Honouring our JDRF Volunteers at the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

April 9, 2021

Volunteers can often be unsung heroes of an organization, but they help drive a mission forward with unparalleled dedication and perseverance, especially the volunteers at JDRF. And we couldn’t be more excited and honoured to recognize some of our incredible volunteers who always go above and beyond for the type 1 diabetes community.

The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards provide Not-for-Profit organizations the opportunity to recognize long-standing volunteers for their achievements.  JDRF was thrilled to celebrate some of our key volunteers in Ontario, who were nominated by our staff.  This dedicated and committed group were honoured in March 2021 via a virtual reception. A big congratulations and thank you to our amazing Ontario volunteers who have committed many years of service!

The 2020 Ontario Volunteer Service Award Winners are:

Youth Category – two or more years of continuous volunteer service

Lauren Penston (Waterloo, three years):  Lauren has been a JDRF Youth Ambassador since the age of 9. Since taking on this role, Lauren has proven to be a wonderful, young leader in her community.  She welcomes opportunities to speak about her type 1 diabetes (T1D) journey at the JDRF Walk, Fundraise Your Way events, and helps whenever she can as a volunteer – ready to recruit and thank our participants! Lauren also developed her own school presentation, to help her peers at school understand what life is like for a kid living with T1D. 

Anne Pettigrew (Toronto, two years):  Anne is a youth ambassador who has continually supported JDRF in any way that she can, through community engagement, advocacy and promotion of JDRF. Anne has also been a Kids for a Cure delegate, and was our Co-Chair for Kids for a Cure in 2020. Anne brings her passion for story telling and coaching to each and every meeting, creating a lasting impression on those she meets. 

Adult Category – five to 65 years of continuous volunteer service, awarded at five year intervals

Jim and Jane Schuett (Waterloo, five years):  Jim and Jane have been attending the Walk as participants and volunteers of the Walk  Committee for over 18 years.  One of Waterloo Region’s most dedicated JDRF families, the Schuett’s have contributed their time and expertise at nearly every JDRF Waterloo event held over the last several years, always stepping up to help new Fundraise Your Way events, and even volunteering for JDRF events away from home.

Janice Wirch (Windsor, five years):  Janice is involved in the Walk committee, mentor team, and  our Community Engagement events. She also helped found the “Back to School” event in Windsor. She is a leader in the community and is always willing to help at JDRF events, especially when she can connect with the local T1D  community.

Mary Licatta (Windsor, 20 years):  Mary has been involved with the JDRF Walk since 1997, when her son was diagnosed with T1D. . She has chaired the Walk, been on the committee, and has been a top-ten team ever since. Mary works closely with the Windsor community to ensure all community members living with T1D feel supported.

Deboarah Dick (Ottawa, 10 years):  Deborah has been a longtime committee and event volunteer supporting many years of events in Ottawa.  She brings her passion and dedication to each event she supports, bringing out the best of her fellow volunteers. We are lucky to have Deborah volunteer for so many years – and thrilled that she has received this great award!

JDRF is so proud of our passionate volunteers who generously donate their time, voice and skills to the type 1 diabetes community. Their contributions are invaluable in helping us move our mission forward every day. We wouldn’t be able to fund ground-breaking research and improve the lives of those living with T1D without their help.

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