On May 28, the City of Markham recognized noteworthy individuals, groups and organizations that are helping better the community.
Those recognized include 100 Women Who Care co-founders Michelle Hale, Misti Holmes, Melissa Seguin and Rachael Streek-Buma. Since 2015, the Markham chapter has raised more than $100,000 for local charities.
Red Bag Campaign founder Eric Stanicu. Started in 2014, the campaign collects and donates food to the Markham Food Bank.
Markham Arts Council retired member Jane Milrose, who stabilized the organization’s financial situation and developed a positive, mutually beneficial relationship with the city.
Krysten Cameron of German Mills Public School: winner of Canada’s Outstanding Principals Award.
Markville Secondary School Magnificent Seven (Robert Cai, Arthur Chen, Cheryl Cheung, Damien Ho, Mishaal Lakhani, Michael Wilson and Helen Wong) whom each won a 2017 Government of Canada History Award.
Rhonda Duma, who has served as Granview Area Residents Association membership and special events coordinator for 15 years.
Rona McKey, Markham Expo 150 children’s activities area leader.
Taiwan Entrepreneurs Society Toronto, which for 25 years, has made significant contributions locally, provincially and nationally.
Tristar Gymnastics athletes (Viktoria Brkic, Kyra Choy, Lindsey Gill, Marli Gonsalves, Nevyn Gould, Maelys Halasz, Solana Jiminez, Marya Melham, Maude Puseljic, Mila Puseljic, Alana Ricketts, Alicia Ricketts, Janayla Small, Morgan Tong, Alexa Vigliatore, Jordan Wymer) and coaches (Alexandra Bezouska, Iuly Gershcovich, Britnee Habbib, Natalya Korchagina, Kristen Owen) who travelled to the 2018 Ontario championships at Windsor. Sixteen won at least one medal and several won spots on Team Ontario for the Eastern or National Championships.
The Whittamore family, for opening their farm to the public for more than 60 years. For hundreds of thousands of families across the GTA, a visit to the site was part of their summer. The Whittamores ended the public visits last year, after six decades, they decided it was time for a break.
Piper Giles and Paul Pourier: ice dancers at the 2018 Winter Olympics at PyeongChang.
Part of the program was also dedicated to Markham District Energy honouring environmental leaders from Markham high school graduating classes. The students were selected for their commitment to the sciences in school and to the environment in their volunteer time. Since their 10th anniversary in 2010, the local utility has offered 14 bursaries (one for each of Markham’s high schools) in an effort to support tomorrow’s environmental leaders and advocates. The $1,000 bursary is intended to be applied directly toward first-year educational expenses at a Canadian post-secondary institution.
The 2018 bursary recipients include, from the York Catholic District School Board: Tracy Chang (St. Robert Catholic High School); Kin-Heng Chum (St. Brother Andre Catholic High School); Natalie Ho (St. Augustine Catholic High School); and Nitharsan Naguleswaran (Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy).
From the York Region District School Board: Justin Chan (Bur Oak Secondary School); Carmen Chen (Thornlea Secondary School); Thuvarakan Jeyasanthan (Milliken Mills High School); Pooja Kadakia (Markham District High School); Evita Lai (Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School); Faheem Motara (Middlefield Collegiate Institute); David Pasternak (Thornhill Secondary School); Sohnia Sansanwal (Markville Secondary School); Ciara Smith (Bill Crothers Secondary School); and Emma Taniguchi (Unionville High School).
While most of the students say they plan on enrolling in environment studies or sciences courses at a post-secondary school this fall, notably, Jeyasanthan is taking a different route to becoming a leader in helping green the planet. As part of his school’s specialist high-skills major environment program, he participated in the Milliken Mills pond restoration and maintenance of its living wall, as well as planting trees near the Pickering Airport lands to create a wildlife corridor. This fall, he’s off to college to study landscaping.
Photo: The Markham District Energy (MDE) bursary award winners with Bruce Ander, MDE president and CEO (top left); Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Peter Ronson, MDE chief operating officer (top right) and Emily Etcher, MDE office manager (bottom left). City of Markham photo