Community Champions 2017

Congratulations to our 2017 Recipients:

Monica Piercey








“I have always been involved in community work everywhere I’ve lived since I was young. It’s just how my family did things. I remember sitting and listening to mother speak about my Grandma at my her funeral point out her tendency to find things in the community that need doing, and start addressing them. I’m very much the same.”

Monica Piercey is the program coordinator for Bancroft’s woodshare program. Affiliated with North Hastings Community Trust, the program works to provide firewood to families and individuals who cannot afford the cost of utilities.

To Piercey, social cohesion means eliminating isolation within Bancroft. Alongsider her work with the woodshare program, Piercey has, as well, created a number of social media pages to bolster community connectivity. They act as online public forums that allows communication between community members on topics ranging from volunteering to carpooling. To her, it is about connecting community members of the area with one another.


Jay Gizuk







“To me everything starts with food. Specifically good, local, organic, homegrown food. So many of the issues we have today stem from dietary issues… Everything is connected. From mental health, to affiliations, to education; it is all connected in the big picture.”

 Jay Gizuk is a Bancroft community member and volunteer at both the Community Gardens and Community Cupboard. Gizuk fell into community work at the suggestion of a past professor as he began his education career. Currently, Gizuk is continuing his studies at the Loyalist Training Centre in Bancroft to broaden his horizons.

To Gizuk, food sovereignty provides the answer to those in need in his rural community. According to Gizuk, the idea of food sovereignty comes from the understanding that through the self-governance of food we are able to create a sustainable community. One that is able to rely on its own support systems rather than that of larger, corporate providers.


Loyalist College Training and Knowledge Centre for the Elevate Plus Program






“The Elevate Plus principles have always been three things; creating hope, advancing change, and building resilience. Those are our core values and that is what we are providing for people in our community.”

The Loyalist College Learning Centre Elevate Plus program is a joint partnership with Essential Skills Ontario and the Food Processing HR Council, designed to support vulnerable individuals who are unemployed or receive income support. Elevate was the original program funded by Essential Skills Ontario as a research project but due to its success gained local support and partners.

Since then the program has developed into Elevate Plus which offers more support to individuals attending cohorts both during and after, as well as a wider range of The program is designed to help individuals who are unemployed and want to find employment within the local sectors. As a result of partner support, the College is able to offer the program at no cost to students.

The 2018 nominations will be open until September 30th, 2018. Download and complete the nomination package here.

65 Station St.
Belleville, ON K8N 2S6