Orléans MP Marie-France Lalonde wasn’t about to let a little thing like the COVID-19 pandemic prevent her from recognizing some of the women who help make this community such a wonderful place to live.
On March 5, Lalonde held a virtual breakfast and award ceremony to honour 35 recipients of this year’s Leading Women, Leading Girls awards which are held in recognition of International Women’s Day.
Eighty-five women from across the east attended the virtual breakfast to show their appreciation and support for this year’s award winners.
Among this year’s recipients are Christine Hétu, a photographer who took pictures of over 100 families in Orléans on their front porch during the pandemic in exchange for non-perishable food donations to the Orléans-Cumberland Resource Centre food bank; Jeanine Mader, who is an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary at the Orléans Legion and a decades long volunteer with the 2nd Orléans Girl Guides and the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre; and Mashooda-Lubna Syed, who was a leader in the creation of the first Muslim Women’s shelter in Ottawa and a recipient of the COVID-Heroes of 2020 awards.
Among the leading girls who received an award were Ainsley Lewis, who is a founding member of the Race Relations Group at Cairine Wilson Secondary School, and Breanna Sirois, who was a student leader at École secondaire Béatruce-Desloges for the past four years before graduating last spring and has risen to the rank of Warrant Officer First Class with the 632 Phoenix Air Cadets Squadron.
Other recipients include Jenna Lemay, Cassandra Auguste-René, Betty Shields, Anne-Marie Robinson-Sisk, Amy Simcoe, Adèle Copti-Fahmy, Deqa Mohamed Farah, Adriana Suuronen, Daunett Tucker, Elise MacCaull, Élisabeth Larocque, Fatima Aden Osman, Huddiya Younis, Jafrin Asif Bux, Eunice Oladejo, Katie Morrisette, Judy Daniel, Lyse-Pascale Inamuco, Lisa Aucoin, Marna Durante, Marie Charrette, Mashkura Tabassum Tathoye, Rhoda Joseph, Murielle Cayouette, Sylvie Blanchette, Naaz Nathoo, Rose Dagenais, Sydney O’Donnell, Teresa Whitmore and Vanessa Padilla.
A number of the recipients are new Canadians who were honoured for their work in supporting their respective cultural communities and for giving back to their adopted country Canada.
Lalonde used the award ceremony to talk about the importance of International Women’s Day in recognizing the achieve-ments of women around the world and in our own backyard.
“International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the contributions of women everywhere, including those right here in Orléans,” said Lalonde.
“Whether you are a mother, a young entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a care-giver, or a health care worker, you have lead your peers and been a role model for all generations andnd today we are celebrating each and everyone of you, From the bottom of my heart, thank you, and congratulations”.