The First Ten
It’s been a busy few months since we started collecting nominations for the Amazing People Gala in October, but we’re happy to announce the names of our first ten nominees! Read about some of the amazing people in our community who are in the running to be honoured with the “Amazing Person of the Year” award this year.
Stu Schwartz & Consuelo Bernardi
“Stuntman Stu” is best known for his lively persona on local morning radio or for announcing for the Ottawa Senators. Countless galas and fundraisers pepper his cv and he helped champion the “NO MORE BULLIES” campaign, himself a victim of childhood bullying. Recently what makes Stu even more spectacular, along with his wife Consuelo, has been their public fight with Stu’s leukemia. The outpouring of support was overwhelming which has turned into fundraising for leukemia awareness and research. $314,000 has been raised so far.
Former Ottawa Rough Rider and minor league coach Wayne Tosh is a man with a big heart. He started an organization to provide opportunities for top local football athletes to get scouted for university and college positions. He has worked as Director of Computers for Schools for kids in developing countries and was instrumental in establishing Athletes in Action, a bible studies initiative that took off and now spans the country in professional sports and in university/colleges.
Sean is an advocate for youth fighting to break the cycle of drug abuse and addiction to counterfeit drugs, including fentanyl. His courage to speak out about his own daughter’s struggle has helped many, including parents who have felt helpless on their journey. He has also lead the way in pushing governments to put more resources into public health and education advocating for more detox beds, awareness campaigns and resources for first-line responders.
A youth counsellor at the Roberts/Smart Centre for the last eight years, Omar is dedicated to at-risk kids. He also works for the Boys and Girls’ Club of Ottawa and has given his time to organizations such as the Ottawa Amazing Youth Race. In two years of chairing the RSC Annual Fall Classic golf, he has doubled the amount raised.
A refugee from Iraq, Ibrahim has lived in Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) since 2012. In 2016, Ibrahim, then 17, founded the Cuts for Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free haircuts to children in Ottawa. Cuts for Kids has hosted events in five different communities, one of which included haircuts for 250 Syrian refugees. In the past year, Cuts for Kids has grown to a staff of nine, has mobilized over 60 volunteers and partnered up with over 30 organizations in the Ottawa area.
At the age of 32, Judy spent five months recovering from life-saving surgery. During this time, she combined her new lease on life and her passion for helping others to fundraise for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation. Fundraiser extraordinaire, in 2014, Judy formed the Ottawa Foodie Girlz, whose mission is to host food-related fundraising events benefiting local charities. More than $15,000 has been raised so far. She is involved with many organizations, including the Children’s Wish Foundation.
A composer, a musician, a gifted and brilliant man are all ways to describe 70-something David. He is also developmentally delayed, blind and deaf but for the first time in his life, he is living independently and inspiring those around him. David shares his musical talents entertaining residents at Villa Marconi, a long-term care facility. Note by note, David is touching lives by sharing his beautiful way of seeing the world.
Is a marketing force extraordinaire with a big heart. Clothing drives, fundraisers (over $100,000 in sports equipment and musical instruments for Cross Lake or the recent $22,100 for the Ottawa Food Bank), networker supreme and women entrepreneur supporter, Catherine stops at nothing to help others. Over a decade ago, Catherine started a showcase event for female entrepreneurs called ‘Cherry Pie’ and she is the force behind Ladies who Lunch. In short, she is a mover and a shaker making difference.
Forced out of her country at gunpoint during an ethnic cleansing, Sovani came to Canada as a refugee. She worked her way through school and into government and every step of the way inspiring women around her. She has helped many widows and families who immigrate to Canada from war torn countries and is a mentor to women trying to make it in government. She sits on many boards including Hydro Ottawa, and United Way, and has volunteered for many years with the Aga Khan Foundation. She’s also held high positions within the Ismaili Muslim Community in Canada.
To make sure you find out who is crowned the “Amazing Person of the Year,” be sure to buy your tickets now!