Local Heroes 2023
Here’s to the hard-working folk who are passionate about helping others, and making our communities a great place to call home.
Nineteenth-century American writer George William Curtis said, “Heroes in history seem to us poetic because they are there; but if we should tell the simple truth of some of our neighbors, it would sound like poetry.”
This year’s local heroes show that poetry is all around us in Headwaters. Whether representing Canada on the international athletic stage or fighting to protect our environment, building a thriving arts community or knowing how to throw a great event for charity, righting the wrongs of the past or just helping to get the paperwork done, all of them are poetic verses in the neighbourhood we call home.
Click on the links or the pictures below to read more about this year’s heroes.
Bonnie Ledson and team – Fundraising Divas
“Each of us has her own special talents. As a committee, we fit together nicely, manage to get all the jobs done and have a lot of fun along the way.” This is Bonnie Ledson, discussing the women who organize the Diamond in the Hills fashion show, luncheon and auction held each fall in support of Bethell Hospice in Inglewood. Read more about these fundraising divas here.
Dan O’Reilly – Obliged to our Ancestors
Community activist and freelance reporter Dan O’Reilly is passionate about heritage protection. His family has lived in the south Caledon settlement of Wildfield, on what is now Mayfield Road at the border of Brampton, since the 1830s. Dan is recognised for his efforts to preserve the history of his family, his community and his environment. Read more about Dan’s activism here.
Kevin Junor – Champion for the ‘Black Battalion’
With a decorated military background, Bolton resident Kevin Junor is on a mission is to raise national awareness of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, a group of Black First World War soldiers who served in the segregated unit. Click here to read more about Kevin’s participation in many initiatives involving diversity, equity and inclusion, both in his work with the province and the military.
Pat and Gary Vipond – A Lifetime of ‘Doing’
For these two 87-year-olds, giving back to the community has been a lifetime commitment. Pat and Gary Vipond have been involved with the Headwaters Refugee Sponsorship Committee, fellowship groups, fund raising hikes, the Orangeville Show Chorus, and the Dufferin Arts Council, to name just a few. Read more about this inspiring couple at this link.
Gabe McHughan – Athlete Extraordinaire
This Grade 8 student from Shelburne is a fierce athlete, who took home four medals from the 2023 World Dwarf Games held in Cologne, Germany. The World Dwarf Games are the largest international sporting event held exclusively for people with dwarfism, and at the 2023 games Gabe competed in badminton, basketball, boccia, soccer, swimming, track and field, table tennis and volleyball, winning bronze in basketball, boccia and soccer, and a silver in volleyball. Click here to read more about this athlete extraordinaire.
Suzanne Lachance – Tax Trouper
Tax season is often a time filled with uncertainty, confusion and even fear. For Suzanne Lachance, the Dufferin-Caledon area volunteer co-ordinator for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, taking the stress out of tax season is an opportunity to improve people’s lives. Read more about Suzanne’s work with the free tax clinics here.