The Dalai Lama said “The world will be saved by the western woman,” at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009. Last Friday at the Waterfront Awards there was no shortage of the Toronto women who are doing just that. 

Lawyers, Doctors, Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Artists, Business Women and Philanthropists were some of the women nominated for excellence in their fields. 

Lifetime achievement was presented by Honourable Mayor of Mississauga Bonnie Crombie to her mentor and past mayor of Mississauga, the legendary Hazel McCallion for her 40 years of public service as Mississauga’s Distinguished Mayor. Congrats to Hurricane Hazel. I am a proud & grateful Mississauga citizen that is inspired by your fierce and tireless dedication to the city of Mississauga. 

I was honoured to be nominated by Ty Greenidge in the Philanthropy Category and in the company of 9 extraordinary philanthropic women for my work with and Mi Etcetera. I was named a Top 3 finalist alongside  Naraine Ismail and Vivian Shapiro. Congratulations to Naraine, Vivian and all the women nominated in Philanthropy and every one of the other 14 categories, for their outstanding contributions to their fields and their communities. 

In particular I congratulate trailblazer and Philanthropy Award winner Vivian Shapiro. A retired school principal who at 72 years of age has been inspiring, uplifting and empowering young people for decades. I am so grateful for the opportunity last night, to meet Vivian and thank her for paving the way for all of us to follow, in our philanthropic paths.  Her commitment and love of community is what can be seen in her eyes. Her vigour and enthusiasm continues to shine through. There is no doubt that young people everywhere will continue to be inspired and uplifted by her for many more years to come through her work at the Herbert H Carnegie Future Aces Foundation.

Vivian you are the epitome of what it means to show gratitude for your blessings by serving others. You have many blessings and you are a blessing. Namaste Vivian.