2013 York Region Bhayana Family Foundation Awards


Recipient Agency Award
Staff Member York Region Yellow Brick House Dedication
Pegah Memarpour York Region Blue Door Shelters Innovation
Helga Sirola York Region Learning Disabilities Association of York Region Leadership
Keegan Smith & Kristine Hoey York Region CNIB Team Achievement
1 Open Door York Region Circle of Care, Jewish Aid Immigrant Services of Toronto, Jewish Family and Child Services, Jewish Vocational Services Community-Building

Keynote: Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, MPP (Richmond Hill)
Location: Markham Convergence Centre
Time: 8:30am – 10:00am



Social service workers honoured at awards ceremony

May 9, 2013, Markham – Earlier today at the Markham Convergence Centre, The Bhayana Family Foundation Awards recognized the outstanding contributions of social service employees from United Way York Region partner agencies. Thanks to the generosity of Madan and Raksha M. Bhayana, five $1,000 prizes were given to individuals and projects that support healthy people and strong neighbourhoods across York Region.

“Much of United Way’s work focuses on recognizing the success stories of individuals receiving support from our programs. It’s important to also highlight the staff person behind the program. They are often the first helping hand that plays such a critical role in bringing success to the lives of so many,” said awards founder, Raksha M. Bhayana.

The Bhayana Family Foundation has sponsored these awards with United Way Toronto and United Way Calgary, and this year generously extended the awards to York Region. This new event has been met with an incredibly positive response, as noted by one of the winners, Helga Sirola from Learning Disabilities Association of York Region.

“The fact that my team thought I make a difference in their lives and on those that we serve is an honour in and of itself,” she explained.

Keynote speaker, The Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research & Innovation, MPP (Richmond Hill), highlighted United Way’s shared commitment to building strong communities in York Region. He also acknowledged that the awards are a necessary and important addition to the region and social services sector.

A call for nominations was made in February, and United Way received dozens of peer-to-peer nominations under the following categories: dedication; innovation and creativity; leadership; team achievement; and community partnership. The nominations were reviewed by a selection panel comprised of social service sector staff, labour and one community member-at-large.

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