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8th Annual Dani Gala Speech

Last week Dani honoured me at their 8th Annual Gala, below is my speech.

It has been a pleasure and an honour to support DANI over the years as it has grown in capacity and service to our community.   And, I must say, that I receive this recognition with great humility.

You honour me this evening…but I must stress how honoured I’ve been – how honoured my constituency office has been – Judith, Beverly, Perri-Ann, and Braydon – to work with the DANI team to help shape ideas and initiatives into projects such as inter-generational projects..ensuring that both youth and seniors participate in meaningful economic activities.

Over the past five years, my office has worked with DANI for funding to support New Horizons projects for seniors, Canada Summer Jobs Grants for young people, and we continue to work on other initiatives.

People with physical or cognitive challenges not only need compassion, they need practical help; therapy, coping technology, and real, practical opportunities.

I stand in awe at what you’ve achieved:

…from a few families in the first after-school activities and summer and winter camps.

…from the little house – Dani’s Place on McCallister Street, to the 8200 square foot facility at Garnet Williams…DANI now serves more than 100 families with a reach to more than 600 young adults.

…there’s the creation and growth of the DANI Social Enterprise Catering Initiative..

…the expansion of day programs to Sundays…

 …the development of job coaching and vocational training…

…opening Café DANI…and the Gift Shop and Greenhouse facilities..

…and, now, the partnering with businesses in our community…and the all-important job placement.

In total, and since those simple, if inspirational, beginnings in 2005 and 2006, DANI has built an outstanding reputation for its leadership in the area of truly Developing and Nurturing Independence..the mission behind the acronym, DANI.

This year…and this gathering…is a time for congratulations and celebrations of your achievements.

But, I have watched you receive your real rewards and recognition from the young people you help.

And I know that now words can express or match that magic.

So , let me just say this:

For everything DANI has accomplished…

For all the services you provide and the help you give…

And, for all of the patience, compassion, respect and strength in your hearts…

Thank you very much!!