ORT Toronto honours local hero


December 05, 2007 ORT Toronto honours local hero ORT Toronto has held its annual Local Hero in a Global Village function, this year bestowing the title on long-time ORT supporter Gina Godfrey. The award is given to a Torontonian who works diligently to create change at home and abroad. ORT Toronto President Sandra Chapnik congratulated Mrs Godfrey saying that ORT was proud to honour her and her many accomplishments, with ORT and with other organisations. Among her many achievements, Mrs Godfrey is renowned for co-founding the Herbie Fund, which brings children to Canada for surgery that would be unavailable to them in their home countries. She is also an artist, whose work is on permanent display at the Ohel Moishe Synagogue in Shanghai, and is an honorary member of the Jerusalem Foundation. The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable David Onley, said: It was inevitable that a woman like Gina Godfrey, with her boundless energy and passion for her community, would be drawn to ORT Toronto I commend the members of ORT Toronto for your commitment to the education of children and adults in some of the worlds most impoverished communities. Accepting the award from Event Chair Sara Waxman, Mrs Godfrey, whose husband Paul is President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, the only non-American baseball team to win a World Series, said: I am humbled at being a small cog in a huge global organisation. What appeals to me about ORT is that it closes the gap and makes the world smaller. Education is the key to making the world a better place, and that is what ORT does. Local Hero Gina Godfrey and husband, Toronto Blue Jays CEO Paul Godfrey. The event attracted more than 280 people, including ORT America President Doreen Hermelin and World ORT Control Commission Co-Chair Dorene Berger and prominent members of the local community such as Senator Jerry Grafstein, former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman and Leader of the provincial Conservative Party, John Tory. Also attending was World ORT Director General Robert Singer. He thanked those assembled for raising funds for the Students at Risk project, a part of World ORTs Kadima Mada (Science Journey) programme to raise the level of science and technology education in dozens of schools across Israel. The Students at Risk project helps students from underprivileged backgrounds to benefit fully from their schooling by helping them to buy basic school supplies such as text books. It is your support and generosity that allows World ORT to be able to provide this important help and to ensure that childrens educational achievements are not compromised by a lack of those things that many of us take for granted, Mr Singer said. World ORT Deputy President Dr Jean de Gunzburg made a special donation in honour of a former holder of his position, Ruth Druxerman. The money is earmarked for the Kadoorie School, a beneficiary of Kadima Mada, whose student population includes Bedouin, Druze, Jews, Christians and Muslims.