15 Ontario Toastmasters win leadership and community awards

By: District 86 Toastmasters International
CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO, Ontario - Oct. 26, 2021 - PRLog -- From raising awareness about mental health to delivering eyeglasses to people in Central America and the Caribbean to helping run a youth centre in Kenya, Toastmasters across Central and Southwestern Ontario were honoured Oct. 23, 2021, with awards for their Toastmasters achievements and community work.
"Toastmasters is more than about giving speeches. It's about growing leadership skills and helping build communities," says Myrna Barth Barthe, District 86 Director of Toastmasters International, overseeing 136 clubs and more than 2,400 members in Central and Southwestern Ontario.
"The 13th annual District 86 Of The Year awards showcased the depth of leadership, commitment and humility fostered in our Toastmasters clubs.  It was a challenge for the committee to choose only 16 recipients for recognition this year."
Roger Caesar, DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) from Brampton Toastmasters, in Brampton was named District 86 Cindy Tate Toastmaster of the Year for his community work and finishing third at the World Championship of Public Speaking in August 2021.
Five Toastmasters were awarded the Members Making A Difference Award:
  • Neil Dunsmore, DTM Centre Wellington, for a 531-km walk across Ontario in 2020 raising awareness of mental health and suicide prevention
  • Raam Lakhanpal, DTM Advanced Speakers on the Hill, for his efforts in making and delivering masks to seniors and food banks in Richmond Hill
  • Ross Cunningham, DTM London Toastmasters, runs a program for air cadets called Effective Speaking, helping them improve their communication skills and prepare for their speech contest
  • Bob Topliffe, DTM Petrolia Toastmasters, for his work managing the Rayjon Share Care eyeglasses donation program across Central America, Haiti and the Caribbean
  • Hitesh Parmar, DTM Markham Toastmasters Club, Markham, for his work with the Global Strides Charity at Our Peaceful Home orphanage in Kenya
Other award winners included:
  • Melanie Taddeo, DTM Coach of the Year, Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters, Brampton
  • Aurelie Anne Contosta, DTM President of the Year, Chez Nous Toastmasters Club, Brampton
  • Bill Kirby, DTM ZOOM Master of the Year, Cambridge Toastmasters Club
  • Sue Hopcroft, DTM Publicist of the Year, Hershaw Toastmasters Club, Brampton.
  • Madhukar Shahi, Area Director of the Year, UofG Toastmasters, Guelph
  • Leslie Benfield, DTM Division Director of the Year, Region of Peel Toastmasters, Brampton
  • Philip Lai, DTM Spirit of 86 Award, Clarkson Toastmasters,
  • Mikael Gatje, DTM Spirit of 86 Award, First Waterdown Club
  • Shahan Aaron, VC1 Spirit of 86 Award, Valley Town Toastmasters Club, Dundas
  • Vitaliy Fursov, DTM Douglas Barclay Award, UofG Toastmasters, Guelph
Two clubs in Mississauga also won awards:
  • MI Speak received both the Club of the Year Award and Club of the Year/Education Leadership Award
  • BASF Canada Toastmasters won Club of the Year/Membership Leadership Award
Toastmasters International District 86: https://toastmasters86.org


Nancy Movrin, District 86 Public Relations manager
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