YMCA Peace Week: November 19-25, 2023

The YMCA believes peace is more than the absence of violence and conflict. Peace is the ongoing work of building and rebuilding conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity. When Canadians embody the values of PEACE (Participation, Empathy, Advocacy, Community, Empowerment) through our daily actions, we can build a better Canada.

YMCA Peace Week calls for people to Build Community, Act for Peace.
When we act for peace, together we build stronger and healthier communities.

We cannot expect to live in a world of peace if we are unable to live in peace with those close to us – even those who differ from us…– YMCA Statement of Peace

YMCA of Central East Ontario Peace Medals

YMCA Peace Medals are presented to individuals or groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, demonstrate a commitment to the values of PEACE through contributions made within their local, national, or global community.

Since 1987, more than 1,900 individuals and groups across Canada have been recognized for their peacebuilding work with YMCA Peace Medals. When we award YMCA Peace Medals, we celebrate others’ contributions to peace.

Each year, the YMCA of Central East Ontario honours local Peacemakers with a YMCA Peace Medal at several community events across the region. Watch for details on this year’s recipients who encompass the values of the YMCA Peace Medal.

On Thursday, December 7th the YMCA Balsillie Family Branch will present Peace Medals to Jason King,

Lee-Anne Quinn and Husayn Dharshi. Alex Bierk will receive his award from 2020 when pandemic restrictions

prevented an in person ceremony.

Jason King

Jason King is celebrated for his resilience, compassion, and community building. His advocacy for accessibility and empowerment, particularly for those with disabilities, aligns with values promoting understanding and unity. Jason King’s transformative impact on the community is a testament to his exceptional character and unwavering commitment.

Lee-Anne Quinn

Major Lee-Anne Quinn enjoyed 26 years in the Canadian Forces. She retired from the military in Sept 2008, and moved to her hometown of Peterborough where she works as a Nurse Practitioner in Primary Healthcare.

Lee-Anne was the Honorary Colonel with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment from 2018-2022. She was the first female Honorary Colonel with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment in 100 yrs. Lee-Anne along with her colleagues volunteer and continually care for the health needs of our marginalized population. Since 2015, LeeAnne has assisted her sponsor team in successfully getting a total of 26 Syrian refugees to Peterborough.

Husayn Dharshi

Husayn Dharshi a support worker at One Roof Community Centre, a dedicated board member for Heads Up for Inclusion, and a passionate advocate for city and public transportation with theBus.ca. When asked what makes Husayn extraordinary, you will commonly hear that Husayn brings a calmness to every space he enters. In a setting that can sometimes be chaotic, his approach to community members is kind, generous, and tranquil. He is also an advocate for improved transit systems that will allow more folks in our community to access transit. His software company, and transit app @thebus.ca has improved some of the current challenges for riders.

Alex Bierk

Alex Bierk was awarded the Peace Medal in 2020 for his work as a fierce advocate for safe consumption sites. You will often find Alex networking to help a fellow community member find the supports and connections they need to work on their sobriety and brings awareness to the human face behind the statistics. He reminds us that those lost to addiction are friends, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers and children.

On Monday, November 20 the John Williams YMCA presented two Peace Medals in a luncheon ceremony held at Tomasso’s Italian Grille. Congratulations to Mark Phillips and Chandy Davis.

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips was born in Lionel Town Jamaica and moved to the Trenton area 20 years ago. Mark is passionate about his family including his new grandson Luka, his various businesses, his staff and this community. Mark loves to travel is an avid pickleballer and spends most mornings working out at the John Williams YMCA.

Mark is the Honorary Colonel for ATESS and is a big supporter of the military and especially CFB 8 Wing. Over the years he has supported or been involved in many groups and charities including Quinte West Rotary Club, Salvation Army, YMCA of Central East Ontario, Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation and The Children’s Foundation. Mark also sits on the YMCA Centre for Life Committee.

Mark is the owner of Mystical Distributing Company that has the largest selection of fireworks, party, and outdoor recreation production from the most sought-after brands. You will find a box of fireworks in most charity auctions generously donated by Mark and Jen. The Phillips family continually give back to our community and we are lucky they call Quinte West home.

