Spirit of Sally Spence lives on in Sudbury students

Tiffany Wing and her daughter, Grace, 2, attended the Spirit of Sally Spence Awards hosted by the NEO Kids and Family Program Children's Treatment Centre at Health Sciences North in Sudbury, Ont. on Tuesday June 11, 2019. Grace is one of 16 award recipients. John Lappa/Sudbury Star

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A record number of recipients have been recognized at the fifth and final Spirit of Sally Spence Awards hosted by NEO Kids & Family Program Children’s Treatment Centre on Tuesday.

“For our fifth and final year, we had an overwhelming number of very deserving applicants,” said Joanne Tramontini, clinical manager of the Children’s Treatment Centre. “We, therefore, decided that we would allocate all of the remaining funds that were generously donated by Sally’s family. Sally would be so proud of what has been accomplished.”

Proud mom Samantha Rouleau hugs her son, Pierre, 7, at the Spirit of Sally Spence Awards hosted by the NEO Kids and Family Program Children’s Treatment Centre at Health Sciences North in Sudbury, Ont. on Tuesday June 11, 2019. Pierre is one of 16 award recipients. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

 

Sally Spence was the clinical manager at the Children’s Treatment Centre. An advocate for children with special needs, Spence died in 2014 from ovarian cancer. The Spirit of Sally Spence Awards honour Spence’s contributions to the Children’s Treatment Centre and allows for the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of past and present clients.

In 2016, Naomi Field recalled for The Star what Spence meant to her. She said in her early years as a visitor to the Children’s Treatment Centre, she “wasn’t the easiest child or very co-operative to work with.”

Alexander Day, 16, is a recipient of the Spirit of Sally Spence Awards hosted by the NEO Kids and Family Program Children’s Treatment Centre at Health Sciences North in Sudbury, Ont. on Tuesday June 11, 2019. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

 

Field has cerebral palsy and has been visiting the CTC at Health Sciences North for nearly her whole life.

“I would scream and cry if someone came around and gave me a hard time,” said Field, recalling her early years at the centre.

“But each time I was in the building, Sally would come out of her office and greet me with her bright smile and bright pink lipstick …

“She was so kind, compassionate and always willing to give reassurance to me when I needed it. She took all of us under her wing, all of the children, their families and staff.”

Andrew Morissette is a recipient of the Spirit of Sally Spence Awards hosted by the NEO Kids and Family Program Children’s Treatment Centre at Health Sciences North in Sudbury, Ont. on Tuesday June 11, 2019. A total of 16 awards were handed out at the ceremony. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

 

Field received at Spirit of Sally Spence award then, to help her continue her education. That tradition continued yesterday.

“In total, we have helped 36 children, youth and alumni from the NEO Kids Children’s Treatment Centre realize their goals,” said Tramontini. “This event has provided an opportunity to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of our recipients, their families and the staff who supported them in their journey at the NEO Kids Children’s Treatment Centre.”

Recipients receive a bursary of up to $1,000 for self-development initiatives and activities like summer camps, equipment, education and employment. They are awarded to clients who displayed the same qualities that Spence demonstrated during her time at the Children’s Treatment Centre.

This year’s recipients are Cassandra Degn, Keanna Potter, Angelo St. Georges, Keallach Kelly, Savannah St. Amant, Brayden Wikiruk, Deacan Judd, Kendra McInnis, Jubilee North, Pierre Rouleau, Andrew Morissette, Alexander Day, Jessica Park, Grace Wing, Jordan Foran and Ailie Huneault.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @Mia_RJensen

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