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Canada's Governor General Presents 13 Canadians with the YMCA Fellowship of Honour Medal

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/22/13 -- Editors Note: There are two photos and a video associated with this press release.

Today, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presented 13 Canadians - chosen from among nearly 50,000 YMCA volunteers and staff - with the YMCA Fellowship of Honour medal for outstanding leadership. The YMCA Fellowship of Honour was established in 1978 as the highest recognition for YMCA volunteers and staff and is presented every three to four years by the Governor General of Canada.

Collectively, these committed Canadians have provided more than 300 years of distinguished service to the YMCA in communities across Canada.

His Excellency presented the YMCA's Fellowship of Honour medal, designed by award-winning artist Dora de Pedery-Hunt to all appointees. A framed citation and lapel pin were also presented to the following YMCA volunteers and staff during a ceremony held in Ottawa:

- Sol Kasimer of Toronto, ON;

- Raymond Mantha of North Bay, ON;

- Don McCreesh of Oakville, ON;

- George E. Rodger of Toronto, ON;

- Bill Stewart of Vancouver, BC;

- Judith Ash of Regina, SK;

- David Edward Carse of Cambridge, ON;

- John E. Cleghorn of Montreal, QC;

- William M Jones of Fredericton, NB;

- Judith Levkoe of Toronto, ON;

- Dal McCloy of Winnipeg, MB;

- Timothy C. Melton of Edmonton, AB;

- Wolfram Ulrich Tausendfreund of Belleville, ON.

Judith Levkoe is the first female employee from the YMCA of Greater Toronto to be appointed to the YMCA Fellowship of Honour and was named for her exceptional ongoing service in various YMCA roles, including Community Worker Program Developer, and Government Relations Adviser.

"I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't had that wonderful opportunity to come and work at the Y," Levkoe commented. "For me, the Y has always been a place to come home to."

Ray Mantha volunteered his time through various YMCA board of directors positions at the local, national and international levels. "I have been most fortunate to get involved with the different YMCA global communities over the years. I am always humbled by the dedication of my fellow YMCA family members. Here at home, I am grateful to be part an organization that has been a vital part in the Canadian fabric for a hundred and sixty-two years."

Also named was Vancouver recipient Bill Stewart, former CEO of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and a key player in building the Tong Louie Family YMCA and Robert Lee YMCA. "I have many proud YMCA moments but they have one thing in common and that is that a lot of people made them all possible," said Stewart. "I believe there isn't anything the YMCA in Canada can't accomplish. My advice is don't ever lose the passion and push for the impossible."

Today's appointees join a long list of 98 volunteers and staff whose exceptional contributions have been honoured in one of two Fellowship of Honour categories: as a Companion, for outstanding national and international leadership, or as an Officer, for local or regional leadership contributions.

"Today's appointees exemplify the commitment to service that has fueled the success of YMCA Member Associations from coast to coast in building healthier communities," said Scott Haldane, President and CEO of YMCA Canada.

"Each appointee reminds us of the important work conducted by YMCA Member Associations in strengthening the foundations of our communities, and fostering social responsibility," said Victor Drury, Chair of the YMCA Fellowship of Honour Advisory Council. "Their personal investment of time, energy and talent in helping others is very inspiring and they have truly left a lasting legacy."

Appointments to the YMCA Fellowship of Honour are governed by a selection process established by the YMCA Fellowship of Honour Constitution and directed by an Advisory Council composed of a Canadian YMCA leader as Chair, at least three Canadians who have served the YMCA with distinction, the Chair of the YMCA National Board and the national President and Chief Executive Officer. The Council considers nominations received from throughout the Canadian YMCA movement and recommends appointments to the National Board for approval.

About YMCA Canada

We are a charity dedicated to building healthy communities by nurturing the potential of children, teens and young adults, promoting healthy living, and fostering social responsibility. There are 45 YMCA Member Associations and six YMCA-YWCA Member Associations across Canada. Together, we serve more than two million people in 1,000 Canadian communities. Our focus on inclusiveness and accessibility means we serve people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through all stages of life. Through YMCA financial assistance programs, the YMCA is accessible to all. For more information visit www.ymca.ca.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20130122-YMCAMedalWinners.jpg.

To view the infographic associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/YMCA.jpg.

To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiyR_9N33S0.



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Contacts:
YMCA Canada
Angela de Burger
Manager, Communications
647-961-7351
angela_deburger@ymca.ca
www.ymca.ca



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