Callie Costello

Inspired by a movie with the same ideals, twelve year old Callie gives generously to Winnipeg’s homeless by collecting new or gently used backpacks and filling them with much needed, donated items. Backpacks keep precious possessions dry and safe and away from the harsh Manitoba weather, theft, and loss and many are used for pillows.

With the assistance of several drop off locations (including Perkins Restaurants, where patrons receive a 15% discount on their meals if they drop off a donation) and with the help of her mother Crystal, Callie fills the backpacks with warm mitts, socks, hats, toiletries, snacks, bottled water, blankets, and more. Donators connect with Callie on Twitter and on her Facebook page “Callie’s Backpacks for Winnipeg’s Homeless”.

Participating in the “CEO Sleepout for the Homeless” in September 2014, Callie raised $1,116 for the cause ($487 from selling her painted rocks!), she filled and handed out 89 backpacks, and has signed up for the event again this year! She also gave a speech to the CEOs and press, telling stories of the homeless people she has met and the journey that has led them to their circumstances. In October 2014, Callie assisted in the 36TH Street Store as a personal shopper assistant. This event provided free clothing and snacks for over 900 people in the eight hours it was open and Callie distributed 100 filled backpacks that day to the needy. She also put together her own team of walkers for the Coldest Night of the Year Walk, which raised $3,067 for The Ray (Resource Assistant For Youth), a group who serves homeless or marginalized youth. To date, Callie has distributed more than 1,500 filled backpacks.

On Thursday evenings, during the summer months, Callie can be found outside the Salvation Army Shelter serving food to the homeless through the “Gifts of Grace” Project. Callie’s busy schedule also includes choir, divisional theatre, divisional choir, band, and school level theatre.

Chelsea Hertzog

Using her experiences with being the victim of bullying in high school, Chelsea has become a role model, volunteer speaker, and mentor through her association with Hateless, an anti-bullying school tour that promotes peace, love, acceptance, and equality. By sharing her story, Chelsea encourages dialogue with kids, who in turn feel safe to share their own stories of either being a victim, or being a bully.

Bullying is a problem that affects kids of all ages, background, and gender and Chelsea is able to find common ground by being sensitive to the diverse audience she speaks to, and through her use of music. Being a singer/song writer, her belief is that even when broken, music heals, which guides her and gives her the confidence and courage to help those who cannot stand up for themselves. Chelsea has spoken to schools in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, as well as in Minnesota and her story has been recorded with Square One World Media, a non-profit, international media organization that will broadcast Chelsea’s story in over 32 countries throughout the world. Together with the Winnipeg Youth Chorus, she has also become part of a Hateless music video, which is being used by schools across the country during Peace Week, Anti-bullying Week, and Pink Shirt Day and has become an anti-bullying anthem for kids. Providing a creative resource for teachers to talk about bullying, the music video has received much positive feedback from principals and teachers expressing how it has inspired kids to stop bullying and helped those being bullied to cope.

Chelsea has also received the Peacemaker Award for her work within her community and around the province. She will be working with the youth of the YMCA, telling them her story and her vision, and will be providing key lessons for how to be true to yourself, but also be a leader within the community.

William (Bill) Hutton

In 1985, Bill and his wife Miriam donated their family home to found Western Canada’s first freestanding hospice. Jocelyn House Hospice was founded in memory of their daughter, Jocelyn Hutton, who passed away from cancer in 1980, at the age of 17.

Jocelyn’s dream was to add life to the final days of the terminally ill, and their loved ones, by providing care and comfort in a warm home-like setting. With home-cooked meals, fresh baking, music and pet therapy, companionship, spiritual care, and expert clinical care, Jocelyn House residents’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are attended to, along with those of their family members. Bill was directly involved in registering and incorporating Jocelyn House Hospice, as well as creating the Board of Directors, and he initiated the much needed fund raising activities to financially support the facility. Over the years, Bill has continued to provide inspiration and support to Jocelyn House in their efforts to meet the needs for end-of-life care. This year, thanks to Bill’s vision and determination, Jocelyn House celebrates 30 years of hospice care.

Bill has also been involved in other community efforts throughout his lifetime. In the 1960s, Bill was ordained as a minister in the Anglican Church of Canada. He also worked as a high school guidance counsellor and an honourary assistant at Winnipeg’s St Michael and All Angels Church for many years. In 1986, he was elected as a public servant to the Metropolitan Council of Greater Winnipeg. In addition to his charitable activities in his own country, Bill is an active advocate for those in need in other countries. In 1996, Bill traveled to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and appealed for overseas sponsors of Serbian children whose lives had been disrupted by the country’s wars of secession.

In 2012, Bill Hutton received The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his lifelong commitment and outstanding contribution to the community.

Ed Johner

Living in Winnipeg and Headingley his entire life, Ed has been happily married to his wife Tammy for 35 years and is a very proud father of their daughter Melissa. In 2007, at age 49, he was diagnosed with prostate and kidney cancer. After successful treatment, Ed has since remained cancer free. His personal experience and journey was the inspiration for the foundation of the Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad (MRFD) in 2009.

The first year attracted almost 500 motorcycle riders in Manitoba and raised $83,000* and over the past seven years, the Manitoba MFRD has grown to more than 1,000 riders and has to date, raised over one million dollars. All funds raised stay in Manitoba and are used for research and awareness initiatives. From the beginning, Ed has fully embraced the role of spokesperson for Manitoba MRFD and although it’s difficult for him to talk about, he dedicates his time to educating and counselling those afflicted, and their loved ones. Meeting often with men who have gone through, or are currently dealing with cancer, Ed never turns down a request for his time and continues to be an inspiration and valuable asset to Manitoba MFRD.

* Nationally, MRFD takes place in over 40 cities and has donated more than 15 million dollars to the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation.

Carla Martinelli-Irvine

Graduating from Silver Heights Collegiate in 1978, Carla began her career in the RCMP, followed by becoming a Correctional Officer at the Winnipeg Remand Centre until 1988. Carla’s major career change came when she decided to pursue her strongest dream of improving the lives and suffering of unwanted pets in the community. Having witnessed the distress of many animals, Carla started Pet Pals in 1988, which in part arranged adoptions for innocent animals.

Carla saw the need for a rescue shelter in which euthanasia would not be used as a means of population control and in 1999, founded the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter, Manitoba’s First Registered Charity No-Kill Animal Shelter (100% donor supported with no government assistance). The work of this establishment is a manifestation of Carla’s innermost belief in compassion, kindness and reverence for life. Throughout the years, as a result of the Shelter’s work, thousands of innocent pets have been rescued, cared for, and adopted to loving homes. Their mission aspires to a society in which animals are accorded the right to life and are recognized as beings with feelings and the need for loving care. There is no time limit imposed on a pets stay and they ensure that they receive medical treatment, food, care, and protection in a euthanasia free environment.

The Shelter participates in spaying and neutering programs through coordination with veterinarians and arranges adoptions to suitable and loving homes.They believe that through education and teaching of tolerance and kindness, a cruelty free environment can be achieved. The mission and the work of the shelter has been widely accepted within the community, and as Director, Carla continues to be its driving spirit. In 2009 she was nominated for Woman of Distinction by Councillor Grant Nordman. Carla also works very closely with schools within the community, persons with disabilities, and special needs organizations and has received many commendations for her work in these areas.