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Community Builders winners help make Sudbury greater

Eight more names have been added to the growing list of people who help put the “greater” in the City of Greater Sudbury.
The winners of the 11th annual Community Builders Awards of Excellence are (in back, from left) Georges Brouillette (Economic Development), Vince Perdue (Sports and Recreation), Kevin McCormick (Education) and Zaccharie Lefrançois (Young Leader), and (in front, from left,) Lorraine Leblanc, executive director of Alzheimer Society Sudbury-Manitoulin (Health Care), Muiriel Checkeris (Arts) and Naomi Grant (Environment). Missing is Bela Ravi (Hall of Fame). Photo by Arron Pickard.
Eight more names have been added to the growing list of people who help put the “greater” in the City of Greater Sudbury.

This year's award winners are:
Arts: Muiriel Checkeris'
Economic Development: Georges Brouillette'
Education: Kevin McCormick'
Environment: Naomi Grant'
Health Care: Alzheimer Society Sudbury-Manitoulin'
Sports and Recreation: Vince Perdue'
Young Leader: Zaccharie Lefrançois'
Hall of Fame: Bela Ravi.

Eight of outstanding citizens were celebrated Feb. 20 at the 11th annual Community Builders Awards of Excellence (CBAs) gala. The sold-out event at the Radisson Hotel was hosted by Northern Life publisher Abbas Homayed.

"Each year, we hear inspiring stories of struggle and success, of inventiveness and ingenuity, of dedication and delivery, and of commitment and caring," said Homayed. "These are attributes that build community. These are attributes that sustain communities and these are attributes that we honour at the CBAs every year."

Michael Atkins, the president of Northern Life, said the awards remind everyone what makes the city so special, adding it is a privilege for the media to highlight the achievements the talented CBA recipients.

"We are so lucky at Northern Life,” Atkins said. “Not only do we tell your stories, once a year we get to experience the true greatness of Greater Sudbury through the Community Builders Awards of Excellence."

Please tune in to Eastlink Channel 10 on March 3 and March 6 at 8 p.m. or at 10 p.m. for the premiere documentary on the event and the story of the winners.

Northern Life extends its appreciation to this year's judges: Jeanne Warwick Conroy, Tina McCaffrey, David Makela, David Munch, Leo Lefebvre, Karen Tait Peacock, Don Duval and Marc Boudreau.

Detailed stories on each winner, as well as photos and video, can be found at, but here's a peak at the winners and some of their achievements.

Muiriel Checkeris is the heart and soul of Artists on Elgin, a gallery shop at 168 Elgin Street that displays and sells the work of some of the city's talented artists. Muiriel is a gifted potter and one of the people who helped to soften the edges of a mining town by contributing to the cultural scene over many decades.

Economic Development
City Welding (Sudbury) Ltd. has grown from a one-man shop to a 24,600-square-foot enterprise in a New Sudbury industrial park where more than 40 people are employed. The company's founder, Georges Brouillette, is awarded the 2014 Community Builders Award for Economic Development. There is no secret to Brouillette's success — hard work, quality workmanship, good service and loyal employees who share the same commitment.

Huntington University president Kevin McCormick is an inspiring leader to faculty, staff and students. He has extended Huntington's influence in the community, province, Canada and around the world. He has donated his time, talent and money to projects that benefit many at home and in developing countries.

Naomi Grant is a visionary leader and driver for the protection of the environment and greenspace in the Sudbury community. She has worked tirelessly in a volunteer capacity to raise an awareness of natural heritage values, greenspace potential and the importance of protecting the environmental integrity of our wetlands and watershed.

Health Care
Thanks to the Société Alzheimer Society of Sudbury-Manitoulin, citizens of Greater Sudbury have access to some of the best community care and facilities in the province. Over the past 28 years, the society has developed Best Practices for Dementia Care. From its humble beginnings in a portable beside Pioneer Manor, it has become an expert in this field of care and a model organization in the province.

Sports and Recreation
Vince Perdue is always volunteering — the kind of guy who is the first to arrive and the last to leave. An avid runner, he is president of the Sudbury Rocks Running Club and one of the founders of the Sudbury Rocks Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes, Northern Ontario's largest distance race. The event has raised more than $300,000 for diabetes research in the past eight years.

Young Leader
Only 18, Zaccharie Lefrançois, a Collège Boréal student, accumulated more than 1,200 hours while he was still in high school. One of his key projects is taking care of the Lebel Park outdoor rink. He did such a good job, the city's Parks and Recreation department gave him a paying job. Zac is one of the youngest people to win a Greater Sudbury Civic Award for Volunteerism.

Hall of FameBela Ravi's volunteer work in our community has focused on the things near to her heart: education, young people, health care, seniors, people in need, easing the transition for newcomers and fostering racial understanding. A member of the India-Canada Association of Sudbury since 2000 and a past-president, she has chaired the Advisory Committee for the Greater Sudbury Police Services on Racial and Multicultural Relations since 2005. She has served on the boards of the Sudbury Multicultural Folk Arts Association, City of Lakes Family Health Team, and the Sudbury Theatre Centre. Ravi has chaired six fundraisers for the ParkSide (Older Adult) Centre that have raised more than $120,000. She has been involved in countless other fundraising projects including a major one for the Elgin Street Mission. Bela sits on the Laurentian University board of governors AND the Ontario Arts Council.
Thank you to our Sponsors:
Presented by: Northern Life
Platinum sponsors: EastLink, NEWALTA
Award Sponsors: Dynamic Insurance Brokers, Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, McQueen's Furniture, Mining Technologies International, Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations – A Glencore Company, Sudbury Theatre Centre,
NEWALTA and Vale
Event Sponsors: BESTECH, Fortin Foundation, Huntington University, Laurentian University
Media Sponsors: Northern Ontario Business and Sudbury Living.