centre’s website. He also developed a website for Sackville Hill Senior’s Centre. He is a member of the City of Hamilton’s seniors advisory committee and has held roles with the Hamilton Council on Aging and Ancaster Community Council.

Emmy Weisz – Innovation Award

In the late 1970s, Weisz helped to implement gerontology subjects in the curriculums at McMaster University and Mohawk College. Since the 1980s, she has been a member of various City of Hamilton committees, such as the seniors advisory, housing subcommittee and access and equity committee. In 1981, she founded the Alzheimer’s Society of Hamilton-Halton, and for over 10 years helped educate the community about Alzheimer’s disease. For over 15 years, she was a volunteer consultant in establishing housing for seniors and those with special needs. She has spent over 20 years as a member of the Hamilton Jewish Federation Holocaust’s Education Committee (Speaker’s Bureau), and as a volunteer consultant with the Ontario Association of Professional Social Workers. . Weisz’s contributions also extend to promoting children’s access to classical music through the Hamilton Philharmonic Symphony. More recently is her contribution to civic life as president of the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association.

For more information about the Senior of the Year Awards program, visit www.hamilton.ca/seniorsawards.

Seniors honoured at Hamilton’s 20th awards banquet

Community Jun 25, 2015 Ancaster News

Twenty-five nominees and nine award winners were honoured Tuesday tonight in front of a crowd of 500 at the City of Hamilton’s 20th Annual Senior of the Year Awards gala event at Michelangelo Events and Conference Centre.

The awards program recognizes seniors in Hamilton who have made outstanding voluntary contributions to enriching the social, cultural or civic life of our community.

The 2015 Senior of the Year Awards winners are:

Fred Miscio — Senior of the Year Award

Miscio has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 40 years and has served in every possible capacity. His ability to empower his peers to give back is evident in his commitment to L’Arche Homes, where he has spent over 25 years helping with programming and fundraising. Miscio’s strong leadership ability is highlighted with the Annual Bishop’s Dinner, which he started over 30 years ago. Since that time, the event has raised $1.2 million. For the last four years, he has been a true advocate and fundraiser for breast cancer research by participating as a family team in the Run for Cancer. He has also spent 12 years as a coach and manager for the Steel City Minor Hockey Association, and seven years with the Slow Pitch Knights of Columbus for seniors and pastors. Miscio has also dedicated over 10 years to the Catholic Youth Organization, where he has helped with fundraising initiatives to assist children in need.

Jan Lukas – Bernie Morelli Lifetime Achievement Award

As a high school guidance counsellor in the early 1980s, Lukas joined the newly formed Suicide Prevention Council of Hamilton, and co-wrote The Suicide Handbook. In the early 1990s, she organized a full-day violence prevention workshop for 1,500 students and wrote an anti-violence plan titled, Break the Silence, published by CAVEAT (Canadians Against Violence Everywhere Advocating its Termination). Ms. Lukas also helped to establish the CAVEAT Youth Council and social justice groups for Grade 9 and 10 students such as HOPE (High Schoolers Opening People’s Eyes). She founded the Ancaster Community Food Drive, led over 400 volunteers, and collected over 1,357,500 pounds of food. Lukas has also been involved in helping women’s movements, such as Take Back the Night and The Beautiful Women Project with the YWCA. She is also a member of the Status of Women Council. She has also been a member of the Ancaster Community Council for 13 years, where her focus is supporting our youth. Lukas was instrumental in establishing the Ancaster Youth Council and Teen Centre at Morgan Firestone Arena. For over 30 years she has also dedicated her time to the Hamilton Poverty Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

Jean McEachern – Mary Smithson Compassion and Companionship Award

The Compassion and Companionship Award was dedicated posthumously to Mary Smithson, who dedicated countless hours to supporting the city’s more vulnerable populations and championing accessibility for all Hamiltonians. Smithson passed away in May 2014. Award winner McEachern began her volunteer path at St. Peter’s Hospital over 34 years ago as a tuck shop volunteer and hospital auxiliary fundraiser. Soon after, she took on the roles of medical appointment escort, special event volunteer and palliative care volunteer, and has mentored other volunteers in the palliative care unit.

