United Way’s local Labour Partners celebrated

Last night, labour advocates and allies came together at the Elgin County Railway Museum to celebrate the incredible contributions of the labour community in 2023 at United Way Elgin Middlesex’s annual Labour Appreciation Awards Night.

With over 100 volunteers, supporters, donors and loved ones in attendance, 10 awards were given out for their efforts in 2023. Each award recipient was nominated by labour friends and allies for their tireless work to improve our community and serve our neighbours in need. 

Helping guests to learn first-hand about the impact of their contribution, Jennifer Dunn, Executive Director of London Abused Women’s Centre and keynote speaker Heather Erlen, Ontario Director of the Canadian Labour Congress shared impactful insights 

“Services that the London Abused Women’s Centre provides are vital. It is important that women using these services have access to opportunities. The New Beginnings Loan Fund is one of those opportunities”. Jennifer Dunn, Executive Director, London Abused Women’s Centre.  

For the first time, the event also included a live auction! We raised $1,300 which will directly benefit the New Beginnings Loan Fund, along with other impactful local initiatives. 

The New Beginnings Loan Fund is an initiative designed to help break the cycle of familial abuse. Last year, 128 women and children found support through this program. 

“Last night, we celebrated the good work of our local labour partners who continually put the needs and care of others before themselves. We are truly thankful for each and every member of the labour community for their leadership and commitment to supporting those most vulnerable in Elgin Middlesex to ensure they are supported.” – Kelly Ziegner, CEO & President, United Way Elgin Middlesex. 

Thank you to all our attendees and the entire labour community. We look forward to what we can create and achieve together. In solidarity, United.

Check out our list of winners below or read more about them here. See all photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Labour Appreciation Awards: 

  • Tischa Forster, OPSEU/SEFPO Local 133 
  • Sharon Stanley, CUPE Local 
  • Jose Blanco, LiUNA Local 1059 
  • Amelia Ertel, OPSEU Local 109 
  • Darryl Bedford, OPSEU Local 110 
  • Sarah Wells, OPSEU Local 109  
  • Connor Pierotti, OSSTF District 11
  • Frank Carreiro, Liuna Local 1059

ChangeMaker Award: 

  • Cooper Standard, Unifor 27 Unit #53

Jim MacKinnon Community Builder Award: 

  • Greg Bierbaum, Old Oak Properties 

Labour Appreciation Lifetime Achievement Award: 

  • Jim Wilkes, Unifor 27 Retiree

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