Power of One Award
Power of One Award
This annual award recognizes an individual in Wellington County whose actions have made a significant contribution to promoting life and preventing suicide. The award is presented each year on Sept 10th World Suicide Prevention Day.
Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide and the goal of Here4Hope is to engage as many individuals and organizations as possible in this important work.
This award has been inspired by Neil Dunsmore’s Steps to Stop the Silence 500 km walk from Elora to Ottawa in the fall of 2020. Neil made the walk to send a message to everyone that we must not stay silent about mental illness and suicide.
Recipients of this award demonstrate the same qualities that Neil exemplified as he inspired us with each step.
A demonstrated commitment to making an impact in promoting life and preventing suicide in Wellington County.
Providing leadership or critical support to an initiative that supports the work of the Here4hope project.
Demonstrates compassion for those impacted by suicide.
2023 Power of One Award recipient
Lynn Brandwood exhibits the same qualities that Neil Dunsmore exemplified as he inspired us with each step. Lynn’s son Michael died by suicide in 2016. Lynn journeys through her grief with the help of the Here4hope Support After Suicide Team, meeting others who have experienced similar losses.
In 2021, Lynn started “The Power of the Grip” to support, educate and raise funds for The Grove, Youth Wellness Hub in Fergus.
"In honour of Michael, I now stand for those that cannot speak for themselves. I now fight to help those that feel alone. I now raise awareness about the power of love and support,” said Lynn Brandwood.
Lynn started by organizing an annual ATV Charity Ride in September 2021. The first year 40 riders joined Lynn to raise money and awareness. In 2022 the event hosted 50 riders and this fall they hope for even more. All funds raised go to the Grove Hub in Fergus.
Next, Lynn organized the Power of the Grip annual golf tournament. In June 2023, 44 golfers gathered for a day of fun and raised over $2000 for the Grove Hub in Fergus. The event is already scheduled again for June 2024.
In 2022, Lynn organized an annual September get together at her home for other parents grieving the loss of a child to suicide. This event marks World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and the group gathers for a meal, releases butterflies to honour their loved ones and shares in their collective grief.
Lynn shares the recognition of this award with all of those who helped to organize these annual events. She feels her reward is to make a difference in a complex world and give people the resources that can help them during a challenging time.
2022 Power of One Award recipient
Here4Hope is Pleased to Announce The Centre Wellington Minor Lacrosse Association as The 2022 Recipient of the Neil Dunsmore Power of One Award
This Annual Award recognizes an individual or organization in Wellington County whose actions have made a significant contribution to promoting life and preventing suicide
Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide and the goal of Here4Hope is to engage as many individuals and organizations as possible in this important work. We are pleased to announce The Centre Wellington Minor Lacrosse Association as the 2022 Recipient of the Neil Dunsmore Power of One Award.
The award is named for Neil Dunsmore. In the fall of 2020, Neil Dunsmore walked 500km from Elora to Ottawa. Neil’s ‘Steps to Stop the Silence’ was a message to everyone that we must not stay silent about mental illness and suicide. Proceeds from the walk supported the Cody Sheppard Project. Neil demonstrated commitment, leadership, and compassion through his efforts for ‘Steps to Stop the Silence’.
This year’s recipient of the Neil Dunsmore Power of One award, The Centre Wellington Minor Lacrosse Association exhibits the same qualities that Neil exemplified as he inspired us with each step. While lacrosse is often known for its physical health benefits, in recent years the CWMLA has extended its program to bring focus to the mental well-being of their organizations participants as well.
The many lockdowns experienced during COVID proved to be a long and difficult time for everyone, CWMLA was no exception. The challenge of trying to return to regular season programming only to be at the mercy of provincial lockdowns was not easy to overcome. With a heightened concern for the youth in their program and for all those having difficulty themselves maneuvering through the pandemic, CWMLA not only stayed active with messaging across social media channels, but also the lacrosse association put together an online webinar called Strength In Our Community.
This webinar introduced topics which are often difficult to initiate in conversation, but of which are extremely necessary to shed light on the societal issues that surround them.
Myrna Hutchison was invited to share her personal story of Suicide Loss and the importance of discussing the topic of Mental Health within our circles. Myrna shared valuable tools and resources available within our community, actions that we can take to combat the stigma attached to Mental Illness and tips to support our resiliency as we continue to work our way through the pandemic.
Damon Edwards, a seasoned lacrosse player well known and often cheered for when playing in the National Lacrosse League, shared his experience as a bi-racial professional athlete. Damon’s focus was on the topics of diversity, inclusion, and racial injustices, all of which require a deeper level of understanding to be able to influence much needed change today.
The key messages of the webinars were that a community can weather a storm much better when they are united.
“The Centre Wellington Minor Lacrosse Association is a tremendous example of an organization taking a whole community approach to preventing suicide and fostering hope and resilience, especially during the past two years when our resiliency has been tested,” says Cecilia Marie Roberts, Manager of Suicide Prevention Initiatives.
It is evident that CWMLA’s holistic approach to support, from both a physical and emotional perspective, flows from the executive committee down through the coaching staff to all the players within the organization. Congratulations CWMLA for being a part of the change that we need to see in this world!
2021 Power of One Award recipient
In 2013 Myrna’s son Steven died by suicide. In an effort to ensure other families be spared from such a loss the Hutchison family created #GetInTouchForHutch a project focused on reducing stigma and encouraging young people to talk about and seek help for mental health challenges. “Although Steven couldn’t find the strength to reach out for help before it was too late, we know that he would want the rest of us to make sure we do that moving forward – for ourselves, for each other and for anyone else that we know (or may not know) that is struggling.” (www.getintouchforhutch.com)
Myrna leads a team of volunteers raising money that supports local suicide awareness training, youth conferences, buddy benches at schools, mental health awareness for local teams and so much more.
Myrna and her family turned their pain into an act of love and support for others in the community.
Myrna is committed to local rural youth who often struggle to get access to services. She partners with CMHAWW on numerous youth engagement projects and regularly connects personally with youth.
Myrna’s leadership resulted not only in raisining money but in connecting community and professionals that have shared goals in preventing suicide. She leads by example and demonstrates clearly the power of one person working to make a difference.
Myrna understands first hand the pain of suicide and she uses that lived experience to create a safe space for others to get involved in this important work.
Here is what the community says about Myrna:
“Myrna’s ongoing passion and determination to better support youth mental health and wellbeing has been an inspiration to all those who she connects and collaborates with.”
“Myrna’s strength and grace fills me with hope.”
“To me Myrna was a breath of fresh air, she radiates kindness everywhere she goes.”