BY: Roderick Benns
DATE: Monday, November 11, 2003

Community Living Campbellford/Brighton won the prestigious Donner award for excellence in the delivery of services for people with disabilities.

At a press conference held Friday morning in Campbellford, local and provincial dignitaries were on hand to accept and celebrate the achievement.

Chosen from among 282 applicants, representing 103 cities and towns across Canada, these combined agencies represent 1.1 million clients. They also have more than 9,000 staff and dedicated volunteers contribute over 31 million hours of community service.

Doctor Doug Galt, MPP for Northumberland, was on hand at the press conference. He says he isn’t surprised at all that they won. “I’m not surprised – I’ve seen your work,” he said. “I know the intensity of interest you all put forth every day,” he said to the crowd, “and we thank you on behalf of the Province of Ontario.” The mayor of Trent Hills, George McCleary, said he was “extremely proud” of the organization for winning the national award, repeating the compliment many times.

He noted that in order to win the award, they had to be leaders in “financial management, strategic management, board governance, volunteers, program costs and outcome monitoring,” among other things.
The award came with a $5,000 cheque, which has to be directed within the organization in some clearly-defined area. Executive Director of Community Living Campbellford Brighton Chris Grayson said the money will be used for the local Self-Advocate group, ACE, who also had representatives on hand.

Community Living Campbellford/Brighton offers a range of support and services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, including family home, community residences, supported independent living, school to work options, community-based options, respite for families and two community resource centres. “Individuals we support have received provincial awards of recognition for their leadership from respected provincial leaders in Ontario,” said Grayson. “They are developing independence and courage as they achieve their dreams.”

The Donner Canadian Foundation, with the assistance of The Fraser Institute, established the annual Donner Canadian Foundation Awards For Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services in 1998. They were designed to recognize excellence and innovation among non-profit agencies at the community level. Awards totalling $65,000 are presented annually.

It was in April of 1960 when Community Living Campbellford/Brighton first formed, evolving into today’s award-winning organization for people with intellectual disabilities. It has 31 full-time employees and 33 part-time employees. It has won four awards since 1999; they are the Centre for Management of Community Services Innovations Award, a three-year certificate of Accreditation and Distinction (the first ever awarded in Ontario), the Ontario Rehabilitation, Work and Community Innovations of Excellence award and the recent Donner award.