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Legacy Awards - 2019 Recipients
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After receiving more than 100 nominations, we are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2019 Legacy Awards!

Volunteer Toronto’s Legacy Awards celebrate six outstanding examples of volunteerism in our city. From mentors to fundraisers to educators, the Awards shine a light on unspoken heroes whose efforts are often unknown outside their local community.

On April 9th 2019, during our National Volunteer Week celebration, we invited all award nominees, their nominators, and special guests to join us in recognizing
the amazing contributions that volunteers make.  

For more information on the Legacy Award recipients, contact Cara Eaton, Director of Marketing and Communications. 


Award Recipients

Click on their names to learn more about their impact

Tom McFeat
Lisa Cherry-Cherniak
Jagger Gordon

Youdon Tsamotshang
Jessica McDougall
David Lockett

 Past Recipients


 The 2017 Recipients

 The 2018 Recipients

Tom McFeat

Tom McFeat—Meeting a critical need in community service

“I’d wish it on everyone”, says Tom, describing how he feels seeing the gratitude and relief his volunteering brings to others.

Working as a finance journalist Tom was inspired to channel his passion for boiling down difficult concepts when he learned how a coworker volunteered as a literacy tutor. Searching with Volunteer Toronto he quickly found Woodgreen Community Services and started volunteering as a debt management counsellor. After retiring he joined their tax clinic and loved it so much that he’s stayed on year-round.

He finds himself awed by the courage and dignity of his clients, many facing incredible challenges, and relishes the opportunity to tell them they’re owed hundreds or even thousands of dollars— offering them both encouragement and hope.” 

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Lisa Cherry-Cherniak

Lisa Cherry-Cherniak—Building community through inclusivity

In the early 90s Lisa was confronted by a landscape of intolerance in her job as a news monitor—compiling reports of incidents from across the country. After a series of reports detailing white supremacists targeting youths at schools and churches Lisa realised she needed to take a stand.

Initially speaking out about her own experience with anti-Semitism while in school, she quickly partnered with co-founder Mendelson Joe to form Artists Against Racism in 1995. In the 24 years since then she has dedicated herself to bringing together musicians, artists, and writers to confront racism in Canada and abroad.

Lisa finds that volunteering is as much a benefit for her as it is for those she serves—it allows her to put her vision into action and connect more compassionately with those around her.

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Jagger Gordon

Jagger Gordon—Creating positive change through innovation

Working as a chef and caterer, Jagger was faced with the reality of food waste—that 40% of Canadian food ends up in landfill while 1 in 7 families live with food insecurity.

Unwilling to stand idly, he founded Feed it Forward, a completely volunteer run non-profit that has rescued thousands of pounds of food and provides meals and groceries that have fed nearly 80 thousand people on a pay-what-you-can basis.

12 hours a day, 7 days a week, Jagger isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. While continuing with Feed it Forward he’s started to lobby for Canada to follow in the footsteps of France and Italy by making it illegal to throw away edible food.

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Youdon Tsamotshang

Youdon Tsamotshang—Demonstrating outstanding growth and learning

Youdon’s volunteer journey began at the age of 14, only two years after immigrating from Dharamsala, India—where she was born a stateless Tibetan refugee. Inspired by her father’s active role in their community, his selflessness and tenacity, she began to volunteer alongside him. Before long she noticed how volunteering was helping her to lay down roots of her own, to find her own voice, and to reconnect with her identity.

Thirteen years later Youdon is the vice-president of Tibetan Children’s Project Canada and an essential part of Students for a Free Tibet Canada where she takes part in outreach and training for concerts, festivals, and rallies.

Pushing back against the chaos and despair she sees in the world, Youdon is known for creating supporting, affirming spaces and helping those around her discover their passion. “To volunteer is to see a problem”, she says, “and to become part of the solution.”

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Jessica McDougall

Jessica McDougall—Forging meaningful and unique connections

Jessica has a rare quality that sets others at ease and has made her 33 years of volunteering a story of countless connections.

She met her husband while in her first volunteer role, at a therapeutic horseback riding program for children with disabilities. Later, volunteering locally and at her children’s school she found new friends, created a sense of community, and broadened her family’s horizons.

Now, most of Jessica’s volunteering happens at Emily House, Toronto’s only child hospice, where her comfort and openness are essential qualities of her care. Thinking back, the first family she helped there stands out in her mind—throwing a 1 month birthday party and feeling the privilege of taking part in a lasting family memory. Over 10 years later, reconnecting with them at memorial and fundraising events is still a profound experience.

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David Lockett

David Lockett—A lifetime of volunteer achievement

First inspired by Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope, David began volunteering in 1983 and shortly afterwards joined the Rotary Club—taking their motto, “Service over Self” deeply to heart.

He has since sought out innovative ways to make lasting improvements to Toronto’s support systems. Cutting the ribbon of the Redwood Shelter as co-founder in 1993, he increased Toronto’s number of shelter beds for victims of domestic violence by 10%. Also co-founder and volunteer president of the PACT Urban Peace Program, David has continues to look forward, seeking out and developing new programs to address Toronto’s needs.

Reflecting on a lifetime of volunteering, David recalls the words of Margaret Mead, that “that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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For media inquiries regarding the 2019 Legacy Award recipients, please contact:

Cara Eaton, Director of Strategic Communications


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