by Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On June 16, Every Kid in our Communities (Everykid) Coalition hosted their sixth annual “Recognition of Asset Builders” event via Zoom. Everykid in our Communities of Leeds and Grenville is a community collaboration of over 35 agencies and organizations dedicated to the long-term success of every child and youth. Their name is inspired by their conviction that every child and youth ought to be safe, healthy, and valued. Their work involves building communities in which this conviction is fostered.

The Recognition of Asset Builders event is to celebrate and honour organizations, businesses, and people who make a difference in the lives of children and youth in Leeds and Grenville. Asset builders are adults who work to build assets in youth. Assets are the positive experiences and opportunities that aid in the development of skills, qualities, and values.

Community Coordinator and host for the evening’s event, Margaret Fancy, noted that the more assets a child has, “the more likely they are to thrive.” She said, “We are very fortunate to have so many community members who are doing their part to support our children and youth.”

This year, over 30 individuals and groups were named as asset builders across Leeds and Grenville. Those that were named in North Grenville include: Mayor Nancy Peckford; Arnita Gillard of the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO); Frank Vassallo CEO Kemptville District Hospital; Rebecca Cronk of Get Cronk’d Fitness Kemptville; Scott Campbell, teacher with the CDSBEO; Father John Whyte of the CDSBEO; Michelle Neville, Mental Health Lead CDSBEO; Norma McDonald, Superintendent at the CDSBEO; Pam Dunk, crisis response worker with the CDSBEO; the Southgate Community Church of Kemptville; and Tania Roddick of the CDSBEO.

Micheal Stanley, organizing committee member for the event, concluded the evening’s proceedings with a call to action. He said that what has gotten us through the trials and tribulations of COVID-19 was the, “power of relationship.” He challenged each asset builder to build more networks of relationships by creating more asset builders. He said that each person is like a thread, each with something unique to offer, and that as these threads become entwined through relationships, we are left with the, “strong and interwoven fabric that is community.”

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