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Sparks of Courage Ignite as Community Builders Turns 20!

Community Builders celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special event called “Sparks of Courage”. A large team of committed volunteers, spearheaded by Event Chair Jerry Brodey, created a joyous community building night that embodied our key Community Builders principles: “Everyone counts, everyone belongs” and “Caring is cool.”

Over 150 supporters participated, and together we raised $8,000 towards programs!

Participants developed a deeper understanding of Community Builders as they engaged in mingling activities such as Community Circle with questions including, “What is your heritage?” and “Who are you inspired by?”

Participants also enjoyed hearing our panel share their experiences of the power of CB programs. The panel included Community Builders alumni youth TJ Rutty and Rohan Ford, board member and CB trainer Janet Chow and York Region School Board educator Barbara Goldenberg. The Décor Committee, led by talented artist volunteer, Suen Goonesekara (, created a beautiful ambience in our Cecil St Centre event space with sparkling lights and a large CB tent decorated with training posters that people could visit for more information on programs. Delicious food organized by Food Committee chair Edvirge Prédestin and chef Owen Williams delighted our palates. Bringing a thoughtful and uplifting spirit to the event were our performers: pianist Ken Jones, Medicine Song Woman Brenda MacIntyre; comedienne Zabrina Chevannes; and songwriters/musicians Layah Jane and Oliver Johnson, all held in the steadfast hands of our stage manager Lou Natale. Founders Bo-Young Lim, Eileen Nemzer, Janis Galway and, Jerry Brodey, brought the richness of this event alive with their stories of Community Builders from birth to present, and illuminated the importance of this work. The evening came to a joyful climax as Community Builders associates from over the decades came together on stage and the room filled with a final song. Thank you to all those who volunteered at the event, attended and made donations. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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