AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards prepare to honour community leaders

Jennifer Van Noort
Jennifer Van Noort will be honoured as the Outstanding Fundraising Professional at the 2017 AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards.

The 2017 AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards are quickly approaching, and this year’s recipients are an impressive group.

For more than 20 years, AFP Ottawa has had the distinct honour of paying tribute to those who make our city – and our country – a better place through their philanthropy.

This year’s awards dinner will serve as another opportunity to come together as a community and recognize the volunteers and corporations who are committed to supporting philanthropy. 

From event organization and leadership to transformational giving, the 2017 award recipients demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the advancement of philanthropy. Congratulations to the following groups, organizations and individuals and thank you for making our community a better place to work and live!

PBC Group: Outstanding Small Business Philanthropist

Local company PBC Group will be awarded the 2017 Outstanding Small Business Philanthropist. PBC Group is committed to giving back here in the community where they have been developing their business for more than 50 years by providing services in project development and construction management, as well as investment and asset management.

While PBC Group has supported many charitable organizations in our community, its focus has been on those that contribute to the health and wellbeing of children. Supporting organizations such as the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region and the Ten Oaks Project allows PBC Group to provide program access to children that might not otherwise be able to participate.

Tom Spence: Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

One year following his cancer diagnosis in 2001, Tom Spence formed the Spence Team to support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Do it for Dad event.

He has led the team successfully ever since, raising more than $250,000. These funds have brought life-saving and innovative technologies to Ottawa, improving outcomes and recovery time for cancer patients.

Tom’s leadership rests on a foundation of deep and genuine care for his community. He has led a life of service to the Ottawa community through his church as well as through his membership in the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa and by volunteering with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, making him worthy of the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award.

Ottawa Catholic School Board: Outstanding Philanthropic Group

The Outstanding Philanthropic Group award recognizes a service club, association, school club, employee group or other group of people who have joined together to help a particular cause or event. This year’s award recipient is the Ottawa Catholic School Board for its work with Shepherds of Good Hope. The partnership with Shepherds of Good Hope has flourished over the years, with the OCSB raising more than $3 million in goods and monetary donations over the last 10 years.

Hannah, Sophie and Cece Weider: Outstanding Youth Philanthropist

Driven by a desire to engage their peers and help homeless youth in Ottawa, Hannah, Sophie and Cece Weider created the SleepOUT initiative for the Youth Services Bureau (YSB).

What began in 2012 and raised slightly more than $50,000 is now an annual event of YSB, and the Weider sisters’ efforts have contributed more than $500,000 since the event’s beginning. Perhaps even more exciting than the impressive amount raised is that youth represent more than half of the total participants in the event each year!

Hannah, Sophie and Cece have succeeded in empowering their peers to become involved in fundraising, and specifically in learning about the positive impact we can have on others if we work together and encourage our families, friends and networks to join us.

This sister trio will be receiving the Outstanding Youth Philanthropist award next month in recognition of early introduction to philanthropy.

Shoppers Drug Mart: Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist

This year’s Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist is Shoppers Drug Mart, selected to honour its commitment to women’s mental health.

Investing in women’s health is a privilege and a passion for Shoppers Drug Mart, which partners with and was nominated by the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health.

In 2011, Shoppers Drug Mart refocused its philanthropic focus on women’s health. An example of this commitment is the SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women, supporting local women’s mental health organizations in 15 communities across Canada this past year.

This annual event engages 18,000 Canadian women in a mental health activity (running and walking) as well as investing in mental health programming for more than 15,000 Canadian women. SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women raises awareness and funding for women’s mental health in addition to ensuring it leaves a legacy of empowerment and impact on women’s well-being for years to come.

Jennifer Van Noort: Outstanding Fundraising Professional

One not-for-profit leader will be recognized for her career achievements with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional industry award. Jennifer Van Noort, vice-president of philanthropy and leadership giving at The Ottawa Hospital, has been dedicated to the not-for-profit sector for almost 20 years.

Jennifer has a deep sense of purpose to honour the donors she works with and advance care for the patients she serves. Jennifer genuinely embraces the joy of philanthropy and is driven each day by the stories that inspire giving and the impact philanthropy has in making our community stronger.

Cuckoo Kochar: Outstanding Individual Philanthropist

Cuckoo Kochar is a well-known and respected philanthropist in the city, and will be recognized for his transformational contributions as the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist.

Dedicated to giving back to society, Cuckoo made a significant donation of $1.2 million to Carleton University to establish the Kochar Family Scholarships.

These scholarships were created to encourage outstanding students from India to come to Carleton, and to further national expertise in the field of engineering. Cuckoo’s mother and grandmother had always instilled in him a love of learning and the legacy of higher education, so it was in their honour that the scholarships were created.


The 2017 AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards will be hosted by CTV’s Sarah Freemark. Mayor Jim Watson will provide opening remarks. We invite you to join us in celebrating these seven deserving individuals, groups and corporations on November 14 at the Saw Centre. Individual tickets are $135 and tables of eight available for $1,000. Click here for more information.