YMCA Peace Week: November 13 to 20, 2021

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

Each year, the YMCA of Central East Ontario honours local Peacemakers with a YMCA Peace Medal at several community events across the region. While we will be unable to host an in-person ceremony this year, we are still excited to recognize inspiring community members across our association through a virtual ceremony.

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.

2021 Peace Medal Recipients

Please join us in recognizing these outstanding recipients in each of our communities that encompass the values of the YMCA Peace Medal.

Dave Morello (Peterborough)

Dave Morello has been the owner/operator of Morello’s Your Independent Grocers since August of 2000. From day one, Dave has demonstrated not only a commitment to his store and staff, but to the city of Peterborough. Dave has always felt a responsibility to the community and his role in helping and bettering Peterborough where possible.

Dave, virtually each and every day, supports several local events, with donations of store space, product, and gift cards, etc., to help ensure their fundraising success. In addition to his numerous volunteer roles and charitable contributions with organizations such as Easter Seals, Rotary Club of Peterborough, Five Counties Peterborough, Hospice Peterborough, Dave is a longtime YMCA Board Member and Chair of the YMCA Strong Kids/Your Y is Here Campaign.

Dave has been recognized for his outstanding community work with a number of awards, including the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medallion, Peterborough and District Volunteer of the Year, Peterborough Business Citizen of the Year, Top 20 Most Influential Person in Peterborough, among many others.

David McNab (Peterborough)

David McNab, a retired Ontario Provincial Police Officer, Trent University Professor and community activist, has always helped others, supported acts of kindness and sees the best in people.

David and his wife Kristy were instrumental in founding Salaam Peterborough, a group of families who came together to sponsor a refugee family from Syria. David, Kristy and other co-sponsors helped raise funds to bring a mother, Amal and her 3 children to Canada. Amal’s children had not been in school for 2 years, afraid to leave their windowless room. Three months after being matched with families from Peterborough, Amal and her 3 children arrived in Peterborough to start their new life.

David also connected to Rashid, an 18 year old Syrian refugee living alone in Turkey, after the teenager had posted a desperate plea in a Facebook post and was subjected to abuse, including racism. Rashid had little knowledge of English and posted a request in a Facebook group for guidance coming to Canada to start a new, safe life. David was appalled by the hateful and anti-immigrant comments and immediately wanted to help Rashid to pursue his dream of studying to become an engineer. He has been working with Rashid to improve his English with the help of Trent University by providing structured lessons and fundraising to bring Rashid to Canada.

David’s charitable work does not stop here. Recently he drove across the nation in a Lamborghini to help a young cancer survivor, and has participated in the Pedal for Hope Campaign. He was also part of a massive Christmas Toy Drive for young children that supported various organizations including the New Canadians Centre.

Eric & Liz Lehtinen (Belleville)

Eric and Liz Lehtinen are passionate about their contributions to the Quinte region community, showcased through their years of community service. Together they support over a dozen charitable organizations and have been recognized with several awards individually and as business owners.

Liz and her husband Eric own a local business, Impacto Protective Products in the City of Belleville and are tremendous supporters of The Children’s Foundation, including sponsoring, donating and volunteering. Liz also finds time to volunteer and be involved with many other local organizations including the Belleville General Hospital Foundation and many more. She is a wonderful advocate for the Belleville community and beyond.

The Lehtinen’s have demonstrated unwavering commitment to their community and the greater good through their endless support and dedication. Eric Lehtinen has been recognized by the Quinte Business Achievement Awards as Business Person of the Year 2021. Impacto Protective Products Recognized by the Quinte Business Achievement Awards as Small Business of the Year, and Large Business of the Year.

Both Eric and Liz have been supporters of the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign as committee members since 2019, with Eric as Chair that same year and Liz as the current 2021 Co-Chair.

John Williams; Posthumously (Quinte)

John Williams, co-founder of Williams Hotels, former Mayor of the city Quinte West and Honorary Colonel at CFB Trenton was extremely passionate and committed to the Quinte Region. He lived his life by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. He was kind to others and was extremely passionate and committed to his community.

John Williams was a champion, a true leader who led by example and with his tenacity and determination he had a get er’ done mentality. His legacy projects as mayor include bringing the YMCA to Quinte West, the building of the Trent Port Marina as well as establishing a stronger bond and relationship between the municipality and CFB Trenton. He stood with many when he never missed one repatriation ceremony at the base, which led to the formation of the Highway of Heroes. That led to his leadership with the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, and the Lav III Memorial.

John always made time to mentor other entrepreneurs and gave generously of his time and resources to support numerous not-for-profit organizations. John was long-time chair of the Quinte Economic Development Commission, a member of the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation, a member of Albert College Board of Governors, Chair of the Belleville General Hospital Excellence For Life Fundraising Campaign, a member of the Loyalist College Board of Governors and served on the board, and was co-chair of the Heart and Home Building campaign for Hospice Quinte Care Centre.

With John’s passing in 2020, the Quinte region lost a remarkable man, community advocate and friend.

Virtual Peace Medal Ceremony

Please join us in recognizing these outstanding recipients in each of our communities that encompass the values of the YMCA Peace Medal. A virtual ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 18th at 10:00am via Zoom. This event is free and open to all.

Click here to register.

2021 Peace Week Activities

Join us for a week of daily challenges and activities to build peace in your life and community!
Download our Peace Week activities by clicking on the links below.

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