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Sudburians Vince Perdue, Milena Raso presented with YMCA Peace Medals

YMCA held a virtual version of its annual Peace Medal Ceremony last week 
Vince Perdue and Milena Raso. (File)

The YMCA of Northeastern Ontario hosted a virtual YMCA Peace Medal Ceremony on Nov. 19 to celebrate individuals in our community who have made significant contributions toward peace-building.

From Nov. 14-21, during YMCA Peace Week, the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario, together with YMCAs across Canada, celebrated the presence of peace in our communities, and reflected on the peace building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.

YMCA Peace Week illustrates how the ongoing work of building peace needs to continue now more than ever, said a press release.

“The recipients of the YMCA Peace Medal demonstrate that peace has many dimensions,” said Helen Francis, president and CEO for the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario.

“Through their significant volunteerism and work for their communities, they make positive impacts felt by everyone. That is the power of peace.” 

2020 Peace Medal recipients 

Adult Category

Vince Perdue

Perdue, a prominent member of the Sudbury running community, helps with planning, promoting, hosting and supporting local running events. He has also been the Director of Sudbury Rocks!!! Race, Run or Walk for several years helped shape it into the event it is today, the biggest running event in Northern Ontario that supports local charitable organizations.

A few of the races that Perdue has supported in the past include the CIBC Run for the Cure, Santa Shuffle, Turkey Gobbler and all local Running Room events such as the Hypothermic Half Marathon and Resolution Run. 

He also supports running events in local communities including the Massey Friendly Marathon and the Manitoulin Island Wiki Road Race for example.

Additionally, Perdue has independently coached many runners for free to help them reach their running goals and is a strong supporter of local businesses, and will make an effort to purchase local any time that he can.

“It’s clear to see that thanks to Vince, the Sudbury running community is strong, connected and thriving, which means a happier and healthier Sudbury,” said the YMCA.

Youth Category

Milena Raso

Milena, 17, has been volunteering for nine years. Since she was just eight, she was actively involved in raising funds for the Northern Cancer Foundation, Sudbury Hospice Care, Children’s Wish Foundation, Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer, Black Youth Helpline, Sudbury Alzheimer’s Society and more. Milena also founded the Stomach Cancer Fund alongside her family and in memory of her dad.

Just last year, Milena developed her own social enterprise where she made scrunchies, bracelets and headbands with profits going towards local charities. Thanks to her fundraising efforts, she has fully funded two nurse chairs for the Northeast Cancer Centre. She has also sold face masks, and the $5,000 that she raised went to Northern Ontario Families of Children with cancer.

“Milena is a shining example of how to take initiative for causes that are important to her,” said the YMCA. “To date, she has raised over $20,000 for local charitable organizations. Thank you, Milena, for your incredible support to our community.”