The Pictou County YMCA celebrated the spirit of its peace in Pictou County on Wednesday evening.
The YMCA yearly celebrates acts of peace locally, recognizing the accomplishments of several individuals and groups who demonstrated a commitment to building peace in Pictou County, and the world beyond.
Wednesday night’s event wrapped up Peace Week events, with an evening Peace Walk through the trails near the Pictou County YMCA, on Westville Road, and an awards ceremony acknowledging the achievements of winners, past and present.
“This year, we decided to award one youth, an organization and an individual,” said Heidi Sinclair, manager of communications, community outreach and philanthropy at the Pictou County YMCA. “We want to show that people are working together towards a common goal.”
The winners of the youth award were Jeana’s Girls, a group of girls who created a Relay for Life Team in 2016, in honour of best friend Jeana. The group – consisting of Kaelyn Musick, Cassie Clarke, Georgia Murray, Ella Parsons and Nina Davey – defines themselves as a “kindness club,” fundraising and bringing awareness to cancer and disease. They were acknowledged as regular volunteers, and have created a bursary for youth in Pictou County.
Terry and Carol Curley were given the individual awards, for their promotion of health, wellness, and community spirit at the Johnny Miles running events. Youth director Heather Beaton said both earned their award by encouraging people of all ages to be healthy, and active together.
The organization that won a Peace Award this year was Shepherd’s Lunch Room, a program that provides lunch twice a week, and has served over 8,000 lunches to the community this year. The program’s theme is social inclusion and a sense of community.
“We all had different activities, like open yoga and laugh yoga, all at no cost,” said Sinclair. “We even had two therapy dogs come in for an hour and a half, which brought in a lot of people to visit.”
The “peace” in Peace Medal, while literally referring to the ideal of peace, also serves as an acronym for the values that the YMCA strives to embody:
P = Participation
E = Empathy
A = Advocacy
C = Community
E = Empowerment.
SOURCE: YMCA website: http://www.pcymca.ca/files/Peace_Medal_Nomination_Form_-_Editable.pdf