Lou DeStephanis – Healthy and Active Living Award

DeStephanis has been a volunteer of the YWCA Seniors Active Living Centre since 2005. In addition to his positions as previous vice-chair and currently as chair of the seniors advisory board, DeStephanis is a true entertainer. For the past 10 years, he has been a volunteer performer for the Golden Age of Variety through Theatre Aquarius, and with a local Hawaiian dance group. More recently, DeStephanis has been performing with the Hamilton Geritol Follies. For 25 years, he has been a church choir leader at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, and has contributed much of his time to the Knights of Columbus for various charities. DeStephanis has also volunteered with the Burlington Gymnastics Club, Mount Hamilton Soccer Club, Canadian Red Cross and Canadian Cancer Society.

Chester Faulknor – Leadership Award

For over 23 years, Faulkner has served and been president of the Ancaster Village Non-Profit Homes and was instrumental in the design-build of 79 geared-to-income residences. For over 30 years, he coached Ancaster High School’s girls track and cross country teams. He was chair of the Ontario High School Cross Country Championships in Ancaster in 1994 and was the lead organizer for the event, involving 1,700 athletes and 100 volunteers. For over 10 years, Mr. Faulknor was president of Ancaster Minor Soccer League, where he established a beginner’s program for four- to six-year-olds. He has been involved with the teacher’s federation for over 40 years, and as vice-president of District 36 Wentworth, he was instrumental in creating the Excellence in Education Award in all schools. For eight years, he was a member of the OSSTF educational finance committee, where he co-wrote an alternative budget submission for educational grants. For the past 15 years, he has been a member and chair of the Active Retired Members of Hamilton.

Dave Watts – Behind the Scenes Award

Watts is one of Neighbour to Neighbour’s longest serving volunteers. For over 23 years, he contributed two to four days per week receiving, sorting and picking up food donations. His efforts have helped to serve 1,200 families (5,000 individuals) each month. Over the past 20 years, he has also given his time to the Ancaster Community Food Drive,. On Oct. 31 each year for the past 10 years, Watts works alongside high school students sorting food donations for Halloween for Hunger. Throughout the years and over three generations, he has influenced family and friends to join his volunteer commitment to the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre.

Michael Edward Grant – Diversity and Cultural Award

Since immigrating to Canada in 1964, Grant has made significant volunteer contributions to children’s and senior’s choirs in Hamilton. As an elementary school teacher, he taught children to sing at many events in Hamilton, including Remembrance Day at City Hall. He has also served as conductor for the Harvester Male Chorus for over 25 years with performances in Canada and the U.S., 12 years at First Place Seniors residence, 15 years as piano player for the residents of Blackadar Seniors residence and over 10 years as music cirector at Glenwood Special Day School for children with special needs. Today, he continues to volunteer, directing the Sackville Hill Seniors Choir, is the music director for Black History month celebrations and performs at private and special events.

Bob Thomson – Economic Leadership Award

Thomson has held the position of president of the Kinsmen Club in Streetsville where he was an integral part of the development of a community swimming pool. He continued on his volunteer path when he moved to Ancaster over 16 years ago and has held various positions on the board of directors at Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre, including over seven years as chair. . Thomson was also instrumental in enabling a partnership between the City of Hamilton and provincial and federal governments for an expansion of the centre. He implemented technology for credit and debit card payments, and redeveloped and maintains the centre’s website. He also developed a website for Sackville Hill Senior’s Centre. He is a member of the City of Hamilton’s seniors advisory committee and has held roles with the Hamilton Council on Aging and Ancaster Community Council.

