Community Volunteer of the Month

Community Volunteer of the Month
updated rastall mine supply image

There are many amazing volunteers in the northeast, each one of them deserving recognition.

We've received so many nominations for the new Community Volunteer of the Month sponsored by Rastall Mine Supply, but this month, we’re shining the spotlight on just one.

Find out more about CTV News Northern Ontario's new Community Volunteer of the Month program proudly sponsored by Rastall Hydraulic.

Community Volunteer of the Month for December is

Alyssa Labelle from Sudbury.

Alyssa is working with the organization Trek for Teens creating care packages this winter for individual youths experiencing homelessness. She has been working hard providing food, clothing and money to those in dire need, especially at this time of year.

Alyssa has raised $17,000 since 2019, while attending medical school.

Community Volunteer of the Month for November is

Billy Zografopolous of Sudbury.

In 2015, Billy created an initiative called "Pop Tabs for HSNF," the Health Sciences North Foundation.

He rallied the community and has collected pop tabs from restaurants, schools and friends to raise over $10,000 for charity.

Over six years of continuous work, Billy feels honoured to be able to help others.


Community Volunteer of the Month for October:

Congratulations to Ali Farooq, of the Go-Give Project in Sudbury, who is Rastall Mine Supply volunteer of the Month.

Congratulations the Community Volunteer of the Month for September:

Lisa Dunbar of Sudbury

Lisa is one of those people that every community needs, establishing her own initiatives and creating two much-needed groups.

One is called the Grocery Goblins, which provides food to those in need as well as a delivery service for those that are homebound.

The other is called For Friends Sake. It a community of almost 1,000 people who get together and share stories about life and form friendships that last a lifetime.

For Friends Sake is welcome to anyone looking for a safe place to chat or to meet new people around town, which we all know has been increasingly hard over the last year.

Congratulations August's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Kristofer Cacciotti of Sudbury

Kris is one of those people who continues to make the world a better place with his positive impact on the community.

From volunteering his time with the Rotary Club to ensuring isolated seniors got groceries and medication during the lockdown, and even creating his own children's book to which the proceeds are donated to SickKids hospital, he pretty much has his hand in everything.

Through love, high energy, and laugher, Kris is grateful that he can spend his time helping others.


Congratulations July's Community Volunteers of the Month:

8-year-old Elizabeth and 6-year-old Joseph Girard of Timmins

Since Earth Day, the two siblings decided to work together and clean up the garbage around the city.

They started with the area that the family bikes at on a weekly basis and continuing on to other areas from there.

Not only is it amazing that they have decided to take on this initiative at such a young age, but the word has spread around town and they have inspired others to get involved. Friends and other members of the community are pitching in to help out. Joseph said they do it because they want the planet to be "nice and clean."

Congratulations June's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Shannon Scodnick

Shannon is from Sudbury and is what you would call the definition of sunshine!

From a very young age, she had decided to dedicate most of her life to volunteering. It would be easier to say what Shannon has not done, but here's a small list of what she has been a part of:

The Blue Door Soup Kitchen, the Go Give Team, the SOS Street Outreach Program, the Red Oak Villa and even travelling to Thailand to be involved in the Save Elephants Foundation.

Touching so many lives and helping so many people and being a part of all the "big" moments.

Congratulations May's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Karen Faddis

For more than 20 years, Karen has volunteered her time as an expert obedience instructor in the Nickel City helping hundreds of dogs.

Not only does she focus on making pets better, she also ensures to give pet owners the skills to improve as well. From beginners to competitive, Karen works with all skill levels and is the primary mentor for new instructors at the Sudbury District Kennel Club.

Congratulations April's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Malcolm Smith

Malcom has been with the Easter Seals organization for over 20 years, helping kids with physical disabilities. He has truly helped so many families in need with the most amount of drive and care that you could ever want in a volunteer.

Usually raising $2,000-$4,000 a year, Malcolm was able to surpass that during a difficult time this year, and raise over $6,000!

Congratulations March's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Wally Hyytiainen

Wally Hyytiainen of Lively, Ont. is the definition of someone who deserves recognition for his wonderful acts. Wally has saved over 1,000 animals by travelling thousands of miles to ensure rescues have a much needed forever home. Countless road trips and hours spend travelling as far as Sainte Rose du Lac, Manitoba, which is almost 2,000 km away.

And of course because of the wonderful giving nature that Wally has, he couldn’t take all the credit himself.

"This isn't an individual volunteer deal, this is a great big, many parties, many strangers who have now become very good friends," Hyytiainen said. "It's almost like a club, but it just, everybody is so willing to partake and give 110 per cent. And I was sold right from that first trip that Craig and I had." 

Congratulations February's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Richard Pacey

Richard Pacey from Sudbury and his volunteer journey started in the army cadets, raising money for community events and eventually evolved into many different areas.

He spent time picking up used needles with his family to protect those around the biking path, he's volunteered at the Dragon Boat Races and, most recently, was the frontrunner for bringing Hope For Sudbury to life, giving shelter to those in need.

And he's not alone, his daughters are right beside him, making giving back to the community a family affair.

Congratulations January's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Raymonde Gauthier

Raymonde is from North Bay and the list of organizations she helps is pretty extensive.

She has spent countless hours volunteering at the crisis centre.

"I would like to go back to help the crisis centre. Every Sunday, I used to make sandwiches and either a pot of soup or beans or stew or things for them because they had young people on the weekend that didn't have a place to go and that would give them a push to be able to, you know sometimes they were busy and they didn't have time. So this would help them to give these people some food," she said.

She has also volunteered with Low-Income People Involvement of Nipissing, the Salvation Army, as well as at Omond Memorial United Church.

