Niagara College among those recognized by Boys and Girls Club of Niagara


Jake Rice at Camera, Heather Eaton, Ethan Carson, Eric VonHunnis and Tim Williamson were part of a third year Television Production project that saw them create a high-quality short film, A Good Place to Be, for the Boys and Girls Club of Niagara.

The Boys and Girls Club of Niagara held its annual Champions for Children Gala on Jan. 19 recognizing Niagara College and others for their work supporting Niagara’s children.

The Champions for Children Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the development and well-being of children and youth in Niagara. Niagara College was recognized for several initiatives.

In December 2017, the team and chefs at NC’s Benchmark Restaurant prepared and helped serve a Christmas meal, complete with all the fixings, to nearly 200 children at BGCN’s Holiday Party. This was the second year Benchmark has prepared the meal. Leftovers were donated to BGCN’s Youth Shelter.


Chef Alex White, Sarah Scott, Vivian (Van Ni Van), Travis Campbell and Michael Piccolo were part of a team from NC’s Benchmark Restaurant that prepared and helped serve a full Christmas dinner to nearly 200 children at BGCN’s annual Holiday Party.

Students from the College’s Business Administration – Marketing program were recognized for an innovative research project that benefitted BGCN. The study examined sign-up information for Club programs and camps, showing areas of the region that were under-represented. The study also compared trends of those who used multiple BGCN services versus those who only attended one camp. The team included third year student Coral Belisle and recent grads Graeme McMillan, Alexis Kilroy and Ryan Teeter.


Coral Belisle and Graeme McMillian worked with fellow students in NC’s Business Administration – Marketing program to complete a research project to help BGCN better understand usage of their programs and services among Niagara’s children.


At the gala, BGCN also unveiled a new promotional video that was created by NC’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film students for the Club. The video, A Good Place to Be, was produced as part of a third year Television Production project that sees students create high-quality videos for local non-profit organizations, to help with recruitment, promotion, information, training or fundraising. Crew members included Ethan Carson, Heather Eaton, Tim Williamson, Jake Rice and Eric VonHunnis

NC president Dan Patterson received the award at the gala from Carole Stewart-Kirby, executive director for United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie.

“The culture of community and service that we all share at Niagara College continues to amaze me. I’m incredibly proud every time I see the positive impact our students, staff and faculty have on Niagara’s community,” said Patterson. “Partnering with stellar organizations like Boys and Girls Club Niagara not only allows our students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to benefit their community, it also strengthens the bond between the College and the Niagara community we seek to support.”

Also recognized at the gala were Mayor Wayne Redekop of the Town of Fort Erie, and Heartland Forest’s Dan Bowman.

“This event is our way of saying thank you – to recognize and celebrate the work and tremendous achievements of this year’s recipients,” said JoAnne Turner, executive director of The Boys and Girls Club of Niagara. “Much of the work we do as an organization centres on empowering children and youth to reach their full potential. It’s important that we recognize the individuals and organizations that join us and support us in the work we do. It’s our privilege to honour them.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Niagara is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills for life. The organization offers a variety of programs and services including licensed child care, before and after-school programming, recreational programming, and leadership and training courses.

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