April was an amazingly busy month for all of us at Toronto PFLAG with our ongoing outreach and support taking us into elementary and high schools to speak with both students and staff as shown below.
Our presenters Anne Creighton, Marla Green, Shane Hebel and I were at these 5 schools:
• April 3rd Oakwood C.I., presentation to the staff at a Breakfast Meeting
• April 8th Northern Secondary, Pride Fair
• April 9th C. R. Marchant Middle School, Grades 6, 7, 8
• April 24th Ledbury Park Public School, Grades 4 and 5
• April 25th Armour Heights P.S., Grades 5 and 6.
At the April 15th Toronto PFLAG Ally Award Gala we honoured the three MPPs who garnered all-party support and passage of TOBY’S ACT, prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and expression; Dr. Cheri diNovo, Ms. Christine Elliott, and Hon. Yasir Naqvi.
Also honoured was multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winner Ms. Sharon Gless for her contributions to the LGBTQ community, off-screen and her on-screen, groundbreaking role as Debbie Novotny, a PFLAG Mom on Queer as Folk, who was proud of her son, and made sure everyone knew it.
Acknowledging all four individuals as positive role models and allies, Toronto PFLAG was proud to turn the spotlight on them and present them with their individually hand-crafted, stained glass awards.
I want to take this opportunity to say a sincere and heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to the wonderful people who contributed to making our event a successful and enjoyable evening, and going against my mum’s advice to ‘never mention anyone if you can’t mention everyone’ I will give it my best shot! Any errors or omissions are unintentional.
All our guests received a take-home goody bag! These goody bags contained a varied selection of treats including some from Home Hardware, Nestle, Egale Canada, Toronto Police Communicy Consultative Committee, ETFO, Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, Tabasco Sauce, McDonald’s McCafe coupons, etc. We are grateful to our donors for their generosity in donating these and other items.
In addition I want to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of Toronto PFLAG volunteers, and those we ‘roped in’ to assist us at our event!
Your efforts and contributions are appreciated; we cannot thank you enough; and we hope you know how much you mean to all of us!
It was an absolute pleasure to see our four Honourees receive their Awards. They were all deserving of our respect and admiration and having the opportunity to hear them speak to all of our assembled guests was a privilege and pleasure, and being able to welcome them as members of our community of Allies was priceless!
Our Awardees were introduced by two Toronto PFLAG allies, and community members Enza Anderson and TK. You both are role models and we appreciate your support of our families and event.
How lucky we were to welcome our Guest Speakers, Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario; Police Chief William Blair, Toronto Police Service, and Mr. Brian Burke, last year’s Ally Award Recipient, and know that our community can count on these three individuals as Allies!
Entertainment from start to finish was provided by our Event Emcee, Mike Chalut, whose effervescent energy infused us all! We enjoyed musical performances that were varied in style; had a broad appeal and were flawless in delivery. We thank Reverse, John Alcorn and accompanists Reg Schwager and Pat Collins, Lisa Horner and Danielle Wade and accompanist Wayne Guillim. Stellar performances all round!
By sharing some personal stories by way of introducing her friend Sharon Gless we were privileged to receive not only an insight into Sharon but also a personal glimpse of and much hilarity from Rosie O’Donnell.
Our Sponsors, Raffle Prize Donors and those who donated Professional Services are listed on the attached sheet, and I just want to reiterate how much we appreciate your generosity.
A special thank you is offered to the two Toronto Police Mounted Officers and ‘Moose’ and ‘Honest Ed’ who greeted our guests on arrival at the theatre on Yonge Street. Also helping us on the day of the event, and deserving of our thanks were Toronto Police Officers and Auxiliary Officers, and students from Seneca College and Wexford Collegiate Institute students.
• A Big Thank You to those of you who came out and celebrated with us! You made our event the fun night we hoped for, and we enjoyed the opportunity to meet you, and hope you got a chance to meet some of our families and friends.
• Others volunteered their services and contributed to the success of our event and asked that they not be mentioned. You know who you are, and all of us on the Board of Directors of Toronto PFLAG recognize and appreciate your help.
In gratitude, Irene, Anne, Jill, Marla, Vera, Bryn, Gary, Michael & Robert