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Caring Canadian Award goes to six Manitobans

At the Caring Canadian Awards on Tuesday at Government House: Back row from left, Roma Maconachie for  award winner Phyllis Reader, Sonia Michalyshen, Robert Raymond Williams and Craig Houston.  Front row from left, Nancy Fleury, Anita Lee, Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee and Julian Austin.

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At the Caring Canadian Awards on Tuesday at Government House: Back row from left, Roma Maconachie for award winner Phyllis Reader, Sonia Michalyshen, Robert Raymond Williams and Craig Houston. Front row from left, Nancy Fleury, Anita Lee, Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee and Julian Austin. (JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Six Manitobans were honoured Tuesday for their volunteerism and community service by Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee at Government House.

Lee presented the Caring Canadian Award on behalf of Gov. Gen. David Johnson.

Country singer-songwriter Julian Austin of Steinbach, Teulon and District Food Bank co-founder Nancy Fleury, Shriner Craig Houston of Winnipeg, International HOPE Canada Inc. co-founders Sonia Michalyshen of Oakbank and Phyllis Reader of Winnipeg, and wildlife organizations volunteer Robert Raymond Williams of Winnipeg received certificates and lapel pins.

Austin has performed several times for Canadian and international forces in Afghanistan. He volunteers in raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder, supports a troop-morale program that makes links between the Canadian Forces and community first-responders, and is involved with the Children's Wish Foundation.

Fleury leads the Teulon and District Food Bank in providing food hampers twice a month to low-income families in the area. She also formed a local Christmas Cheer Board, which delivers up to 65 hampers of clothing, toys and food each year during the holiday season. She brought local high school student volunteers on board to help put together the hampers.

Houston has volunteered with the Shriners for more than 35 years and was the Khartum Shriners Hospital chairman for 15 years. Under his leadership, the first Shriners Hospitals Satellite Orthopedic Clinic opened in Winnipeg to serve children and their families from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut and northwestern Ontario.

Michalyshen and Reader began International HOPE Canada Inc., a non-profit organization that collects refurbished medical equipment for distribution to clinics and hospitals in less-developed countries around the world.

Williams volunteers with numerous organizations such as Polar Bears International, the Manitoba Forestry Association, Fish Futures, the Winnipeg Canoe Club and the Fort Gary Horse Regiment, where he chaired the Fort Gary Horse Centennial Committee.

For more information on this award, visit www.gg.ca/caring.

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