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Recognizing outstanding women

Five local women were guests of honour at Women's Week dinner
Seated Donna Mansfield, Jennifer Sarlo; Standing Elaine McDonagh; Alysia Mitchell; Dr. Sarah White. Photo supplied by BPW Sault Ste. Marie (April Bananish)

On Thursday, March 8, the 2018 honourees were guests at a Women’s Week dinner. Guest speaker was Melissa Kargiannakis, founder and CEO of skritswap on ‘The Future is Female’.

The 2018 honourees were:

Monday: Donna Mansfield - Professor at Sault College with Child and Youth Care Program. Community Development class maintains the program We All Love Kids (W.A.L.K.) that provides free fun for families and raises money for child oriented charitable organizations. Board member of Sexual Assault Care Centre. In Nicaragua, professors and students shared personal care education with children and youth. Past chair of Womyn 4 Social Justice that assisted in organization of Take Back the Night, The Annual March for Murdered and Missing Women and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women – Dec. 6 (l'École Polytechnique de Montréal).

Tuesday: Alysia Mitchell - Owner and operator of R.A.M. Fitness Cycling and R. Loft Boutique. She brought the Lolë White Tour here, an event of yoga, dressed in white at Bondar Pavillion to promote peace. She has included a post-natal fitness class in the schedule where moms are with babies. Coach of the Girls Run Strong program to build self-confidence and promote healthy lifestyle. Business hosts fitness classes where fee is a donation to support ARCH, Cancer Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation. Participates in Sault Area Hospital Fashion Show fundraiser and has organized a clothing drive to assist women to dress for job interviews, the workplace or the gym.

Wednesday: Elaine McDonagh - A director of education and principal of Batchewana Learning Centre for Batchewana Education Department. Trustee for Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) since 2009, on North Shore Tribal Council Education Directors Working Group, Aboriginal Education Committee on HSCDSB and Algoma District School Board. Honoured as ‘Counsellor of the Year Award 2015’ by Ontario Native Education Counsellor Association. First Early Childhood Education worker for Ranking Day Care as it opened in 1977. Batchewana Education Department is holding its 40th Education Celebration honouring all graduates and this year the community will honour over 100 graduates.

Thursday: Dr. Sarah White - Currently family physician focusing on womens health with training for special services to increase access and decrease waiting times. For the local medical community, she organized seminars of care for trans and gender diverse patients. While maintaining her practice she also provides time at the Neighbourhood Resource Centre for more vulnerable patients. To support local scholarships and community resources, she helped establish a charitable foundation with her medical clinic, Superior Family Health Team. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada awarded her the 2016 Family Medicine Leadership Award.

Friday: Jennifer Sarlo - Algoma District School Board Trustee for 12 years, chair since 2011 and previously vice-chair. Worked to develop the Board’s Capital Plan advocating the facility and student needs to the politicians and Ministry of Education and Training. Initiated and lead development of Trustee Code of Conduct; policy for hiring and evaluation of the director of education. Member of Ontario Public School Board’s Association (OPSBA) providing trustee professional development; member of OPSBA policy committee; supporting student trustees by participating in the Student Senate. Since 2013 has coordinated the Coldest Night of the Year event. Is a Soup Kitchen team lead that organizes the preparation and service of a meal at St. Vincent Place. She has been board member and currently president of Aush Bik Koong Bible Camp for children providing mentorship to staff assisting in the development of the strategic plan. In her religious community she has organized ‘Small Group Ministry’ coordinating and filling leadership roles and host homes, currently approximately there are 200 participants.  She also is a member of 100+ Women Who Care Sault Ste. Marie that raise funds to support local organizations.


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