Rising Phoenix Hall of Fame 2015

As the nominations roll in we will be posting the names, photos and summarized stories of the women who have been submitted for consideration as the winner for the Rising Phoenix Woman’s Award.

This Year’s Nominees

Jennifer C-R •  Jennifer K  •  Alida P  •   Barbara M  • Shelley-Anne S

Shelley-Anne S

Shelley-Anne is without question one of the strongest women I know. She has overcome incredible loss in her youth and turned that loss into power. She built from the ground up an organization that supports youth and adults with developmental
disabilities, always going above and beyond in my eyes. She has and continues to actively touch the lives of so many in our community and beyond. This doesn’t just extend to the clients she cares for, it goes to her staff team, that she supports endlessly through their learning curves and ups and downs, as well as so many others that she meets in her day to day.    She is a strength and inspiration to me over the last 8 years that I have known her. It never matters the time of day, what is on her plate, or how chaotic life can be. When someone is in need, she is there, and that is how she has been in my life every step of the way.

Probably one of the greatest things about Shelley-Anne is that she doesn’t even begin to notice how amazing she is – to her it is what it is. This is how she has overcome her challenges, by giving to others.

Words are difficult to come by to express the impact that Shelley has had on those in her life, I know I could never do her justice, other than to say – if it wasn’t for her and her passion, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Rising Phoenix Woman's Award Nominee Barbara M

Barbara M

Barbara is a gutsy, determined woman who has survived a bad marriage, her partner’s layoff, the death of her mother, the cancer surgery of her brother, the heart surgery of her other brother AND her own double-hip replacements … and yet still comes out on top.  Everything from her partner’s’ layoff to her hip replacements happened in one year – last year. In addition to all of these events  she also lost a friend who is as dear to her as a brother – Richard Karlo, owner of Karlo Estates Winery. This was almost the last straw, but Barb (like your phoenix) rose again from the ashes and started a new division of The Munshaw Group, Virtual Assist Girl. So, while she’s been coping with all these devastating circumstances, she has not only “soldiered on” but continued to grow.  She has more chutzpah than almost anyone I know… continues to smile, give and move forward. Truly deserving of this award.

Jennifer C-R

My cousin Jenny, is a dynamic woman. In addition to writing a book, giving back to her community in a variety of ways and working as a full time professor teaching sexuality, she has also been dealing with aging parents and And the recent death of her 52 year old sister Kit.  This past summer she went missing. Almost overnight, Jenny single handedly organized a media blitz and ground search in Toronto! She surprised even herself with the strength it took. It was a challenge to keep her head and remain positive. Sadly, after weeks of searching our beloved Kit was found dead in a very traumatic way. While we waited for her body to be identified she acted with the same grace, caring for her family, Kit’s son and reaching out to Kit’s art community.  Jenny took time to ask herself difficult questions about  what is important and who she was.  In the aftermath, she is emerging on top and  is searching again for her inner Goddess as she approaches 60. She is a magnificent woman and a visible example of the strength of a woman to fight and protect those she loves. Sincerely Maggie C.

Jennifer K

Jennifer was my son’s Gr.5 teacher 6 years ago at St Stephen Catholic School. Unknown to her students or parents, she was undergoing treatment for uterine cancer. She NEVER missed a day of school, never complained about the treatments she was going through (we never even suspected she was sick), and continually supported and cheered for her students. Her amazing dedication to life and helping her students to “be the change you want to see in the world” is her everyday motto. Jennifer inspires, motivates, teaches, loves, positively influences & promotes kindness, gratitude, selfless and altruistic behaviour in everything she does and everybody she meets. Jennifer has overcome cancer more than once in her young life and yet continues to soar, nothing can beat this woman down! Her relentless pursuit of furthering her education is just one facet of how nothing has stopped her from living the life she was meant to have! I am personally honoured and humbled to call Jennifer a friend and so incredibly grateful that my son was able to receive even a fraction of her teaching time. In my honest opinion, no one deserves this Rising Phoenix award more than Jennifer – she truly has risen from the ashes and helps all her students to see their own amazing potential to live their ‘best life’!

 Alida P

My wife, Alida, has overcome a tragic previous marriage of wrongful doings and traumatic physical and emotional events. After travelling to Europe to meet up with her, her children and her family, after she was finally able to escape the abusive relationship, I decided to go back and marry her. Our families had known each other throughout the years. While I was waiting for her and her children to come home, I was involved in a life altering accident in a fire at a gas station while I was  fueling up, resulting in a ongoing painful back injury.

She has been here since March 2009 and has been a superhero for all of us. We have seven children, two hers, two mine, and three together. My parents also live with us, who are both sick, and having financial difficulties.  My wife holds her head high, and continues to constantly provide care for everyone in the household. She never stops – even when she can, she doesn’t. I try to help her as much as I can.  We are surviving on a limited disability pension while having to utilize the services of the food bank and any help we can get from anywhere else.

I’m feeling tired of not having anything special for her, and her always being worked to the bone. She deserves something very special. I love her so! She is my heart, my breath and my everything. Please help us to show our appreciation for her. Thank you.


Image courtesy of Vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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