Ontario Trillium Foundation 2007 Great Grants Award Winners: Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin



    WATERLOO, ON, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - Six remarkable Ontario not-for-profit
organizations will be honoured for the difference they have made in their
communities at the Ontario Trillium Foundation's 25th Anniversary celebration
in Waterloo, November 15, 2007. The evening will be hosted by Neil Aitchison
of Waterloo.
    "The Great Grants Awards recognize the vision, commitment and energy of
Ontario's volunteers and community organizations," said Don Bourgeois, Grant
Review Team Chair for Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin. "This is our 25th year
of strengthening communities and we're celebrating by holding 16 award events
across the province. We look forward to meeting community members in the
Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin area who help make Ontario a great place to
live."
    The Foundation presents the Great Grants Awards every two years. The
award winners were selected by volunteers who serve on the local Grant Review
Team. In Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin, six organizations were chosen for
their outstanding achievements in the Arts and Culture, Sports and Recreation,
Environment and Human and Social Services sectors.

    
    2007 Great Grants Award Winners:

    -   Arts and Culture: Multicultural Theatre Space (the MT Space). With an
        OTF grant in 2005 of $97,200 over 18 months, the multicultural
        theatre space was created. MT Space seeks to promote multiculturalism
        as a rich aspect of Canadian life. In a short period of time, it has
        had work accepted in numerous fringe festivals across the country.
        Volunteers contribute over 5,000 hours annually to fulfill technical,
        design and research needs.

    -   Sports and Recreation: Run for Life. In 2003, OTF walked the walk
        with an initial grant of $16,000 to help get the organization up and
        running. Led by strong role models, Run for Life establishes and
        supports simple, accessible, year round group running and walking
        programs across Canada. With a goal to address childhood obesity and
        illiteracy in low-income communities, Run for Life emphasizes the
        link between physical fitness and life long learning.

    -   Environment: Wellington County Community Forestry Initiative. With
        the Optimist Club of Alma taking the lead, concerns for the
        environment galvanized over 22 organizations in the Wellington-
        Waterloo region. In 2003, OTF granted $147,500 over three years to
        the collaborative to help preserve and rehabilitate community
        forests. Over 150,000 trees were planted in Wellington County in 2004
        and an additional 151,000 trees were planted the following year.
        Students and volunteers continue to be trained by the district
        forester in their area.

    -   Human and Social Services: Waterloo Region Immigration Employment
        Network. In 2006, OTF granted the Waterloo Region Immigration Network
        $225,000 over three years to lead systemic change in order to support
        more employment opportunities for immigrants. In a short time, the
        organization has increased awareness of immigrant employment
        opportunities and has educated employers about the talent in their
        midst. Today, more employers are hiring new Canadians and are
        influencing change in their companies.

    -   Grant Review Team Chair's Award - for exemplary volunteerism:
        Headwaters Communities in Action. When a group of community leaders
        in the Headwaters area sought to improve the quality of life for its
        residents through an innovative program, OTF responded in 2005 with a
        $42,000 grant over 14 months. The initiative brings together people
        from the business, education, health, social services, government and
        environmental sectors to identify problems and they can best pool
        resources to take action.

    -   25th Anniversary Award - for remaining a leader in the not-for profit
        or charitable sector by consistently delivering on the Foundation's
        granting priorities: Wings of Discovery c/o Let's Talk Science. In
        2002, OTF granted $207,000 over three years to Let's Talk Science and
        to the Butterfly Learning Centre, a new child care centre in
        Waterloo, to implement the Wings of Discovery program. The grant
        provided training and support for staff and helped with fundraising.
        Over 30 volunteers, parents, professionals and students were involved
        in the curriculum design. Today, this volunteer-generated initiative
        serves as the basis of a kindergarten curriculum that has been
        adopted by several school boards.
    

    The 2007 Great Grants Awards will be held Thursday, November 15th from
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Children's Museum in Kitchener. The award
presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency
of the Government of Ontario. To learn more about OTF, visit
www.trilliumfoundation.org





For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Bennett, Writer/Communications Officer,
1-800-263-2887 ext. 293, cbennett@trilliumfoundation.org; The Multicultural
Theatre Space: Majdi Bou-Martar: (519) 585-7763; Run for Life: John Carson:
(519) 623-5340; Wellington County Community Forest Initiative: Rob Johnson:
(519) 837-2600 ext. 303; Waterloo Region Immigrant Employment Network: Todd
Letts: (519) 576-5000; Headwaters Communities in Action: Sylvia Cheuy: (519)
940-3118; Wings of Discovery c/o Let's Talk Science: Bonnie Schmidt, Sara
Steers: (519) 474-4081


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