Emmy Weisz – Innovation Award

In the late 1970s, Weisz helped to implement gerontology subjects in the curriculums at McMaster University and Mohawk College. Since the 1980s, she has been a member of various City of Hamilton committees, such as the seniors advisory, housing subcommittee and access and equity committee. In 1981, she founded the Alzheimer’s Society of Hamilton-Halton, and for over 10 years helped educate the community about Alzheimer’s disease. For over 15 years, she was a volunteer consultant in establishing housing for seniors and those with special needs. She has spent over 20 years as a member of the Hamilton Jewish Federation Holocaust’s Education Committee (Speaker’s Bureau), and as a volunteer consultant with the Ontario Association of Professional Social Workers. . Weisz’s contributions also extend to promoting children’s access to classical music through the Hamilton Philharmonic Symphony. More recently is her contribution to civic life as president of the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association.

For more information about the Senior of the Year Awards program, visit www.hamilton.ca/seniorsawards.

Seniors honoured at Hamilton’s 20th awards banquet

Community Jun 25, 2015 Ancaster News

Twenty-five nominees and nine award winners were honoured Tuesday tonight in front of a crowd of 500 at the City of Hamilton’s 20th Annual Senior of the Year Awards gala event at Michelangelo Events and Conference Centre.

The awards program recognizes seniors in Hamilton who have made outstanding voluntary contributions to enriching the social, cultural or civic life of our community.

The 2015 Senior of the Year Awards winners are:

Fred Miscio — Senior of the Year Award

Miscio has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 40 years and has served in every possible capacity. His ability to empower his peers to give back is evident in his commitment to L’Arche Homes, where he has spent over 25 years helping with programming and fundraising. Miscio’s strong leadership ability is highlighted with the Annual Bishop’s Dinner, which he started over 30 years ago. Since that time, the event has raised $1.2 million. For the last four years, he has been a true advocate and fundraiser for breast cancer research by participating as a family team in the Run for Cancer. He has also spent 12 years as a coach and manager for the Steel City Minor Hockey Association, and seven years with the Slow Pitch Knights of Columbus for seniors and pastors. Miscio has also dedicated over 10 years to the Catholic Youth Organization, where he has helped with fundraising initiatives to assist children in need.

Jan Lukas – Bernie Morelli Lifetime Achievement Award

As a high school guidance counsellor in the early 1980s, Lukas joined the newly formed Suicide Prevention Council of Hamilton, and co-wrote The Suicide Handbook. In the early 1990s, she organized a full-day violence prevention workshop for 1,500 students and wrote an anti-violence plan titled, Break the Silence, published by CAVEAT (Canadians Against Violence Everywhere Advocating its Termination). Ms. Lukas also helped to establish the CAVEAT Youth Council and social justice groups for Grade 9 and 10 students such as HOPE (High Schoolers Opening People’s Eyes). She founded the Ancaster Community Food Drive, led over 400 volunteers, and collected over 1,357,500 pounds of food. Lukas has also been involved in helping women’s movements, such as Take Back the Night and The Beautiful Women Project with the YWCA. She is also a member of the Status of Women Council. She has also been a member of the Ancaster Community Council for 13 years, where her focus is supporting our youth. Lukas was instrumental in establishing the Ancaster Youth Council and Teen Centre at Morgan Firestone Arena. For over 30 years she has also dedicated her time to the Hamilton Poverty Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

Jean McEachern – Mary Smithson Compassion and Companionship Award

The Compassion and Companionship Award was dedicated posthumously to Mary Smithson, who dedicated countless hours to supporting the city’s more vulnerable populations and championing accessibility for all Hamiltonians. Smithson passed away in May 2014. Award winner McEachern began her volunteer path at St. Peter’s Hospital over 34 years ago as a tuck shop volunteer and hospital auxiliary fundraiser. Soon after, she took on the roles of medical appointment escort, special event volunteer and palliative care volunteer, and has mentored other volunteers in the palliative care unit.

Lou DeStephanis – Healthy and Active Living Award

DeStephanis has been a volunteer of the YWCA Seniors Active Living Centre since 2005. In addition to his positions as previous vice-chair and currently as chair of the seniors advisory board, DeStephanis is a true entertainer. For the past 10 years, he has been a volunteer performer for the Golden Age of Variety through Theatre Aquarius, and with a local Hawaiian dance group. More recently, DeStephanis has been performing with the Hamilton Geritol Follies. For 25 years, he has been a church choir leader at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, and has contributed much of his time to the Knights of Columbus for various charities. DeStephanis has also volunteered with the Burlington Gymnastics Club, Mount Hamilton Soccer Club, Canadian Red Cross and Canadian Cancer Society.

