Progressive Conservative MPP Donna Skelly has honoured some of those who she says “represent the best of who we can be during a time of crisis.”
Skelly held a virtual “pandemic heroes” award ceremony to recognize the efforts of people within her Flamborough-Glanbrook riding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of those recognized is care co-ordinator Rebecca Fournier, who sacrificed time with her children by temporarily moving into St. Elizabeth Retirement Residence.
“I needed to be here, I was working really long hours,” said Fournier. “The nurses and the PSWs (personal support workers), I wanted to support them and encourage them, and I didn’t want to risk my family.”
Skelly also recognized principal Josie Pini at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Elementary School, who postponed her retirement due to COVID-19.
“I thought, what a terrible time to leave everyone, we were all in fear, we all had anxiety,” said Pini. “After 31 years, I just couldn’t leave this way.”
William and Olivia Pang, a brother and sister who’ve hosted a live virtual trivia contest every Friday for students at St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary school, were also recognized as pandemic heroes for keeping their school community connected during the pandemic.
“It was in a sense of camaraderie that we competed,” said principal Dean Younger. “We were hosting well over 130 to 150 families” by the time the school went back into our virtual learning mode in January and February.
Skelly stressed that “these are only a few of the everyday heroes.”
“There are so many extraordinary people in our community who have gone above and beyond in an effort to support others through the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
She points to school principals, teachers and support staff who ensured their students were safe, food bank volunteers who delivered meals to those most vulnerable and individuals who stepped up to make masks and cards, and organize phone trees and Zoom calls.