Matthew MacGregor was an exceptional young man. He brought joy to all who knew him and thrived when he spent time with family and friends and in his community. Sadly, Matthew passed away in late March 2020 at the young age of 21. He is missed by many.
At WRFN, in celebration of Matthew’s life and in his memory, we have renamed our annual volunteer award – the Matthew MacGregor Award for Volunteerism. Matthew gave so much to our community with his friendship, laughter and smiles, it seems only fitting that an award recognizing dedicated volunteers carry his name.
WRFN would not be possible without the amazing dedication and support of volunteers. Volunteers have been recognized each year for their dedication and commitment.
Read a tribute shared by Matthew's mother, Laura, during our 2021 Evening of Elegance about the gifts her son brought to the world and what made him a "beautiful flower boy."
Karen Applebee & Lyn McGinnis
2023 Volunteer Award Recipients
The recipients of our 2023 Volunteer Awards were Karen Applebee and Lyn McGinnis.
Both Karen and Lyn have been active participants in the groups they volunteer with.
Karen has been the alternate representative for WRFN on the Waterloo Catholic District
School Board Special Education Advisory Committee for the past several years, while Lyn
has been an integral part of Coffee Club. We send our thanks, once again, to Karen and
Lyn for their involvement and dedication to WRFN families and self-advocates through
their volunteer roles.
Jennifer Lasenby-Lessard & Christine Zaza
2022 Volunteer Award Recipients
This year, we are so pleased to honour two amazing volunteers – Jennifer Lasenby-Lessard and Christine Zaza. Both have been involved with the WRFN Parent Mentor Program for several years providing emotional support to, and sharing resources with, parents who are traveling similar journeys.
A New Chapter Planning Group
2021 Volunteer Award Recipient(s)
Wendy Newbery, Mary Pike, Anne Yardley, Judy Hight and Pam Polfuss-Schmidt, who meet regularly to plan meetings, share topic ideas, engage speakers and keep the group connected and informed, were the recipients of the volunteer award in 2021.
Trish Coupal & Monique Kaptein
2020 Volunteer Award Recipients
Trish and Monique were both recognized as founding parents of WRFN and for serving on our Board of Directors for many years, retiring last June. Each has volunteered many hours as a dedicated Parent Mentor with the WRFN Parent Mentor Program personally guiding and supporting other parents
2019 Volunteer Award Recipient
Sue was recognized for her heartfelt commitment to Parent Mentorship, participation on the Governance and Nominations Committee, engagement in various working groups, and as a valued contributor to community discussions.
2018 Volunteer Award Recipient
Stuart was recognized for his amazing commitment to our Evening of Elegance signature event, his role as Chair of the ASD Collaborative, and for helping out whenever needed.
2017 Volunteer Award Recipient
Carol was recognized for her passionate commitment to Parent Mentorship and support to families during weekly peer-led conversations.
2016 Volunteer Award Recipient
Paige was recognized for her enthusiastic commitment as an Active Start and FUNdamentals volunteer for multiple programs.
2015 Volunteer Award Recipient
Stephanie was recognized for her consistent commitment to admin support and for keeping our office organized, and our team smiling.
2014 Volunteer Award Recipient
Carmen was recognized for her outstanding commitment in a Leadership role for Coffee Club, Life Chat and LADDER (peer mentor) programs.