Raymonde has knitted hundreds of hats and has lost track of the number of muffins baked for those in need.

She has also helped people with disabilities, as it hits home for her having seen the struggles within her own family.


Congratulations December's Community Volunteer of the Month:

Sam Khoury

Sam has dedicated decades of his life helping support the Lions Club. Most recently, he put everything he had into making this year's CTV Lions Children's Christmas Telethon a success raising close to $305,000. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, there were countless hours spent trying to make it work. Sam will tell you that this year's telethon was the toughest yet, but as each year, it was totally worth every second of work.

Congratulations November's Community Volunteer of the month:

Stan French

Stan is from North Bay, Ont.

After returning from military deployment in Afghanistan, he decided to take his knowledge on treating soldiers in the service and use it to help the mental health of police.

He is now an adjunct professor at Nipissing University.

Stan has been the driving force behind establishing Project Lifesaver, which has brought attention to those struggling with dementia, Alzheimer's and autism.

By teaming up with the search and rescue group BAYSAR, as well as the North Bay Police Service. Stan has already been able to raise approximately $18,000 for start up equipment, which is currently his #1 focus. 

Congratulations October's Community Volunteer of the month:

Barb Jackson

Barb has always been a huge part of her community in St. Joseph Island, Ont.

She was the coordinator of the United Way Christmas drive and a Sunday school teacher, and she's a member of the Sault Ste. Marie MS Society, the Sault Deaf Club and is the president of both the Matthews Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 374.

Barb spends most of her time at the Trefry Memorial Centre, where she has made friends for a lifetime.

Volunteering runs through her entire family and she says she would suggest it to anyone looking to meet new people and to lend a helping hand.

Congratulations September's Community Volunteer of the month:

Leslie Cerisano

If you’ve ever attended an event at the Capitol Centre in North Bay, you’ve probably crossed paths with Leslie. She has spent countless hours of her time there over the last 20 years.

Leslie has also volunteered as a coordinator and shift captain at the Heritage Railway and Carousel Company, as well as at almost every sport and dance recital as her kids were growing up.

She is well known for her snazzy attire upping the apparel game of those around her.

The moving force behind the selflessness that Leslie shows is derived from her father, who told her at the age of 10: "volunteering is a way to meet people and give back to the community." Leslie has lived her life by those words inspiring people all around her, becoming a familiar and loving face within the community. 

Now, she is anxious to get back to what she loves since the pandemic has forced many activity and event closures.

"Hoping that we open up with all of our activities, you know, because I'm bored and I love to volunteer. And thank God we started at Corbeil Four Seasons our breakfasts. And I'm just waiting for COVID to end," said Cerisano.

Congratulations August's Community Volunteer of the month:

Mike Gregory

As a retired police officer, Mike understands the need for volunteering.

From teaming up with M&M Meat for barbeque fundraisers to working with the local cancer society and even being on the board of directors at the Elgin Street Mission, Mike is always there to lend a helping hand. There is even a locally famous fundraiser called Mr. Mike's Spaghetti Dinner that involved kids and parents at Sudbury Christian Academy.

Most of Mike's time during the COVID-19 pandemic has been spent volunteering at Extendicare York, where he helps out in every way imaginable, putting a genuine smile on the faces of everyone he encounters.

Congratulations July's Community Volunteer of the month:

Virginia Langis

Virginia initiated the Peace Park in Capreol that is a true hot spot for people to go relax and enjoy. It's where she meets up with friends everyone morning to have some coffee.

Over the last 23 years, Virginia has volunteered her time at the Elm Steet Kitchen, helping those that are less fortunate. She also serves at the cross-country ski hill every year and is always there to lend a helping hand.

Congratulations June's Community Volunteer of the month:

Kim Meunier

Kim is from Timmins and began volunteering at her kids' school in the breakfast and lunch programs. The joy she saw within the kids' faces gave her every reason to take the next step in her community service journey.

Today, Kim spends most of her life volunteering at the Women's Information Network, the curling club and is the manager at MADD in Timmins, where she joined back in 2008. Kim is truly someone that everyone looks up to in the community of Timmins for being that special person that anyone can count on.

Congratulations May's Community Volunteer of the month:

Lyse Perron

Lyse was an educator at Ecole secondaire catholique Theriault for 30 years, where she was the main leader in organizing a trip to Jamaica that involved students helping to build much needed homes.

That is just the beginning of the amazing work that Lyse does.

From preparing and serving food at Lord's Kitchen to volunteering at Project Love and with The Yo Mobile, Lyse is truly a leader in the community.

Near Theriault High School, you will find a tree that’s named after her as recognition for the admiring work that she does.

You can definitely see why she's been nicknamed "Taz" by her fellow colleagues for her "go, go, go" volunteering drive.

Congratulations April's Community Volunteer of the month:

                                            Eva Bujold

Eva has been a leader in the community of Greater Sudbury by stepping up in the most crucial of times.

She’s been making masks for anyone in need while donating the proceeds to the Garson Food Bank.

Eva has also donated some masks to the Elgin Street Mission in downtown Sudbury.

Volunteering has been a huge part of Eva’s life as she's spent the last seven years helping with Health Sciences North fundraisers, as well as an incredible 15 years at Ecole St-Augustin in Garson.

"Like it fills the joy in my heart to give, you know, and we appreciate everybody and we love everybody, so we're out there to reach people and to do everything we can in our community . In the last month, my girlfriend and I, Micheline, have been making masks and we have been donating all our funds to the Garson Food Bank. And our masks, we are charging two for $15 and all proceeds goes to the Garson Food Bank. So far, we've donated $1,000 and as of (Thursday) we're sitting on another $1,000," said Bujold.