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“I believe that community counts.
It is up to us to keep our communities strong, vibrant, and healthy.”

Marion lives her philosophy of supporting community by volunteering for charitable organizations. For years, she has contributed time, expertise, and money to help make her community a better place to live.


Parkinson's Changes Everything

More than 100,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. This neuro-degenerative disease affects both men and women in roughly equal numbers. For most, onset is around the age of 60, but it can develop in people as young as 30. Usually, it is present for some years before it can be diagnosed with any degree of certainty.

Very early symptoms can be as ordinary as gradually losing one's sense of smell. When the diagnosis is made, however, the impact is anything but ordinary. It is life-changing for the person with Parkinson's and for everyone around that person—family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, associates, health care professionals….

Parkinson Canada plays a key role in providing information, education, support, outreach, and advocacy. It provides funding for research grants, fellowships, and graduate awards. It works with other community organizations. Like every other registered charity, it depends on volunteers to extend its reach and impact.

Volunteers sell Tulips for Parkinson's in April, do the Parkinson SuperWalk in September, lead support groups, do outreach at health fairs, talk to politicians and others in key positions, answer telephones, sell raffle tickets, and participate in research studies and clinical trials.

Like most Parkinson Canada volunteers, Marion became involved when Parkinson's touched her life. (Her husband was diagnosed in 2012.) Currently, her main volunteer commitment is as Facilitator of the Parkinson Canada Downtown Parkinson Support Group.


"It's In You to Give"

Marion believes very strongly, as Canadian Blood Services says, "It's in you to give.' In 2010, she was honoured for giving 150 donations of whole blood, plasma, and platelets. On June 14, 2016, she was honoured for giving 200 donations. By Winter 2020, she'd reached 240. Next goal? 250. After that? "I'll keep giving as long as my blood meets the high quality standards set by Canadian Blood Services," she says.


Management Advisory Service (MAS)

In 2010, Marion began undertaking assignments for Management Advisory Service (MAS). MAS is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that provides free consulting and management services to other not-for-profits and charitable organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. Her special interests are Governance, Marketing, and Communications. She has participated in projects for external clients and for MAS, including helping to refresh the MAS website and moderating a panel on Governance for MAS clients.


East York Meals on Wheels

Marion first connected with East York Meals on Wheels as a MAS Volunteer Consultant. Her mandate was to help the organization increase units of service. Of course, Marion took a close look at the organization's newsletter. She resisted volunteering to take it on, but she couldn't stop herself from offering a dozen or so guest columns to be used if and as needed. Each one runs no more than 200 jewel-like words and has something to do with food. Here are some delicious samples.


Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC)

Marion served on the Toronto Police Service, 52 Division, CPLC (Community Police Liaison Committee), for two years (2008 & 2009). The purpose of the CPLC is to develop links between the police and citizens in order to foster understanding and co-operation. "How much fostering of understanding and co-operation I accomplished, I don't know," says Marion somewhat wryly, "but I will be remembered for the home-baked cookies I brought to every meeting."



Marion, who has been a member of The YMCA for more than 30 years, was a very active program and policy volunteer. She led countless fitness classes of various types, participated in fund-raising campaigns, and chaired the Volunteer Liaison Committee and Regional Advisory Council. She regards her role in developing and delivering The YMCA's Positive Living Program as her most important contribution, however. The Program was designed to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV and/or AIDS. On October 20, 1999, she was greatly honoured to be named a "Volunteer of the Year" by The YMCA of Greater Toronto.


Epilepsy Toronto

In 1986, Marion was honoured as "Volunteer of the Year" by the Epilepsy Association, Metro Toronto. Her main activities were developing and producing the Association's newsletter for seven years, working with other volunteers on special events, and serving on the Board of Directors for six years, including two years as President.

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