13 U of S alumni honoured at National Philanthropy Day celebration

Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer

Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer

Of the 30 awards given out at Saskatoon’s National Philanthropy Day celebration on November 14, 12 University of Saskatchewan alumni received an Honoured Supporter Award and another was named the 2014 Chamberlain Scholar.

The U of S alumni honoured are:

Vera Pezer (BA’62, MA’64, PhD’77), honoured by the University of Saskatchewan. Alumna. Athlete. Leader. Friend. There are so many ways one could describe Vera Pezer that it’s hard to decide which is best. That’s why the University of Saskatchewan is so fortunate to have a supporter as passionate and dedicated as Vera. For over four decades Vera has given generously to the U of S whether as a counsellor, chancellor or patron member of the Greystone Circle legacy society. Vera’s contributions to our campus have undoubtedly changed it for the better.

Brian Toole (BusAdm’91), honoured by the Canadian Cancer Society. Brian Toole’s history with the Canadian Cancer Society is marked by tremendous fundraising success and leadership. His committee contributions to the 1st, and 14 subsequent Saskatoon Relay For Life events, has helped to raise over $3.5 million. He has also been a key volunteer at two other signature events, Jail-N-Bail and the Daffodil Campaign, and generously gives his time and expertise at our education presentations. Brian’s philanthropic efforts reflect an exceptional commitment to, and impact on, the fight against cancer.

June (BComm’84) and Tom (BComm’82) Zurowski, honoured by Catholic Family Services. Tom and June are long term supporters of CFS. This support presents in the form of time, expertise, and money. Tom and June have donated $71,000 to CFS representing as much as 27% of donations in any given year. Beyond this donation, they support many of our internal initiatives including reaching our UW goal, “rescuing” our fundraising initiatives, and quietly supporting the needs of clients. We call them tomandjuneannonymous! June has been on staff for 28 years and we are thrilled to nominate them for this award.

Deb and Cliff Weigers (BComm’83), honoured by Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. Creating a culture of philanthropy seems to come naturally to Deb and Cliff Wiegers. This energetic couple has held a number of board of director positions in this community, with Deb serving on the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan board for 10 years. Not only do they personally support
charities, Deb and Cliff continue to lead their dynamic team of colleagues in the hugely successful Wiegers Care for Kids fundraiser held in support of the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Ken Potikes (BComm’71) and Darlene Bessey, honoured by Meewasin Valley Authority. Ken and Darlene, a ‘power couple’ in Saskatoon philanthropy, are long-time supporters of Meewasin, both financially and through gifts of land. They currently sit as co-chairs for the Meewasin Matters Campaign, but their philanthropic legacy includes leadership roles in the Saskatoon Centennial Celebrations, Folkfest Greek Pavilion and the YWCA, to name a few. Unassuming and straight forward, both Ken and Darlene are key to Meewasin Matters’ success. Meewasin is proud to recognize them for their commitment to our community.

Janea Bellay-Dieno (BComm’01), honoured by READ Saskatoon. Janea Bellay-Dieno is a certified financial planner and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in marketing from the U of S. Janea spends her free time volunteering with various committees including the Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs, READ Saskatoon, BNI Saskatchewan and Business Professional Women’s Club of Saskatoon. She has worked with READ Saskatoon for almost a decade and is one of the agency’s most valued supporters and friend of literacy.

Zeba Ahmad (BSc’87), honoured by Saskatoon Community Foundation. Current chair of the board, Zeba Ahmad’s fundraising experience with sponsors, donors and special events is a great benefit to the Saskatoon Community Foundation. Zeba has a great deal of volunteer experience and her commitment to our community is well awarded with a nomination for the 2007 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award and the recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2008. Past Chair of the Royal University Hospital Foundation, she has also served on that board since 2002.

Greg Yuel (BA’93) and Friends of the Bowl Foundation Inc.-the Bowl at Gordon Howe Park Revitalization Project, honoured by the City of Saskatoon on behalf of Saskatoon
Minor Football. With the vision of a world-class home for football, just one year after announcing the $11 million revitalization project, the Friends of the Bowl delivered. Gordon Howe Park is now home to the breathtaking Saskatoon Minor Football Field. Quarterbacking the campaign is the unwavering and passionate campaign chair Greg Yuel, whose leadership and personal generosity has helped 100+ volunteers raise $8 million so far. The team’s tireless work and dedication will impact our young athletes and our city for years to come.

Brian (BComm’82) and Kathy Turnquist, honoured by Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation. Making a difference, leveling the playing field and helping children be their best come natural to Brian and Kathy Turnquist. They are kind and generous people that care about education and children. Brian and Kathy have created opportunities for hundreds of children to participate in Summer Reading Camp so little learners receive the intensive, personalized supports they need. Thank you Brian and Kathy, for your support of the Foundation that has been life changing for students attending Saskatoon Public Schools.

Julie Kosteniuk (PhD’09), Hugo Alvarado, Sharon Alvarado and Bob Doerksen, honoured by SSPC-Crisis Nursery. Hugo Alvarado, Julie Kosteniuk, Sharon Alvarado and Bob Doerksen are valued volunteers and supporters of the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery. They have committed countless hours to enhance the annual Crisis Nursery fundraising dinner and auction. Through their expertise and commitment, the Crisis Nursery dinner and auction annual net proceeds have increased from $10,000 to $58,000! The Saskatoon Crisis Nursery thanks Hugo, Julie, Sharon and Bob for the time they volunteer to help make this fundraising event such a success.

Heather Kehoe (BusAdm’09) and Lesley Courtney, honoured by The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. Lesley Courtney and Heather Kehoe’s enthusiasm, generosity and many long hours as co-chairs of the Lighthouse Up Capital Campaign contributed greatly to reaching the goal of $4 million in less than one year’s time. By voicing their belief in the need for services supporting those who have experienced homelessness, others were encouraged to contribute their time and money towards the much-needed renovations of the Lighthouse’s supported living suites and expansion of the Stabilization Unit.

Shirley Zhou (MSc’05) received the 2014 Chamberlain Scholarship, which will allow her to attend the AFP International Conference for the first time.

National Philanthropy Day—celebrated by numerous fundraisers, government leaders, businesses, and individuals across the country—provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and all it has accomplished, as well as what there still is to do.

*Biographical information on the recipients is from AFP Saskatoon’s luncheon program.