YMCA Calgary recognizes local peacemakers



    16th Annual YMCA Calgary Peace Medals awarded for work in Calgary and
    abroad

    CALGARY, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - Calgary-area residents were recognized for their
commitment to peacemaking today at the 2007 YMCA Calgary Peace Medals
luncheon. Peace Medals were awarded to three groups and five individuals, both
adults and youth, for their work in Calgary and abroad.
    "This year we have 49 outstanding nominees and recipients who have done
great things in the community and internationally," said Wayne Perkins, YMCA
Calgary President and CEO. "These individuals and groups are shining examples
of how everyone has a hand in creating a more peaceful world."
    The Association awarded eight peace medals in the categories of Community
and International Peace Initiatives, as well as a YMCA Calgary Staff Peace
Medal and a Humanitarian Award from a pool of 49 nominees. To date, YMCA
Calgary has awarded 57 peace medals to local individuals and community
organizations.
    For the past 16 years, YMCA Calgary has celebrated YMCA World Peace Week
during the third week of November. The theme for this year's World Peace Week
is "the power of peace...the power of people", recognizing the ability of all
individuals to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Although the
YMCA incorporates peace building activities year round, during YMCA World
Peace Week special emphasis is placed on teaching children and youth about the
dimensions of peace and on recognizing the peace efforts of local residents.

    The 2007 YMCA Calgary Peace Medal recipients are:
    -------------------------------------------------

    YMCA Calgary Community Peace Initiatives - Individual Award:
    Lucille Dupuis

    Lucille has been a teacher and making a difference in her student's lives
for 26 years. As well as leading an anti-bullying effort at Varsity Acres
School, she has taught her students to give back and involved them in
supporting agencies such as The Mustard Seed and Inn from the Cold and schools
in Cuba and Africa.

    YMCA Calgary Community Peace Initiatives - Group Award: Father Scollen
    School

    Simply by showing respect, practicing good manners and being involved,
students, teachers and parents of Father Scollen School have made a dramatic
improvement in the school's environment. Their Dare to Lead initiative
encourages peer mediation and volunteering and has helped to make the school a
more peaceful place.

    YMCA Calgary Community Peace Initiatives - Youth Group Award:
    Soul SERVivors

    Soul SERVivors help better the lives of people in and around their home
town of Canmore. Year after year they provide Christmas gifts for the children
on the Morley reserve as well as raise money for the Bow Valley SPCA, Alberta
Cancer Society and AIDS research.

    YMCA Calgary International Peace Initiatives - Individual Award:
    Simon Atem

    Simon's remarkable past as a Sudanese refugee, led him to start Simon's
Project, an initiative that raises money to build a school in his home
community in Sudan. Simon has received international recognition for his
efforts and is supported by his school Father Lacombe which holds fundraisers
during the lunch hour.

    YMCA Calgary International Peace Initiatives - Group Award:
    Keeping the Circle Strong

    A generous group of students, parents and teachers from Fred Seymour
School raised money to help orphans in Litein, Kenya. By marketing and selling
a CD and taking a presentation to corporate Calgary, they have managed to
collect more than $50,000 for children in Africa.

    YMCA Calgary International Peace Initiatives - Youth Award: Naheed Jivraj

    Seventeen-year-old Naheed is helping people in Pakistan, Kenya and at
home, to use computers to communicate, build relationships and share their
experiences. By bringing computers and teaching the people of these developing
countries how to use them, he is hoping to provide education and
opportunities.

    YMCA Calgary Staff Award: Genevieve Marcoux

    Genevieve was homeless on and off for years. After turning her life
around, she became dedicated to helping people on the streets. Genevieve
volunteered for the Mustard Seed and worked at the Calgary Drop-in Centre
before coming to the YMCA. She's still involved with the homeless community
and brings donations and blankets, comforts those in need and educates others
on homelessness and addiction.

    YMCA Calgary Humanitarian Award: Marsha Meidow

    Marsha survived abuse, addiction and exploitation and is now an
ambassador for the prevention of violence against women. As a counselor for
the YWCA Safe Haven Program, the producer and director for the Calgary
production of the Vagina Monologues and more, Marsha provides women with
strength, inspiration and a voice.

    About YMCA Calgary
    ------------------
    YMCA Calgary is a charitable organization dedicated to serving the
community through a variety of programs and services for people of all ages
and abilities. For more than 100 years, hundreds of thousands of Calgarians
have been involved in YMCA Calgary through community programs, health, fitness
and recreation, and education and personal development opportunities. The YMCA
looks forward to another century of community involvement, continuing its
legacy of building strong kids, strong families and strong communities. For
more information about YMCA Calgary, visit ymcacalgary.org.





For further information:

For further information: Deanna Vigeant, Communications Specialist, YMCA
Calgary, P: (403) 781-1698, C: (403) 510-5974, E-mail:
dvigeant@calgary.ymca.ca

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YMCA CALGARY

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