Ontario Trillium Foundation 2007 Great Grants Award Winners: Thames Valley

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    ST. THOMAS, ON, Oct. 24 /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 St. Thomas, October 25, 2007. The evening will be hosted by Grant Hughson,
North American Railway Hall of Fame.
    "The Great Grants Awards recognize the vision, commitment and energy of
Ontario's volunteers and community organizations," said Paul Willoughby, Grant
Review Team Chair for Thames Valley. "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 Thames Valley
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 Thames Valley, 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:  Thames Valley

      - Arts and Culture: London Council of Arab Women for Community
        Services: With help from an OTF grant in 2005 of $35,000, the Council
        produced the documentary "Women of Qaraoun, The History of Arab Women
        in Canada". The film illuminates the lives of Arab women in Canada
        and fosters greater cultural understanding. It has screened at film
        festivals across Canada.

      - Sports and Recreation: Forest City Velodrome: In 2004, when a group
        of cycling enthusiasts converted an old London hockey arena into a
        velodrome, OTF got into gear with a grant of $49,000.The grant
        provided assistance with operating costs and in setting up youth and
        women's programming. The whole operation is supported by volunteers
        who do everything from announcing races, to teaching clinics and
        repairing bicycles.

      - Environment: Friends of the Coves Subwatershed: In 2005, with the
        help of a two year OTF grant of $110,000, the Friends, a group of
        advocates and committed volunteers, implemented a stewardship plan.
        By encouraging local landowners to adopt ecologically-friendly
        practices and through educating the public in ecosystem conservation,
        the Friends have made tangible improvements to the area.

      - Human and Social Services: London Training Centre. The London
        Training Centre provides entry-level kitchen training for youth and
        recent immigrants and has delivered many programs for those seeking
        greater skills and employment in the foodservice/hospitality
        industry. In 2005, OTF granted $69,000 to the Centre for a safe food
        handling training program. Expecting to train 300 people, the centre
        was successful in training almost 900 people and raised revenues of
        close to $40,000.

      - Grant Review Team Chair's Award - for exemplary volunteerism:
        ReForest London: ReForest London helps community groups, businesses
        and individuals plant trees and shrubs in their neighbourhoods. The
        group took root with a seed grant from OTF in 2004. In 2006, the
        Foundation granted ReForest an additional $74,300 to continue its
        reforestation work. 1,300 volunteers were involved in 2006 alone.

      - 25th Anniversary Award - for remaining a leader in the not-for profit
        or charitable sector by consistently delivering on the Foundation's
        granting priorities: mindyourmind.ca c/o Family Services Thames
        Valley. Family Services Thames Valley, along with the London Mental
        Health Crisis Service recognized that reaching youth on their terms
        was key in providing effective service. In 2005, OTF granted the
        collaborative $35,000 to develop and refine the website
        mindyourmind.ca. It is an award winning site for youth, by youth.

    The 2007 Great Grants Awards will be held Thursday October 25, from 5:00
p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 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; London
Council of Arab Women: Wafa Dawoud: (519) 438-3456, Lcaw453@hotmail.com;
Forest City Velodrome: Rob Good: 1-888-508-3944,
rob.good@forestcityvelodrome.ca; Friends of the Cove Subwatershed: Mary-Pat
Mathers: (519) 640-5397, mpmathers@thecoves.ca; London Training Centre: David
Corke: (519) 685-4331 ext. 28; ReForest London: Julie Ryan: (519) 936-9548,
julieryan@rogers.com; mindyourmind.ca c/o Family Services Thames Valley: Maria
Luisa Contursi: (519)433-0183 ext. 7213

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