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Sarnia Community Foundation names Women of Excellence

Marilyn Gifford. (Art Connolly photo)

The Sarnia Community Foundation Board of Directors has approved the 2024 Women of Excellence. This year’s recipients were selected for their contributions to the community in an effort to make Sarnia-Lambton a safe, vibrant inclusive community. 

Here are this year’s recipients:

Susan Chamberlain (Sarnia) – Susan exemplifies positive leadership and contributes in many ways to the cultural growth of Sarnia as well as contributing economically as an entrepreneur. Susan is the owner of two businesses in Sarnia: The Bookkeeper and Poppies gift shop in Bluewater Health. Susan is a leader in promoting 2SLGBTQI+ inclusiveness in our community. Susan organizes and hosts a Lambton Literacy fundraiser which brings renowned writers to speak with proceeds to Lambton Literacy. Susan has been on the Mayors Honour list in 2014 and again recognized in 2016 for her leadership with being a board member at the Lawrence House.

Marylin Gifford (Sarnia) – Marylin’s tireless work to bring awareness to the doctor shortage within Lambton County and across Canada. Marylin collected thousands of signatures to petition for more medical residency placements for Sarnia and Lambton County. Marylin has been recognized and supported by Mayor Mike Bradley and made national news with JP Tasker of CBC news. 

Jeannette Douglas (Alvinston) – Jeannette can be found supporting and making her community better, with mher strong voice and serving those most vulnerable in her community. Jeannette served a term on municipal council and has planned Canada Day events ensuring everyone in the community enjoys!

Parents for Parks (Petrolia) – Almost 5 years ago, Laurel Pickel-Kittmer, Erin Miller Hawryluk, Emily Bright, Emily Denham Weed, from Petrolia noticed that Petrolia could use an accessible playground at Greenwood Park. They saw a need and took on this major challenge, displaying leadership and action-oriented focus. The group ran many fundraisers and sought out donations from everywhere, they set up a fund with the SCF and within 2 years had enough funding to get the project started. On September 27, 2022, the parked opened and has played a major positive impact for the community. The Parents are not done yet…. they now have their site set on a pavilion for shelter and BBQ’s.

The Sarnia Community Foundation is proud to be celebrating its 8th Women of Excellence; this year’s celebration is on June 6 at the Dante Club. The luncheon will start at 12 noon, with registration and Women’s expo beginning at 11 a.m. 

This year’s guest speaker is Kathy Alexander; Kathy is the Executive Director at Bluewater Health Foundation; she will be talking about her professional journey and how a life altering experience impacted how she prioritizes life and work.

If you would like to know more about the Women’s Expo or purchase tickets; call the Sarnia Community Foundation office at 519-332-2588 or visit the website under the Events tab for more information (Table purchase includes 8 tickets for $500.00 and individual tickets are $60.00).

The Sarnia Community Foundation has scholarships that support Women of Excellence; including the Jean Macdougall Women’s Leadership Empowerment Fund, Blue Eyes Big Heart scholarship for women escaping abusive situations will assist them to further their post-secondary education, and the University Women’s Scholarship helps women further their educational goals.

For more information call Sarnia Community Foundation office at 519 332 2588 or visit the website for more information

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