Over 300 guests enjoyed an evening of Rotarian hospitality and helped in raising funds for many worthwhile causes.

The event also recognized six individuals and organizations in our community who have made meritorious efforts to help youth achieve their full potential.

 Photos of our February 1, 2013 RYIA Gala Event ....






Click below to view slide shows of  past events.

RYIA 2009

RYIA 2011

RYIA 2012


Our annual Rotary Youth Impact Awards Gala was held once again at the historic Old Mill Inn on February 1, 2013. Guests enjoyed bidding at the silent auction tables loaded with a wide variety of gifts. A major portion of the funds raised from the evening were donated to the TPH Charitable Office who in turn used them to support Voice and the Canadian Centre for Diversity. The balance of funds will go towards many local and international projects, with an emphasis on helping Youth At Risk.

The 14th Annual Gala evening included fine dining, music, raffle draws for five huge theme baskets stuffed with gifts and, of most interest, a silent auction with over 280 items to bid on!

The Rotary Club of Toronto West seeks to recognize those who give of their time and effort and have made a significant impact in our community and around the world to help Youth at Risk as well as those needing assistance to reach their full potential.


Rotary Lifetime Achievement Youth Impact Award

This year we honoured Janice O’Born, Chairman of The Printing House® Charitable Office with The Rotary Lifetime Achievement Youth Impact Award. Janice also received the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award, named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary International in 1905. Janice has demonstrated in her life, vocation and many philanthropic efforts, a commitment and sacrifice to helping people in need.

Since founding this Charitable Office in 1985, Janice has directed fund raising projects to raise several million dollars on behalf of charities such as The Hospital for Sick Children and SickKids Foundation, Sunnybrook Trauma Unit, CANFAR, The Canadian Centre for Diversity and VOICE, along with many others. A believer in the importance of supporting family and community, Janice influences every person that she meets with the spirit of voluntarism and philanthropy. Janice has received many recognition awards for her contributions and humanitarian endeavours in helping children and youth. You can learn more from Janice O’Born’s Bio.




Awards were also given to individuals and organizations for their exemplary contributions and dedication to assisting YOUTH


Individual under 18: Julie Polsinelli,  is a grade 12 student at Humberside Collegiate Institute. She is a remarkable example of a young person actively engaged in giving back to their community. She has been pursuing opportunities to help others since she was in grade 5.

While still an elementary student at Fern Public School, Julie became involved with fundraising for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Julie attests that it was this experience which showed her the true extent to which an individual can positively affect change.

A leader in her community, Julie has been involved with Harbourfront Camps, the Scotiabank Marathon, Inside Ride, and Ontario Track 3 Ski Association. More recently she has volunteered with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto Youth In-School Mentoring program. She has excelled in this role as mentor, role model, and friend to the local elementary school child she sees each week. She has used her kind, caring, and passionate personality to build a relationship with this young person based on mutual respect and positive values.

Julie stands out among her peers as an emerging young leader with a bright future ahead of hera grade 12 student at Humberside Collegiate Institute for her extensive volunteering work in fundraising, camps, Big Brothers and Sisters Youth mentoring, and much more.             



Individual under 25: 23 year old Amber Morley is a trailblazer and a youth advocate. She has championed the need for proper recreational gym space for youth, along with free programs to keep marginalized young people engaged in youth-led, positive activities.

Through deputations to Toronto City Hall, rallies, and meetings with community leaders, Amber has worked tirelessly to make life better for others. She believes that increasing the potential and capacity of youth is the key to overcoming difficult life experiences.

Amber is very generous with her time. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Remix Project and on the Grants Committee for the Laidlaw Foundation. She has served on the Lakeshore Lions Arena Redevelopment Panel, The City of Toronto Youth Strategy Panel, and the Toronto Youth Cabinet. Amber is active on the LAMP Community Health Centre team delivering workshops to youth on such subjects as improving mental health, anti-bullying, self-esteem, healthy relationships, goal setting, and leadership.

She has been awarded the Toronto Youth Cabinet Identify ‘N’ Impact Award known as the Youth 1N1 award, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee award, and the OSSTF District 12 Status of Women Positive Community Impact Award          



Individual AwardJohn Tyers, is an Etobicoke native who has always been a volunteer and an active participant in his community.

In the past, John assisted in coaching hockey, baseball and golf. These days, during his spare time, John volunteers at a program he co-founded in 2009 with Sgt. Ryan Drapack of Toronto Police Services. The Islington Community Golf Association is a free golf program that uses the game of golf to teach disadvantaged youth between the ages of 8 to 18 various life skills with an emphasis on social skills and respect for others. It encourages higher education and offers opportunities for summer employment. John is a long standing member at Islington Golf Club and the club has been a champion of this program since its inception. For the past 27 years, John has coordinated with golf club members to fund an annual Christmas dinner for Etobicoke communities in need, as identified by Toronto Police Services, #22 Division. The dinner has been prepared by the Islington Golf Club and is served by Toronto Police volunteers. During the past 5 years this dinner has been centered in the Mabelle community.

John is a dedicated advocate for youth who is able to see the potential in everyone he encounters. 


Business Award: The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is the largest public foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to supporting women’s shelters and violence prevention programs. The statistics are staggering: about half of all Canadian women over age 16 will experience at least one violent incident during her lifetime and 360,000 children are exposed to domestic violence every year, making them more susceptible to emotional, behavioural and physical problems.

Since 1998, Royal LePage brokers, agents and staff, in partnership with the community, have raised over $15 million to support the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Royal LePage offices are partnered with their local women’s shelter and since Royal LePage covers the Foundation’s administrative costs, 100% of the funds raised go directly to the various causes undertaken. Across Canada, approximately 200 shelters are funded, helping 30,000 women and children each year. A long-term view is taken to stopping the cycle of violence by funding programs that help children to heal from the devastating effects of domestic violence, teach youth how to develop healthy relationships, and to help women and children rebuild their lives after abuse.


Community Service: LAMP Community Health Centre strives to improve quality of life by supporting people to reach their full potential. It does this by working in partnership with the community to address new and emerging community needs, and by supporting a wide-range of health care services, community programs, and advocacy initiatives that promote physical, emotional, social, and economic well-being.    

LAMP began in 1976 with nine participating agencies and two LAMP services, Primary Health Care and Foot Care. In 1988 to 1989, LAMP reviewed its original mission statement and goals and adopted a new direction which added community development, advocacy, outreach, education, and research to the coordination and delivery of health and human services. There are currently 19 LAMP programs and 6 participating agencies. LAMP is committed to maintaining services and meeting newly identified needs and will therefore place even more emphasis on fundraising, innovation, and the exploration of new partnerships in future years.

Services include social and health programs for individuals and families, and co-ordination of resources to facilitate and improve human services. Direct services include clinical and non-clinical community programs, community development and engagement projects, and community education activities for all ages, with particular focus on persons who face barriers to access.




Links to more information:

The ROTARY YOUTH IMPACT AWARDS - recognizing those who help Youth at Risk



Click above photo to view sponsors of the 2013 event.

Do you know someone deserving of an award nomination?

Each year we receive award nominations for remarkable people who have had a positive impact on youth in the Toronto Area Community through:

· A record of meritorious service to helping youth

· Practical experience in youth development activities

· A demonstrated leadership in promoting the importance of helping youth

If you know someone who you feel might have such qualities, please see NOMINATIONS for more information.