Past Saturday night, Stella Gan's new Liberty North banquet facility was totally aglitter with one of its first major events. Stella was aglitter, too, as she should be. This dynamic business owner continues to provide Barrie with the best.

Three hundred and fifty women (and a handful of smart men) were attending the fifth annual Legends and Legacy awards dinner, each with a remarkable theme. This year's was Fire and Ice. Both strong natural elements and a fitting tribute to female energy making a real difference in our community.

Standing ovations greeted each legend as she was introduced and honoured with Spirit Catcher miniatures. Each legend joins 29 other legends in community strength. Even more important, women in attendance embraced every sector of our community with threads of continuity that make Barrie the fabulous place that we appreciate.

Junior Legends, 11 years old each of them, are like shimmering diamonds already achieving meaningful connection that changes lives. Clara Graham was honoured for her tenacious fundraising which started out as Pencils for Kids as Clara celebrated her birthday by asking for gifts for kids in need. Her fundraising continues, this year focussed on Clara's Kids, a kindergarten in Niger, Africa.

Junior Legend Mackenzie Oliver is focussed on the vital core of each of us with her "I Love Me" club. Designed to embrace and enhance self esteem among young (and not so young) Mackenzie feels a person with great self esteem can do anything in the world. It all started with I Love Me t-shirts and now involves club members from across the planet. (see link: http://www.donnadouglas.com/column.aspx?columns=Heres-to-the-power-of-10-)

So multiply these years with women who have lived decades of goodness in their communities. Lawyer and community activist Rose Adams (Rotarian, community volunteer, and a woman whose generosity knows no bounds). Mountain climber and Parkinsons patient Erica Curtis (nurse, community giver, mental health volunteer, relationship coach, hospice caregiver). Single parent foster mother of 76 children Kathy Dunn (a teacher who has raised countless school fee dollars and opportunity for kids in St Lucia).

Party gal Robin Hadfield (Prom Blitz coordinator that provides girls in need with graduating prom dresses for that very special night, www.promblitz.com). Community builder in the true sense of the word, Joan Lehman (project coordinator for both MacLaren Art Centre and Gilda's House constructions, enormous building projects of true public status). Kidz With a Kause promoter Lisa Spoljaric (a volunteer funded oppportunity for young people everywhere).

This was a remarkable evening, partnering some of the community's best with the Grandmothers/Grandothers project launched by Stephen Lewis. This organization provides support for aids-torn African grandmothers who are singlehandedly raising families of little ones because all other family adults have died from aids. The evening raises funds for the Grandmothers, and also drew a portion of dollars for Seniors Wish Association.

So much. And all conceived by community champion Barbara Richards and now work-shared with her daughter Krista.

Who says the impossible can't be done!

Thanks, Legends.

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