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Volunteer Awards and Community Partner Award at Make a Buzz Ottawa, May 10, 2024

On the occasion of the LiveWorkPlay 29th Anniversary and the annual Make A Buzz Ottawa Celebration of Community, Stephanie Seguin, Alex Seguin, Josh Balanaser, and Janet Balcome, were celebrated as an amazing match-up, Jessica La Rue was recognized with a Volunteer Leadership Award, and Déménagement Outaouais Moving was named Community Partner of the year!

Below is the live captioned video from the event, a selection of photos, and a full unofficial transcript. Congratulations!

What a match!
What a match! Alex, Stephanie, Josh, and Janet with Alex Darling.
Jessica La Rue, Volunteer Leadership Award!
Déménagement Outaouais Moving
Grace Hudson with Déménagement Outaouais Moving represented by Gillian Gillispie

Hi I’m Alex Darling, Manager of Volunteers and People Connector.

And most of my work is done remotely.

So I’m really excited to be here with you all tonight.

And more specifically, to celebrate our volunteers.

It’s always an honor to help recognize our volunteers.

And we are always thrilled with our online campaign during National Volunteer Week in April.

But getting together today to celebrate is way more fun.

Honestly, our entire volunteer team is cause for celebration.

We’re so lucky to have a great team of people giving their time and energy to LiveWorkPlay.

It’s not often seen as important.

But staying connected with others and being social is so vital for our health and longevity.

However, whether we have a disability or not, it can be hard to meet people and stay social.

Volunteers are critical contributors to the work that we do to help the community welcome and include the people we support to stay connected with others and build their social networks.

This includes one to one matches where we pair up one of our members with a community volunteer based on shared interests, mutual fun, and quite often it’s the start of a new friendship.

While all of our matches are cause for celebration, we’ve picked a match to recognize tonight to showcase a true, long lasting friendship and connection.

Let’s celebrate tephanie and Alex Seguin, and Josh alanaser and Janet Balcome!

These four met in the fall of 2018, so ave been going on double dates for six years now.

They enjoy going for dinner and drinks, catching a 67s game, getting together for game nights and
just hanging out and checking out fun things around town.

They also stayed virtually connected during the pandemic, which was no easy feat for anyone.

Steph and Alex also got married this year and Josh was able to join them at their wedding to celebrate.

It has been really fun watching this connection grow.

Let’s hear it for Steph, Alex, Josh and Janet!

Next up is our Volunteer Leadership Award, which is given to a volunteer who we feel has gone above and beyond in terms of contribution.

This year’s recipient of the Volunteer Ladership Award is Jessica La Rue.

Jessica joined our team in 2021.

That’s right, joined in the middle of the pandemic.

There were a lot of unknowns for the volunteer team at this time, and we started with zoom, we started zoom room parties as a space to stay connected during all the chaos.

Jessica was a huge part of that effort.

In fact, we still offer a few hours of zoom room parties each week, and Jessica is the host on Tuesday evenings.

She also joined our in person events on Friday nights.

And everyone is always super excited to see her.

Jessica is dependable and always has a smile on her face when she sees that everyone is having a good time.

She goes above and beyond, never hesitating to lend a hand when needed.

She has also formed some great friendships with some of our members where they hang out outside of our usual planned events, which is honestly one of the best outcomes.

Thank you so much.

We’re so grateful to have you in our community let’s hear it for Jessica La Rue!

Thank you so much to all our amazing volunteers.

Giving your time and energy to matches and Friday nights.

We can’t do the work we do without your support.


Hi everyone.

I am Grace Hudson, I’m excited to help recognize this year’s Community Partner Award recipient.

This award is about an organization who partners with LiveWorkPlay supporting members to live an included life in the community.

The Community Partner Award for 2024 is presented to Déménagement Outaouais Moving.

In addition to being a long time employer of member Gillian Gillespie the team at Déménagement Outaouais has graciously provided their moving services free of charge to several members, including Gillian herself.

In the past year, they have moved Matt, Heather, and Terri.

Whether it is carrying Gillian’s full size piano up a fight of stairs – it’s very steep – or helping Terri and all her wonderful, family of many pets settle into their new home, Mike Kolberg and the team are always providing amazing service.

For Terri’s move it was over nineteen years of living in one space.

There was a lot to comb through and sort out.

And it’s not just about donating their services.

The staff that they hire are caring and take time with our members to support them in a very stressful time.

I’m now going to call on Gillian to come up to accept this award.

She’s going to give it to her boss next week at work.

Mike hasa great team, too bad they could not be here tonight.

So last awards of the night.

A bursary presentation.

And two awards for individual members.

So for the last time, please, welcome Keenan Wellar.