MARK DEWOLFE SOCIAL ACTION AWARD

The Reverend Mark DeWolfe was the minister at the Unitarian Church in Mississauga from 1982 until his untimely death in 1988.  Reverend DeWolfe was the first openly gay minister in Canada.  He was much loved by his congregation and was known for his devotion to social justice issues.

Douglas Alton receives the 2018 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

 Dr Douglas Alton, pictured at left with Kathy Geczi of the award committee, is a long time resident of Port Credit and the 2018 recipient of the Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award.

The award is presented annually by the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga to a member who has gone above and beyond in the service of social justice issues. The Reverend Mark DeWolfe was the minister at the Unitarian Church in Mississauga from 1982 until his untimely death in 1988. Reverend DeWolfe was the first openly gay minister in Canada. He was much loved by his congregation and was known for his devotion to social justice issues.

Doug has been active volunteering locally and internationally for more than 40 years. The focus of much of Dr Alton’s volunteer work has been world peace. He has been with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, now know as Physicians for Global Survival, for 37 years giving his time to many aspects of the organization’s work. He is a member of Science for Peace, Rotary International and Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.

He and his wife, Janis Alton, also a well known peace activist, have hosted in their home Rotary Exchange Students from Brazil, New Zealand, Poland and Denmark. Over the past 20 years Doug has also been part of UCM teams that have sponsored refugee families from Syria, Burundi, Laos and El Salvador. Dr Alton has also volunteered as a radiologist in a hospital for indigenous people in Malaysia.

The list of Doug’s accomplishments go well beyond this summary. Many residents of Mississauga will have enjoyed Caroling in the Park in Port Credit, an annual event, which he and Janis have been helping to organize for 40 years!

Congratulations to Doug for all the outstanding contributions he has made locally and internationally. The award is well deserved.

Mary Needham and Kathy Geczi receive the 2017 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Needham and  Kathy Geczi

John Rowell receives the 2016 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The 2016 winner is John Rowell.  He is a very active member of UCM with a long history of community service. He is presently Vice-President of the Board of Directors and has served as a Lay Chaplain.

During his time as a teacher for 10 years at Northern Secondary School, he ran the Second Harvest campaign collecting money from the students and an annual raffle. At the same school he also initiated a blood donor campaign for those 17 years old and over. This required a lot of publicity and explanation to the students. He remembers that he first gave blood at age 18 and has given 105 times since then.

 

He has also been connected with our own Pathway Housing development. He served on the Board for three years and then more recently is President of the Housing Support Services which is working on the next housing project. In addition, since his recent retirement, he is co-coordinator of the breakfast club at Forest Ridge five days a week.

He spent two summers in Rwanda and Uganda building a trade centre for women to make and sell their woven baskets. He collected soccer uniforms and shoes for men in the area.

Noreen Brownridge, Chair

Don Hawkins receives the 2015 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The 2015 winner was Don Hawkins. He was a member of the Board in 2007 and was assigned fundraising. He started what is now known as the “Festive Fair”.

Outside of the life of the congregation he became a tour guide at the Royal Botanical Gardens. As Chair of Tour Guiding he was instrumental in designing tours for the physically and mentally challenged. He also researched French common names for the plants leading to more extensive bilingual labelling in the gardens.

In 2008 Don was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but this has not stopped him from helping others. He attends an exercise program at the Oakville YMCA and has contributed to the Burlington support group by searching for and distributing electronic information related to people with Parkinson’s and their helpers.

Don selected the UCM Syrian Refugee Fund for the Christmas Eve collection.

Noreen Brownridge, Chair

Ted Kloosterman receives the 2014 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

Ted Kloosterman - The Unitarian Congregation in MississaugaThe Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award is given to remember the legacy of social action encouraged by the Rev. Mark Mosher DeWolfe, our minister through most of the 1980s. This year, the committee unanimously chose Ted Kloosterman as recipient of the award, primarily for his work for the Peel HIV/AIDS Network, where he has been a speaker to high schools and other groups about safe sex, and has been a board member and volunteer for PHAN for over 15 years. Ted selected the PHAN fund for assisting clients who are in financial need because of disability or in employment where they do not have medical benefits, and our congregation donated over $1500 to PHAN from our Christmas Eve collection.     John Rowell, Chair

