Montréal awards Thérèse-Daviau prize to two winners

    MONTREAL, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay,
today awarded the Thérèse-Daviau Prize exceptionally this year to two winners
who have helped to improve the quality of life in Montréal at an official
ceremony held at city hall. Monique Lefebvre, Director of the AlterEgo
organization, received a reprography by artist Alfred Pellan for her
involvement with persons with disabilities. Claire Morissette, founder of the
organization Cyclo Nord-Sud, was honoured posthumously for her exceptional
work. Her family accepted a commemorative plaque.
    "The hard work and dedication of Monique Lefebvre and Claire Morissette
have helped shape a more humane society. Their determination, talent, energy
and courage are remarkable. Through their involvement, sometimes unrecognized
but always exceptional, they have contributed to improve democracy in
Montréal. I thank them warm-heartedly for their simple gestures that have made
a significant difference in the lives of all those they have touched," said
Mayor Tremblay.

    Changing the public perception of persons with disabilities

    At a young age, Monique Lefebvre decided she would try to change the
perception of people toward persons with disabilities. Because of the way
people looked at her mother who had an amputated arm, Monique Lefebvre chose
to dedicate her life to promoting the dynamic and positive image of
handicapped persons. This led her to develop, 25 years ago, the Défi sportif
des athlètes handicapés, which is now a major international event supported by
800 volunteers and attended by more than 3,000 athletes. Mrs. Lefebvre has
headed AlterEgo for 27 years. Located in the Sud-Ouest borough, the community
organization brings together more than 85 organizations, municipalities and
boroughs that are concerned with the issue of accessibility to leisure
activities by Montrealers with physical, intellectual, hearing, visual or
psychiatric disabilities.
    "Monique Lefebvre's remarkable determination to change the public
perception toward disabled persons helped highlight their everyday lives using
a warm, humane approach," said Marie-Andrée Beaudoin, member of the executive
committee responsible for social and community development, and member of the
2007 Thérèse-Daviau Prize selection committee.
    Mrs. Lefebvre received a reprography by artist Alfred Pellan, titled
Mini J, which shows coloured beings of various shapes, or misshapen, which,
together, create a dynamic and most interesting ensemble. The work was
carefully chosen for the reflection it inspires on the beauty of difference.
For the Daviau family, the work reflects the road traveled by Thérèse Daviau,
who broke down all barriers to improve the quality of life of Montrealers.

    Pedaling to improve our quality of life

    Claire Morissette had tremendous drive, and helped to improve the quality
of life of Montréal cyclists. She was instrumental in developing the link
under the Victoria Bridge, the first link between the South Shore and Montréal
for cyclists. She died of cancer last July. A result-oriented woman of
commitment, Mrs. Morissette developed several projects in the 1990s which are
now very successful, thanks to her involvement and efforts. These include the
CommuAuto and Cyclo Nord-Sud foundations. "Mrs. Morissette ranks among those
women entrepreneurs who take major projects to new heights through their
talent and generosity," said Helen Fotopulos, member of the Montréal executive
committee responsible for the status of women, and member of the selection
committee for the 2007 Thérèse-Daviau Prize.

    The 2007 selection committee

    Each year, the panel of judges receives a number of applications, which
shows the interest of Montrealers for the prestigious Thérèse-Daviau Prize.
The 2007 panel was made up of two members of the Montréal executive committee,
Marie-Andrée Beaudoin and Helen Fotopulos; Thérèse Daviau's spouse, René
Giroux; her daughter, Catherine Bergeron, and city community development
advisor, Chantal Croze. The panel of judges was won over by the remarkable
road traveled by two capable and kind-hearted women who tied for the Prize.

    About the Thérèse-Daviau Prize

    The Thérèse-Daviau Prize recognizes the exceptional commitment and
contribution of an individual who has made a mark in the fields of sports,
leisure, culture or community development, has improved the quality of life in
Montréal or has worked to improve democracy in Montréal.
    The Thérèse-Daviau Prize, which has been given for the past four years,
honours and carries on the memory of Thérèse Daviau, who was one of the first
women to sit on city council in 1974, at the age of 28. A great woman on the
municipal scene, Mrs. Daviau dedicated more than 25 years of her life to
community issues. From now on, the Thérèse-Daviau Prize will be awarded every
other year. Past winners include Lucia Kowaluk in 2004; Olga Hrycak in 2005,
and Twinkle Rudberg in 2006.

For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Poulin, Chargée de communication,
(514) 872-4641; Sophie Bensaid, Chargée de communication, (514) 872-8055;
Source: Darren Becker, Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif, (514) 872-6412

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