Newcastle environmental activist one of 15 Ontario Senior Achievement Award recipients

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Published October 4, 2021 at 9:35 am

An environmental and community activist from Newcastle is one of 15 Ontario seniors recognized for their outstanding contributions to their communities through voluntary or professional activities after the age of 65.

Leo Blindenbach of Newcastle, a member of the Samuel Wilmot Nature Area Management Advisory Committee, has been honoured with an Ontario Senior Achievement Award for his community service.

Blindenbach, who is known for his environmental stewardship, also organized a local community watch program and most recently created an online group to liven community spirit safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This group now has more than 1,100 members.

Other recipients of the award are long-time volunteer David Longstaff of Hamilton; social justice advocate Dr. Sally Elizabeth Palmer of Dundas; retired nurse Beverly Baxter of Lindsay; arts supporter Michele Boniface of Stratford; health care volunteer Joan Goldsmith of Oro-Medonte; Kitchener ‘Senior of the Year’ Donny Hishon; community volunteer Pat Kolb of Bolton; Iron Bridge Lions Club treasurer George Lowes; and 40-year hospital volunteer Lawrence Martin of London.

Arnprior seniors advocate Darrel O’Shaughnessy was also honoured, as was pet therapy pioneer Janice Preiss of Beeton; generous community volunteer Thomas Shura of Kenora; 60-year Bracebridge volunteer Sonja Elizabeth Smith and Touran Vakilzadeh of North York, who started the Persian Avicenna Learning Centre which became a focal point of the Iranian diaspora in Toronto.

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