Barbara Wood receives the 2013 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award is presented to honour the memory of the Rev. Mark DeWolfe, who strongly encouraged social action in the Unitarian Congregation of South Peel as our minister in the 1980s.  In 2013, the Mark DeWolfe Award Committee chose Barbara Wood as recipient primarily due to her dedication in supporting the educational, economic and social rights of girls and women in Afghanistan.  Barbara has volunteered for 13 years with the organization Canadians in Support of Afghan Women, and she directed the Christmas Eve collection of $1,020 to this cause.  The funds will go towards community literacy, teacher training, libraries, and community schools in Afghanistan.  Thank you for your efforts, Barbara. John Rowell, Chair, Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award Committee

Erika Lautenschlaeger receives the 2012 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award is presented to honour the memory of the Rev. Mark DeWolfe, who strongly encouraged social action in the Unitarian Congregation of South Peel as our minister in the 1980s.  In 2012, the Mark DeWolfe Award Committee chose Erika Lautenschlaeger as recipient due to her dedicated, long-term service to the Breakfast Club in Pathways Community Programs, her support of the Bijojote family when they arrived as refugees from Burundi, and her participation in two humanitarian trips to Central America in the early 2000s.  Erika spoke to UCM in early December 2012, and she chose the Pathways Breakfast Club as recipient of the Christmas Eve collection, totaling over $1060.00.  John Rowell, Chair, Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award Committee

Neal denHollander and Michael Smith-Loeters receive the 2011 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award is presented to honour the memory of the Rev. Mark DeWolfe, who strongly encouraged social action in the Unitarian Congregation of South Peel as our minister in the 1980s.  In 2011, two nominations were so close to equal merit that we granted the award to both members: Neal denHollander and Michael Smith-Loeters.  Neal was chosen largely for his work with promoting the Our Whole Lives education program across Ontario, and Michael for his social action in Africa.  The Christmas Eve collection of over $1400 was split between Neal’s choice of the organisation Because I am a Girl, which promotes girls’ education and welfare in developing countries, and Michael’s selection of the Ugandan organisation African Child in Need, to support shelters for teenage boys and girls in Kampala.  John Rowell, Chair, Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award Committee

David and Cassie Rawlinson receive the 2010 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

This was the first year we presented this award to two people, David and Cassie Rawlinson.  David and Cassie are well-known in the congregation for their commitment to our Youth Spiritual Education Programs, and for their leadership in Sourcefire and Solstice Programs; the award was largely in recognition of their community outreach efforts, however, including fundraising support for homeless youth in Peel, and for organizing United Nations outreach/trips for social action among youth.

Cassie and David chose to split the Christmas collection of $1441.00 between the CAMH Foundation for mental health and a fund to help homeless youth in Peel. John RowellChair, Mark DeWolfe Social Action Award Committee

Ken Noble receives the 2009 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The award was presented to a favourite member of the Congregation, Ken Noble.  He chose the Stephen Lewis Foundation to receive the Christmas collection of $1,563.70.  This amount is the largest ever collected.  It also shows how much Unitarians care and think of others.

Shirley Dickens receives the 2008 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The 2008 Mark DeWolfe Award was presented to Shirley Dickens.  Her choice of the Christmas collection went to Foodpath. Doreen I.A. Funnell, (Chair).

Winston Meyer receives the 2007 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The 2007 Award being presented to Winston Meyer.  His choice of the Christmas collection went to Community Foundation of Mississauga. Doreen I.A. Funnell (Chair).

Lorraine Waugh receives the 2006 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The 2006 Award being presented to Lorraine Waugh.  Lorraine is well known to us all and richly deserves this gesture of thanks. Doreen I.A. Funnell, Chair.

Heather Hufton receives the 2005 Mark Dewolfe Social Action Award from  the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

The 2005 Award being presented to Heather Hufton. Peel Literacy Guild received the magnificent sum of $1,245 which is the highest amount ever collected on Christmas Eve. Doreen I.A. Funnell, Chair

1991       Helen Tracy
1992       Don Law
1993       Bev Lefrancois
1994       Helen Tucker
1995       June Scott
1996       (no recipient)
1997       Janis Alton
1998       Mary Noble
1999       Carole Berry
2000       Fred Lautenschlaeger
2001       (no recipient)
2002       Joanne Whitford
2003       Noreen Brownridge
2004       (no recipient)
2005       Heather Hufton


2006       Lorraine Waugh
2007       Winston Meyer
2008       Shirley Dickens
2009       Ken Noble
2010       Cassie & David Rawlinson
2011       Neal DenHollander
2011       Michael Smith-Loeters
2012       Erika Lautenschlaeger
2013       Barbara Wood
2014       Ted Kloosterman
2015       Don Hawkins
2016       John Rowell
2017       Mary Needham
2017       Kathy Geczi and Refugee Task Force
2018       Douglas Alton

 

 

 



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