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May 23, 2002
First annual Mayor's Community Safety Award winners announced
Councillor Brad Duguid (Scarborough Centre, Ward 38), Chair of the Community
Services Committee and the Task Force on Community Safety, announced at a
special ceremony today the recipients of the 2002 Mayor's Community Safety
Awards. These awards recognize the contributions of individuals and groups that
have worked to make Toronto's communities safer.

"The response to these awards has been wonderful," said Mayor Mel Lastman.
"There were so many truly outstanding organizations and individuals nominated,
it was difficult to choose just a few to honour. The variety of directions
taken by the award winners are excellent examples of the many ways that
communities across our city are active stakeholders in promoting and enhancing
safety for all of Toronto's residents."

"Council has identified community safety and crime prevention as key priority
areas for our city and its residents," said Councillor Duguid. "The Mayor's
Community Safety Awards recognize that community safety has a direct impact on
the quality of life of our communities and the well-being of all our residents.
The quality of the nominations received has further reinforced that while the
City still has more work ahead of it, many things are already being done well
by communities that share Council's commitment to making our city safe for

Developed by the Task Force on Community Safety, the Mayor's Community Safety
Awards recognize the contributions of people who work to make their communities
safer places to live, work and play. A team of City of Toronto staff and
representatives from the community and business sector reviewed and assessed
the 45 nominations submitted. One individual and four organizations were
recognized for their outstanding achievement, and each award winner received
$500 to be used for violence prevention work, along with a plaque commemorating
their work.

Dr. Parvathy Kanthasamy, a leading expert on safety issues and a founding
member of the Vasantham-Tamil Wellness Centre, was recognized for her
Outstanding Commitment to Community Safety. Her contributions include staging
plays and dramatic events in the community and in various schools, writing many
articles and booklets on preventing woman abuse, elder abuse and youth
violence, producing safety videos, and appearing regularly as a safety expert
on television and radio.

The award for Strengthening Neighbourhoods was presented to The Aisling
Discoveries Child and Family Centre, founder of The Caring Community Project.
This innovative, school-based program is helping to reduce aggression,
acting-out violence, and providing school staff and parents with new skills to
deal with these issues. The program, piloted at Willow Park Junior School,
combines the efforts of a children's mental health centre and the school
community to promote violence-free schools.

The Concerned Kids Charity of Toronto received the award for Children, Youth
and their Families. This organization features 15 troupes of volunteer
puppeteers who entertain and educate children, young people and adults with
developmental disabilities, on a variety of different social issues. One show,
being presented in schools across Toronto, features segments on resisting gang
membership, alternatives to violence, racial/ethnic stereotyping and prejudice.
After each show, the puppets lead a discussion with the students.

Leave Out Violence, also known as LOVE, received the Youth Violence Prevention
award for their work to reduce violence in the lives of youth and in
communities by creating a team of youth spokespeople who communicate a message
of non-violence. LOVE offers training and a forum to begin a healing journey
and become part of the solution to eliminating youth violence to victims,
perpetrators and witnesses to violence.

Education Wife Assault's Access and Education Project received the award for
the Abused Women and their Children category. This project features a team of
eight women with disabilities who have been trained to provide violence
prevention workshops to service providers, health professionals and community
members. Personal experience, role-play, focused discussion and a presentation
format are used to educate participants about issues of violence against women
and children with disabilities.

The annual Mayor's Community Safety Awards are open to groups, individuals and
organizations located in the city of Toronto that provide support to Toronto
residents. Initiatives must have taken place within the past three years.

Media Contact
Media contact:
Councillor Brad Duguid
416-716-6723 (cell) / 416-392-0204 (office)



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