Chester Faulknor – Leadership Award

For over 23 years, Faulkner has served and been president of the Ancaster Village Non-Profit Homes and was instrumental in the design-build of 79 geared-to-income residences. For over 30 years, he coached Ancaster High School’s girls track and cross country teams. He was chair of the Ontario High School Cross Country Championships in Ancaster in 1994 and was the lead organizer for the event, involving 1,700 athletes and 100 volunteers. For over 10 years, Mr. Faulknor was president of Ancaster Minor Soccer League, where he established a beginner’s program for four- to six-year-olds. He has been involved with the teacher’s federation for over 40 years, and as vice-president of District 36 Wentworth, he was instrumental in creating the Excellence in Education Award in all schools. For eight years, he was a member of the OSSTF educational finance committee, where he co-wrote an alternative budget submission for educational grants. For the past 15 years, he has been a member and chair of the Active Retired Members of Hamilton.

Dave Watts – Behind the Scenes Award

Watts is one of Neighbour to Neighbour’s longest serving volunteers. For over 23 years, he contributed two to four days per week receiving, sorting and picking up food donations. His efforts have helped to serve 1,200 families (5,000 individuals) each month. Over the past 20 years, he has also given his time to the Ancaster Community Food Drive,. On Oct. 31 each year for the past 10 years, Watts works alongside high school students sorting food donations for Halloween for Hunger. Throughout the years and over three generations, he has influenced family and friends to join his volunteer commitment to the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre.

Michael Edward Grant – Diversity and Cultural Award

Since immigrating to Canada in 1964, Grant has made significant volunteer contributions to children’s and senior’s choirs in Hamilton. As an elementary school teacher, he taught children to sing at many events in Hamilton, including Remembrance Day at City Hall. He has also served as conductor for the Harvester Male Chorus for over 25 years with performances in Canada and the U.S., 12 years at First Place Seniors residence, 15 years as piano player for the residents of Blackadar Seniors residence and over 10 years as music cirector at Glenwood Special Day School for children with special needs. Today, he continues to volunteer, directing the Sackville Hill Seniors Choir, is the music director for Black History month celebrations and performs at private and special events.

Bob Thomson – Economic Leadership Award

Thomson has held the position of president of the Kinsmen Club in Streetsville where he was an integral part of the development of a community swimming pool. He continued on his volunteer path when he moved to Ancaster over 16 years ago and has held various positions on the board of directors at Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre, including over seven years as chair. . Thomson was also instrumental in enabling a partnership between the City of Hamilton and provincial and federal governments for an expansion of the centre. He implemented technology for credit and debit card payments, and redeveloped and maintains the centre’s website. He also developed a website for Sackville Hill Senior’s Centre. He is a member of the City of Hamilton’s seniors advisory committee and has held roles with the Hamilton Council on Aging and Ancaster Community Council.

Emmy Weisz – Innovation Award

In the late 1970s, Weisz helped to implement gerontology subjects in the curriculums at McMaster University and Mohawk College. Since the 1980s, she has been a member of various City of Hamilton committees, such as the seniors advisory, housing subcommittee and access and equity committee. In 1981, she founded the Alzheimer’s Society of Hamilton-Halton, and for over 10 years helped educate the community about Alzheimer’s disease. For over 15 years, she was a volunteer consultant in establishing housing for seniors and those with special needs. She has spent over 20 years as a member of the Hamilton Jewish Federation Holocaust’s Education Committee (Speaker’s Bureau), and as a volunteer consultant with the Ontario Association of Professional Social Workers. . Weisz’s contributions also extend to promoting children’s access to classical music through the Hamilton Philharmonic Symphony. More recently is her contribution to civic life as president of the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association.

For more information about the Senior of the Year Awards program, visit www.hamilton.ca/seniorsawards.