MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARDS
LOCAL Award: Stefanie Gemmell
The LOCAL Making A Difference Award is presented to an individual who has displayed outstanding dedication or has been responsible for outstanding accomplishments of local significance in multiple births issues within Canada.
The winner of the 2019 Local MADA is Stefanie Gemmell.
Stefanie has been a pillar of the Greater Sudbury Multiple Births Association since it’s inception in 2012.
She was at the very first meeting, where the group identified an area of support that the City of Sudbury was not offering, and decided to create, build, manage & grow the support group for families of multiples.
This challenge was new to most of the group, with Stefanie spearheading a lot of the facets of becoming a registered non-profit, day to day managing of the group.
She began the journey as vice chair and stepped fluidly into the role as Chair of the association. As a mother of triplets herself, she has her heart 100% in the association and for its success in helping others. She works tirelessly for the group, always looking for new and innovative ways to help get the job done.
She knows the ins and outs of the association because she’s been chair, fundraising committee member, sale coordinator, PR director, treasurer, web designer, event coordinator, membership coordination, storage unit manager, MBC liaison and so much more. She has stepped in as needed during any temporary vacancies.
She doesn’t back down from a challenge or a set back. It’s thanks to her that the association is what it is today, and our members can attest to that.
It’s no wonder that Stefanie spearheaded the 2019 Conference & AGM. She had a goal and a vision with this conference and has done most of the leg work to see it through.
Words cannot express with full justification how well-suited Stefanie is for this Local MADA award, Congratulations Stefanie!
National Award: Heather McAuley
The MADA NATIONAL award is presented to an individual who has displayed outstanding dedication or has been responsible for outstanding accomplishments of national significance in multiple births issues in Canada.
The 2019 National MADA was presented to Heather McAuley.
Heather has dedicated much of her time and resources not only to her local chapter but also to the Multiple Births Canada board.
Heather held many positions in her local chapter of POMBA Windsor-Essex, including President, Prenatal Support, Cruise Director and computers for the All4Kids sale.
In addition, Heather chaired an amazing MBC conference in Windsor in 2011. Between teachers attending the multiples in schools workshop, OB-GYN attending the workshop with Dr. Barbara Luke and the regular conference delegates, over 180 individuals were in attendance.
After giving many years to her local chapter, Heather redirected her passion and joined the MBC Board of Directors in 2012. She continues to serve on the board in various director positions as well as serving 4 years as the Board Chair.
She has worked hard to bring many projects to life such as the Ultrasound Clinic Poster Project and the Purple Butterfly Project in addition to her board role, full-time job all while raising her four children including one set of twins. These projects were not small in nature and demanded countless hours spent meeting with many key stakeholders to ensure the projects are delivered seamlessly.
Heather strives to make everyone feel welcome no matter the situation or group she is with. She acts as a mentor to new board members to ensure they succeed. She gives so much of herself and it shows in all the amazing accomplishments she has had over the years.
She has a way of connecting with people that has greatly benefited MBC, both by attracting volunteers and by forging important relationships, including with the Dionne sisters and the Dionne Quints Heritage Board as well as with members of the MBC advisory council.
Thank you, Heather, for all you have given and continue to give to the Multiple Births Communities across Canada!
Chapter Award: London Multiple Births Association
The MADA CHAPTER award is presented to a chapter that has displayed outstanding dedication or has been responsible for outstanding accomplishments of significance to their local multiple births community.
The 2019 Chapter MADA winner is London Multiple Births Association.
London Multiple Births Association (LMBA) was founded in 1977 by five families living within a few homes of each other on one street in London.
LMBA has grown into a Chapter of MBC serving and supporting over 165 families over a very large geographic area from Lake Huron in the north, to Lake Erie in the south, to Woodstock in the east, to Chatham in the west.
The members and executive are committed to helping families in the multiple births community as well as providing donations to the London Diaper Bank and local Women's Shelters. At each event hosted by the LMBA we ask for donations for these community programs, and they have been blown away by the support the LMBA members provide to each of these organizations.
The LMBA hosts many free events for their members throughout the year. They have a very active Facebook group, providing a safe environment for members to reach out. The LMBA hosts a semi-annual kids' used clothing and equipment sale - and over the past year and half has seen many changes to the event - from switching to the My Consignment program and to a new location. The sale sees about 80 sellers and about 700-1000 shoppers.
Comments from their members:
"LMBA is a great community where you can ask questions, get advice and just connect with people who have been there or are there in the crazy experience of multiples."
"Because it feels so good to support and encourage one another. I know I can ask a question at any hour and someone is awake and ready to respond.“
"I would be lost without the support from this group. Made some great friends and no one in my family gets the struggles of multiples the stress is real. The love and friendships"
Congratulations, London Multiple Births Association!
Media Award: Three Identical Strangers
The MADA MEDIA award is presented to an individual and/or newspaper, magazine, radio or television outlet that printed or aired a story in the previous year which created awareness of multiple-birth issues, individual chapters, or spotlighted MBC and/or chapter initiatives.
The 2019 Media MADA goes to the producers and directors of the true story, Three Identical Strangers.
The story is about three complete strangers who accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. The movie was released in 2018 with the production companies CNN films and Raw TV.
It was directed by Tim Wardle, produced by Becky Read, Grace Hughes-Hallett and stars the actual triplets: Edward Galland, David Kellman and Robert Shafran.
For three teenage boys living in New York in the 1980s, what starts as an uncanny resemblance quickly turns into an extraordinary stranger-than-fiction story. The discovery that Bobby, Eddy and David were triplets separated at birth and adopted by three different families catapults the former strangers to international
fame. But their incredible reunion also unlocks a secret that gives this bizarre and charming tale a mysterious and troubling origin story.
Congratulations to the film makers on creating and sharing this incredible true tale.
Dionne Award: Michelle Lynne Bernard
The MADA DIONNE award is presented to adult multiple-birth individual(s) who through his/her/their actions have created a deeper awareness of the challenges faced by Canada’s multiple-birth children and their families and/or have made a significant impact on the multiple-birth community through their own personal efforts.
The 2018 Winner of the Dionne Award is Michelle Lynne Bernard.
Michelle is the President of the London Multiple Births Association Chapter; she is the lovely wife of Brad. Together they have three sons, Edward who is 10 and twins Alexander and Christopher.
Michelle works very hard as the Chair of the London Multiple Births Association Chapter. She organizes fundraisers, play groups, and multiple activities.
Michelle loves to volunteer with her local chapter and in 2018 when MBC put a call out to ask her help with the conference Michelle stepped up to the plate. She offered to take over the Silent Auction for the board. She organized an online auction so that delegates that were not able to attend the conference had a chance to participate. She went to many local businesses to ask for donations as well as other chapters. Without Michelle’s support we are not sure what the Silent Auction would have looked like.
Michelle herself is an identical twin, her sister Nicole was able to join us at the 2018 conference on Saturday night for the gala and was eager to lend a helping hand with the auction and anywhere else that she could. Unfortunately, Michelle lost her twin Nicole Addley in 2019.
Michelle has continued to lead the Silent Auction for 2019 conference in Sudbury. We hope that she continues as she is a valuable MBC volunteer!