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Ontario Trillium Foundation 2007 Great Grant Award Winners!

October 25, 2007 - Six remarkable Ontario not-for-profit organizations will be honoured for the difference they have made in their communities at the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s 25th Anniversary celebration in St. Thomas, October 25, 2007. The evening will be hosted by Grant Hughson, North American Railway Hall of Fame.

“The Great Grants Awards recognize the vision, commitment and energy of Ontario’s volunteers and community organizations,” said Paul Willoughby, Grant Review Team Chair for Thames Valley. “This is our 25th year of strengthening communities and we’re celebrating by holding 16 award events across the province. We look forward to meeting community members in the Thames Valley area who help make Ontario a great place to live.”

The Foundation presents the Great Grants Awards every two years. The award winners were selected by volunteers who serve on the local Grant Review Team. In Thames Valley, six organizations were chosen for their outstanding achievements in the Arts and Culture, Sports and Recreation, Environment and Human and Social Services sectors.

2007 Great Grants Award Winners:  Thames Valley

  • Arts and Culture: London Council of Arab Women for Community Services: With help from an OTF grant in 2005 of $35,000, the Council produced the documentary “Women of Qaraoun, The History of Arab Women in Canada”. The film illuminates the lives of Arab women in Canada and fosters greater cultural understanding. It has screened at film festivals across Canada. 

  • Sports and Recreation: Forest City Velodrome: In 2004, when a group of cycling enthusiasts converted an old London hockey arena into a velodrome, OTF got into gear with a grant of $49,000.The grant provided assistance with operating costs and in setting up youth and women’s programming. The whole operation is supported by volunteers who do everything from announcing races, to teaching clinics and repairing bicycles.

  • Environment: Friends of the Coves Subwatershed: In 2005, with the help of a two year OTF grant of $110,000, the Friends, a group of advocates and committed volunteers, implemented a stewardship plan. By encouraging local landowners to adopt ecologically-friendly practices and through educating the public in ecosystem conservation, the Friends have made tangible improvements to the area.

  • Human and Social Services: London Training Centre. The London Training Centre provides entry-level kitchen training for youth and recent immigrants and has delivered many programs for those seeking greater skills and employment in the foodservice/hospitality industry. In 2005, OTF granted $69,000 to the Centre for a safe food handling training program. Expecting to train 300 people, the centre was successful in training almost 900 people and raised revenues of close to $40,000.

  • Grant Review Team Chair’s Award - for exemplary volunteerism:

  • ReForest London: ReForest London helps community groups, businesses and individuals plant trees and shrubs in their neighbourhoods. The group took root with a seed grant from OTF in 2004. In 2006, the Foundation granted ReForest an additional $74,300 to continue its reforestation work. 1,300 volunteers were involved in 2006 alone.

  • 25th Anniversary Award - for remaining a leader in the not-for profit or charitable sector by consistently delivering on the Foundation’s granting priorities: c/o Family Services Thames Valley. Family Services Thames Valley, along with the London Mental Health Crisis Service recognized that reaching youth on their terms was key in providing effective service. In 2005, OTF granted the collaborative $35,000 to develop and refine the website It is an award winning site for youth, by youth.

The 2007 Great Grants Awards will be held Thursday October 25, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The award presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. To learn more about OTF, visit

For more information, contact:

Ontario Trillium Foundation
Carolyn Bennett
1-800-263-2887 ext. 293

London Council of Arab Women
Wafa Dawoud: 519-438-3456

Forest City Velodrome
Rob Good

Friends of the Cove Subwatershed
Mary-Pat Mathers

London Training Centre
David Corke
519-685-4331 ext. 28

ReForest London
Julie Ryan: