International Women's Day 2017 a major fundraiser for the Women's House
by Sandy Lindsay

March 5, 2017

Women Today

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International Women's Day 2017

2017 Woman of Distinction
Yolanda Cameron

The Women's House Serving Bruce and Grey held its annual International Women's Day celebration on Saturday, March 4th (2017) at Lakeshore Recreation in Port Elgin.

The annual event is a major fundraiser for the Women's House and is also a celebration of women and their achievements.

International Women's Day was first held on March 19, 1911 in Europe when more than one million and men marched in support of women's right to vote, for shorter work hours and better pay.

The local fundraiser helps support the Women's House which, in turn, helps women and children who are trying to escape abusive and/or violent situations.

Lindsay Riggin (L) of the Society of Energy Professionals, a 'Prestige' sponsor presents $5,000 to Tiffany Love of the Women's House

"Our whole year leads up to this event," said Tiffany Love of the Women's House, "and is not only our top fundraiser but a recognition of women.  We are so fortunate with the support that we received from sponsors like Bruce Power, Co-operators Insurance, OPG, Power Workers Union, Women in Nuclear, Nichols Insurance and so many others."

Bruce Power's President & CEO, Mike Rencheck, and wife, Carol enjoyed the evening

Dessert Buffet for those with a 'sweet tooth'

The event included both silent and live auctions, a decadently delicious dessert buffet, two Yuk Yuk comedians and recognition of the 2017 Woman of Distinction and, this year for the first time, the Young Woman of Distinction.

This year's Woman of Distinction was Yolanda Cameron of Walkerton and who was nominated by Walkerton Rotary.

Emotional, Yolanda Cameron (L) receives an appreciation from emcee Penny Forbeck

Cameron's story is how she and her family took an immense family tragedy and turned into one that is positive and inspirational.

"I was completely taken by surprise by this nomination," said Cameron, "and I'm only here for Wes for Youth

It is the story of a family who lost their 16 year-old son, Wes to suicide.  Finding themselves in a traumatic situation, she and husband, Jamie, drew out of it a way to create positive change in the memory of their son and, Wes for Youth was born.

Today, Wes for Youth is an on-line resource available 24/7 that consists of four professional counselors  who help youth reaching out in times of trouble and who need someone to talk with. www.wesforyouthonline.ca

"We also now have a Youth Advisory Committee," said Cameron, "that advises us as to what youth need and want from us."

In a moving explanation of youth, Cameron finished with admonishments to the audience ... "...be kind to one another, listen to young people, offer help when needed ... say I love you."

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

This year was the first time that a 'Young Woman of Distinction' was recognized and, Brooklyn Lampi of Kincardine nominated by Dom Jackson, is a teen to be reckoned with when it comes to volunteering.

Since the age of seven and seeing her first homeless person, Lampi has begun her journey along a path of helping others.

Brooklyn Lampi credits her family for her values and outlook on life, particularly, her mother


The list of what she has accomplished so far is nothing short of amazing.

  • At the age of 9, she raised money for a family whose husband died of cancer and they did not know how the mortgage would be paid
  • In 2009, she worked to earn $33 a month to support for her foster 'sister' Nesiboi Ethiopia
  • she participated in the 25km Ride for Refuge bike in Kitchener
  • she joined her school's Justic Club through ME to WE
  • she has raised money for Free the Children from 2012-2016
  • she was a ME to WE Youth Ambassador at WE Day in Toronto
  • she raised $3,000 through the Neon Night Run that she founded to volunteer in Ecuador building a school and clean water project
  • Neon Night Run will be held annually with proceeds going back into the community
  • 2016 Neon Night Run raised $600 for Kincardine Youth Waves, a local youth group
  • she sits on the the Youth Waves Committee
  • she is planning to join the Youth Advisory Council for the municipality of Kincardine
  • she is fundraising to go to India in July of this year to help build a school
  • she is co-Chair of Student Counci8l
  • she has volunteered with the school Breakfast Club, Big Brothers and Sisters, the local MS Walk and London's Cystic Fibrosis Walk
  • she is active in her local Rugby Club and Swim Team
  • she recently received one of 12 Ontario Junior Citizens Awards

Brooklyn Lampi and her mother, Maria

A final total raised at the event for the Women's House is not yet finalized.

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Sunday, March 05, 2017