TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Mackenzie Investments is pleased to
announce that Firrhaana Sayanvala of Cambridge, Ontario has been selected by an esteemed judging panel as
the 2012 winner of Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist. Firrhaana receives
$2,500 in cash and $5,000 that will be directed in her name to the
charity of her choice.
Firrhaana, 17, has been actively involved in Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank for more than four years. According to its mission statement, this
charity provides both emergency and proactive services that help people
recover from or avoid another crisis. Best known for food distribution,
the charity also offers a broad range of support programs that assist
people to become, and remain, self sufficient.
When Firrhaana began volunteering at the food bank, this student at Galt
Collegiate Institute was impressed by the staff's supportive, friendly
and non-judgmental approach. Over the years she has been involved in a
number of fundraising events, often in a leadership role, to assist the
food bank, plus she has assumed an activist role of promoting the
charity and recruiting others to lend a hand. Through Firrhaana's
tireless efforts, support for Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank has grown, allowing the charity to help more people in need, when they
need it most.
"Firrhaana is an outstanding contest winner," said Brad Offman, Vice
President, Strategic Philanthropy at Mackenzie Investments. "She is
humble, articulate and passionate about helping the less fortunate
through countless hours of volunteering. She's living proof of the
power of grassroots philanthropy."
Congratulations to the finalists
The judging panel revealed that choosing a winner was the toughest
decision in the contest's history. The five finalists are commended for
their outstanding philanthropic efforts in 2012. Each of the following
finalists receive $500 and an additional $500 for the charity of their
Jenna Cottrill, 17, Wallace, NS: When a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, Jenna wanted
to help. She found a Canadian-registered charity called God's Littlest Angels Canada (GLA) that is dedicated to providing intensive nursery care for
premature, malnourished and abandoned children in Haiti. Jenna engaged
her community to collect relief supplies, plus she started a successful
fundraiser by creating and selling cards and bookmarks featuring
pictures drawn by children in the GLA orphanage. Jenna even spent two
weeks volunteering in Haiti with plans for more in the near future.
Hannah Dalton, 17, Montreal, QC: Hannah is committed to helping children around the world receive an
education, escape poverty and avoid exploitation. A news report about
horrendous working conditions for children at a clothing factory in
India was the catalyst for Hannah to help impoverished children gain an
education that may ultimately free them from abusive child labour
situations. Her chosen charity, Free The Children, fights social injustice and gives a voice to the voiceless. Hannah has
collected almost $4,000 from various fundraising events towards
building a much-needed school in Sierra Leone.
Arielle Grondin, 16, Tecumseh, ON: Having battled the debilitating and life-threatening effects of cystic
fibrosis (CF) since birth, Arielle's commitment to Cystic Fibrosis Canada is both wholehearted and highly personal. She has rallied her community
through a fundraiser called "Music for Life," an event featuring young
performers that Arielle created to raise awareness of CF. This event
has gained so much support that media interest has been widespread,
helping to promote her charity even more. Inspirational and passionate,
Arielle is doing everything she can to help find a cure for CF.
Paige Roper, 17, Pitt Meadows, BC: Paige's journey to becoming a spokesperson for BC Children's Hospital Foundation was filled with challenges. At 10 she was diagnosed with inoperable
brain cancer. While being treated at BC Children's Hospital, Paige
encountered enormous pain and suffering - both her own and that of
other children. When she recovered the foundation asked her to be a
spokesperson, a request she fulfilled without hesitation. Paige speaks
at many fundraising events and writes a blog for the foundation,
motivating many people to provide financial and emotional support to
this worthy cause.
Shannon Wong, 17, Richmond Hill, ON: Involved in her charity for over seven years and 2,000 hours of
volunteering, Shannon is clearly committed to the cause. Free The Children works worldwide to help remove barriers like poverty and exploitation
so children can lead active, meaningful lives. Touched by the inequity
and deprivation many children face, Shannon has taken action and
mobilized others to get involved. She participates in fundraising
events and campaigns, committing her own money - from her part-time
job, academic competition cash awards and donations she requests in
lieu of birthday presents - to support her charity.
This year's judging panel
The panel was comprised of high-profile individuals with expert
knowledge of philanthropy and children's issues. The judges were
Danielle Bedasse, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation; Carlos
Bustamante, Host, YTV's The Zone; Craig Kielburger, Founder, Free The
Children; Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy,
Mackenzie Investments; and Jane Wu, 2008 winner of Canada's Top Teen
How Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist was chosen
With hundreds of applications to consider, the panel judged the
candidates on a number of factors, including: the breadth of their
volunteering and fundraising efforts; leadership and creativity;
hands-on involvement in their philanthropic pursuits; length and level
of their involvement; and impact on their community and their charity.
Mackenzie Investments was founded in 1967, and is a leading investment management firm
providing investment advisory and related services. With $61.5 billion
in assets under management as at December 31, 2012, Mackenzie
Investments distributes its investment services through multiple
distribution channels to both retail and institutional investors.
Mackenzie Investments is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM)
group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial
services companies with $120.7 billion in total assets under management
as at December 31, 2012. For more information, visit mackenziefinancial.com.
Image with caption: "Firrhaana Sayanvala (CNW Group/Mackenzie Financial Corporation) (CNW Group/Mackenzie Investments)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130130_C9953_PHOTO_EN_23135.jpg
SOURCE: Mackenzie Investments
For further information:
Director, Communications and Media Relations