Three local youths were among more than 100 nominees for this year's Ontario Community Newspaper Association (OCNA) Junior Citizen of the Year Awards. Nominated in Halton Hills were Laura Crawford, 14, Heather MacKinnon, 17, of Georgetown and Noah MacDonald, 10, of Acton. The youths, nominated through The Independent & Free Press are recognized annually by the Ontario Community Newspapers' Association (OCNA) and its Junior Citizen of the Year competition, for their outstanding contributions
to their communities as leaders of tomorrow. None of the three Halton Hills nominees were selected as winners in the competition. There were 12 winners from across the province. Crawford is a member of the 756 Wild Goose Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets and the Precision Drill Team. At school she is enrolled in the International Prep program and is a member of the Athletic Council, School Band, Junior Girls Varsity Basketball Team and also plays recreational soccer.
Last year she was also chosen to attend the U.S. Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama for a week where she was named the "Astronaut with the Right Stuff."
Last year while in Grade 8, Crawford won the Mathematics and Science award. Through her involvement with the Cadets she carries out citizenship duties including poppy sales for the legion, Remembrance Day parades, serving at veteran's and legion award dinners, and as a band member in Santa Claus parades. She has also participated in the Bell Walk for Kids helping to raise money for the Kids Help Phone.
She was the valedictorian of her Grade 8 class, was appointed to the Halton Catholic District School Board as a student trustee for the 2006/07 school year and her involvement as a volunteer on various initiatives such as Crop for Cancer, Relay for Hope, Walk for Prader-Willi Syndrome and North Halton Women's Institute. Recently MacKinnon and her sister Karen hosted a successful fundraiser in town raising more than $7,550 in total to be split between three different cancer charities. They held the fundraiser because their brother, models good sportsmanship. Alex Ringuette, suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. MacKinnon has also supported her family through difficult times in their lives, is involved in the North Halton Women's Institute and has consistently maintained an academic average above 80 per cent. Although not the oldest, MacDonald is considered a leader in his family of six siblings (four brothers and two foster-brothers), he sets a good example for his brothers, helps them mediate disputes and models good sportsmanship.
He was recently elected class Prime Minister by his classmates based on a campaign on anti-bullying and respect for all
students, and is an altar server at St. Joseph Church in Acton. This past summer MacDonald ran a charity campaign to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy research. His young nephew Ben suffers from that disease. He called the campaign "Buzz for Ben" and he and friends shaved their heads raising more than $1,500 to donate to the Canadian Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The Ontario Community Newspapers Association, through The Independent & Free Press, recently honoured three local youths with Junior Citizen of the Year certificates for their community involvement. Accepting the certificates from Independent & Free Press managing editor John McGhie, were, from left, Noah MacDonald, Laura Crawford and Heather MacKinnon.