Horizons of Friendship asks for Founder's Award nominees
Seen at a June 2012 ceremony at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Cobourg, Doreen Gorsline accepts the Horizons of Friendship Founder's Award from Horizons board member Paul Caldwell.
Horizons of Friendship, which is celebrating its 40th year, is issuing a call for nominations for its annual Founders Award.
The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual from anywhere in Canada who demonstrates a commitment to volunteerism and leadership in addressing social inequality and injustice. It's an award that has been given out since 2004 to commemorate the three founders of Horizons: former Northumberland MP Christine Stewart, her late husband David and Father Tim Coughlan.
David Stewart was a busy Cobourg lawyer in 1971, when he and his wife took their young family to Honduras to work for a year and invited Father Tim to accompany them. Upon their return, they were inspired to create the Help Honduras Foundation, which later became Horizons — a non-governmental organization that would raise money to support grassroots organizations throughout Central America and Mexico that are working to address poverty and social-injustice issues.
Over 40 years, Horizons has supported more than 100 non-governmental organizations in implementing more than 1,200 community projects.
Horizons recognizes that many Canadians are making a positive difference on their own through volunteer or community-leadership work, and encourages everyone to nominate these outstanding citizens who are setting a positive example through the meaningful contributions they are making.
And it's a wonderful opportunity to recognize a special Canadian who may have been working quietly just for the opportunity to make a difference.
Last year's winner was a Port Hope woman who was already an active community volunteer before turning her energy and talents to the benefit of Horizons.
Doreen Gorsline was a volunteer and former president of Friends of Music, as well as a devoted choir member and elder at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church (where she helped organized the Musical Soup For The Soul concerts and luncheons).
A part-time teacher, she was contemplating a return to graduate school in the early 1990s, when her mother drew her attention to a Horizons ad. Before long, she had organized two annual Horizons fundraisers that are still going strong — the Homes, Gardens and Music Tour, and the Writers & Friend gala that is now held in both Port Hope and Kingston.
Thanks to the thousands who support these events, almost $1-million has been raised. But Gorsline's involvement extended beyond fundraising to occasional travels to Central America (including to Costa Rica in the aftermath of Hurricane Fifi).
At the 2012 ceremony at which she was recognized, she characterized her mentors as "people of vision who perceived challenges around them and felt compelled, cajoled and called to get things done and make a difference."
The deadline for nominations for the 2013 Founder's Award is May 16. Award criteria, a nomination form and full details can be found at www.horizons.ca or picked up at the Horizons office (upstairs at 50 Covert St., Cobourg).