Chandy Davis

Chandy Davis has been involved in Mother and Father’s businesses in some capacity since she was about 7 years old ~~ typing invoices! For the past 30 years, Chandy and her brother, Gord, have been running Electro Cables, their family business. Twenty years ago Chandy started volunteering in our community and she hasn’t stopped! First organization was the Trenton Rotary Club and then, Quinte West Minor Hockey and QHC board committees through the advisory council. Chandy has also supported the following: Hospice Quinte, World Elite Hockey Academy, Local Foodbanks, Kiwanis Club of Trenton, CFB Military, Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation, Friends of Stirling, The Children’s Foundation, YMCA of Central East Ontario, World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt a Child, Stirling Hockey, Quinte West Minor Hockey, Gift from the Heart just to new a few! Chandy is currently the Chair of the Quinte Manufacturing Association (QMA) for the past three (3) years (the first female in this position). As well, for the past seven (7) years Chandy has been a Board member with Trenval. Chandy was the recipient of 2018 QBAA Business person of the year (the first female to win this award)!

Chandy’s passion is to help support local businesses to prosper. She has mentored many local businesses over these years to try and help them be more successful. At Electro Cables there is a kids mentorship program for local kids that are struggling, Chandy will hire these individuals part-time to help guide them to an appropriate career path and a better life.

On Tuesday, November 21 the Belleville Branch presented two Peace Medals to Tom & Golda Laferty and Kris & Cassandra Bonn. Congratulations!

Tom Lafferty

Tom Lafferty was born and raised in Belleville, the community he loves, and where he is a friend to all. Tom and Lafferty’s Men’s Wear have been the go-to spot for 45 years, now dressing the grandchildren of life-long clients. He loves nothing more, well other than his grandchildren, than his visits with everyone who happens by. Tom proudly served on Belleville council for two terms as his community is so important to him. He generously gives of his time and resources personally and through his business.

Golda Lafferty

Golda has lived in the community for over thirty-five-ish years, thirty of those married to Tom, raising their family here so that they had a community to call home and be proud of. The last twenty-six years working with TD she has been proud of the opportunity to represent the bank through their support for the community but even more proud to help personally where she can. She cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Tom and Golda believe that everyone has a responsibility to contribute to their community to make it a better place for all to live. Throughout the years, they have supported many organizations by serving on boards, donating and volunteering- how do you pick only one or two?

Kris Bonn

Kris is a lawyer at Bonn Law who has been advocating for the rights and well-being of injured victims and their families for over 20 years. He is the current president of the Brain Injury Association Quinte District, a past member of the Rotary Club of Trenton, and a long-time supporter of the Belleville General Hospital, Trenton Memorial Hospital, The Children’s Foundation, and the Children’s Safety Village. In 2019, he ran for 24 hours and raised over $20,000 for the Brain Injury Association. He is also a pioneer for children’s safety in the region and has given out hundreds of free bike helmets to kids in need.

Cassandra Bonn

Cassandra is a Marketing Strategist at Quinte Broadcasting with 30 years of experience. Cassandra Bonn moved to the community along with her husband Kris in 2001, and since then has been actively involved in various initiatives and events that benefit the community. Cassandra has volunteered her time and resources to many local organizations including the Belleville General Hospital, Trenton Memorial Hospital, Pathways to Independence, Cancer Society, Quinte Arts Council, National Air Force Museum, Festival of Trees, and YMCA Strong Kids.

Kris and Cassandra also helped raise significant funds for therapy equipment and an outdoor playground for the local Children’s Treatment Centre supporting children with physical disabilities at Belleville General Hospital. They were inspired to help as their own son Fraser is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and utilizes the many resources of the Centre. Currently, she is 1st Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of The Children’s Foundation and a member of the Rotary Club of Belleville.

Kris and Cassandra are the proud parents of two adopted children, Grace and Fraser, who share their passion for peace and community service. They believe that peace is not only the absence of violence, but also the presence of harmony, respect, and kindness in our relationships and interactions. They strive to promote peace in their community by supporting causes that empower people, especially children and youth, to overcome challenges and achieve their full potential. The Bonn family are proud members of the YMCA and donors for the new YMCA Centre for Life.

Peace Week Activities

Here are some activities to build peace in your life and community! Download our Peace Week activities by clicking on the links below.

Kindness Tree Activity
Peace Week Pledge
Peace Week Compliment Card
Peace Crane Activity
Colouring Pages