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TORONTO, Ont. (December 5, 2020) – To commemorate International Volunteer Day, Diabetes Canada  announced and celebrated both national and regional volunteer award recipients with an online National Volunteer Recognition awards ceremony yesterday.

Across Canada each year, thousands of people from all walks of life—whether they are health-care professionals, people living with diabetes, parents with children who have the disease or individuals who care deeply about our cause—help us End Diabetes.

“We are incredibly grateful for how our volunteers have stepped up even more during this unique and challenging year, pivoting and showcasing their dedication to people affected by diabetes during the COVID-19 crisis. Their time, energy and expertise has been invaluable,” says Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “Diabetes Canada literally could not do its work without volunteers. And this year, when people affected by diabetes needed the resources and support of Diabetes Canada even more volunteers enabled the organization to reach so many more people in communities across the country. On behalf of all the staff at Diabetes Canada, I am thrilled to formally acknowledge the outstanding work of our volunteers and supporters through these awards.”

Each year, Diabetes Canada commemorates the exceptional contributions of individuals and organizations with national awards. Diabetes Canada’s volunteers provide support to people affected or living with diabetes, advocate on their behalf and support innovative research.

National Award Recipients:

The Charles H. Best Award - This award recognizes a health-care professional who has made a significant difference across Canada towards improving the quality of life of individuals living with diabetes. Awarded to Susie Jin (ON).

The Kurt Kroesen Inspiration Award - This award is intended to recognize either an individual or family who has overcome great odds to manage their diabetes and continue to live a fulfilling, active and inspiring life. Awarded to Erica Sigurdson (BC).

National Volunteers of the Year Award - This award honours volunteers, either individuals or groups, who have gone above and beyond in supporting the work of Diabetes Canada.

Awarded to:

Mario Miceli (BC)

Michèle Pankratz (BC)

Douglas Ball (SK)

Orest & Mary Mysak (SK)

Mel Viner (ON)

Sherrie Randell (ON)

Marilyn Southall (ON)

Judi Ferne (ON)

Bonnie Jackson (ON)

Liz MacArthur (PE)

National Young Volunteer Award - The National Young Volunteer Award has been designed to honour youth for their role in furthering the advancement of the Mission and Ends of Diabetes Canada. Awarded to Michaela Delfs (SK).

National Advocacy Leadership Award - This award recognizes a member of Diabetes Canada Professional Sections, National Advocacy Council or Area Advocacy Committee, or a grassroots advocacy volunteer or group who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, commitment, and dedication in advancing public policy in the interests of people living with diabetes and in accordance with the advocacy strategy of Diabetes Canada. Awarded to Mitch Beauchemin (posthumous) (MB).

Outstanding National Partnership Award - This award is to recognize a partner in business, media, health care, government, non-government organization, educational institution, service club or any other sector that has worked with Diabetes Canada to create a significant outcome. Awarded to Chartwell Retirement Residences (ON).

The Frederick G. Banting Award - The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual, not-for-profit organization, group, corporation or government department that has significantly contributed to either preventing diabetes and chronic disease in Canada, or to improving the quality of life of individuals affected by diabetes nationwide. Awarded to South Riverdale Community Health Centre’s Diabetes Eye Screening Program (ON).

The Collaboration Award - Nominees for this award provide outstanding examples of collaboration within Diabetes Canada and/or the diabetes community. Awarded to Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MB).

Regional Award Recipients

Outstanding Health-Care Professional Awards

Inspiration Awards

Camp Awards

Dr. Andrew Advani

Susanna Szeto

Lindsay Sawatsky

Dr. Amish Parikh

Angie VanKessel

Laura MacQuarrie

Michelle Corcoran

Ed Danylchuk

Carrie Olynick

Brenda Bradley

Steve Adkins

Shanda Boehm

Tammy Beaudry

Gavin Bush

Britney Schimpf

Outstanding Regional Partnership Awards


Bluewater Lions of Sarnia Lions Club ​

Phil Fusco ​

Petrolia Lions Club​

Andrew Lewis ​

Sarnia Lions Club ​

Doris Atchison ​

Wyoming Lions Club​

Blakely Inc. ​

Richard O'Brien ​

Jim Rudyk ​

Janos Pocsai ​

Mark Woolley​

Chartwell Retirement Residences​

Oro Salon & Staff ​

Kristopher Bowles ​

Arkona Lions Club ​

Scotiabank ​

Markham Milliken Mills Lions Club ​

Brenda McCormick ​

Logan’s Wheels of Awareness ​

Meridian Credit Union (Maple Branch)

Power Workers’ Union ​

Victoria Markham Square Lions Club

Brampton Sunnatul Islamic Association​

Maintenance & Construction Skilled Trades Council

Pure Motivation Fitness Studio​

Memorial University Medical Students Society 2020 

MichCanSka Adventures

Chris Silman Golf Tournament - (Helen Cunningham & Bobby Silman)

University of British Columbia School of Nursing 

Cousi Open Committee

Red River Co-op​

Saskatchewan Dental Assistant's Association

Universal Collision/Capital Cadillac

Young Volunteer of the Year Awards

Trinity Gray ​

Braylon Rinfret

Miles Dyer

Casey Harper

Rachel Harper

Volunteer of the Year Awards

Ralph & Linda Gordon 

Deanna Emberg ​

Michael Hennick ​

D'arci Sutton ​

Mel Viner ​

Rolf Klatt​

Susan Rosenblatt ​

Cynthia Zelenewich ​

Tasneem Ilyas ​

Larry Baillie ​

Mathisha Hewage

Barb Ammeter​

Georgia Medwedrich ​

Jean & Karen Fontaine ​

Lindsey LeClair ​

Dennis & Yvonne Doerksen ​

Neli Avila​

Sue Petersen ​

Randy MacKirdy ​

Randy Match

Jeannie Scott-Mason ​

Riverport & District Lions Club ​

Nadine Pedersen​

Ray Childs

Jim Heinbigner

Georgia Hanwell

Corinne Olson

Betty-Ann Irvin

Betty Foster

Kellie Biden

Diversified Moose Jaw

Abby Sheane

Denita Stonechild

Debbie Lawton

Chenoa Dingman

Margaret Murton

Sonja Sheane

Dorothy Miller

About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools, and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).


Category Tags: Announcements;

Region: National

Contact us

Pilar Iglesias, National Communications Manager