UXBRIDGE: After wading through more than 130 nominations from across the province, Josh Morrison and Hayden Prince were selected to be among the final 12 recipients of the 2014 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award.
Mr. Morrison and Mr. Prince, currently Grade 8 schoolmates at Joseph Gould P.S., were both nominated by The Standard for their work within the community, which has been regularly featured within the newspaper.
Josh has been collecting pennies for roughly two years in an effort to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity. To date he has raised more than $15,000 and regularly speaks at different events to encourage people of all ages to make a difference.
“It’s really exciting to be one of 12 to receive the award from all over Ontario,” Josh told The Standard. “When this started I just wanted to help the ReStore with their penny drive. I had no idea it would be as many pennies as it actually was, and it’s all been very rewarding, especially being able to share this award with Hayden. I couldn’t believe that out of all of Ontario that two of us in the same grade at the same school were chosen.”
Hayden is the founder of Shooting4Food, a fundraising event for the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank, which celebrated its second year in 2014. The event, which is held at Uxbridge Shooting Sports sees participants shooting airsoft guns in a battle between zombies and survivors. Since its inception roughly two years ago, it has raised $6,300 and collected more than 1,600 non-perishable food items. Hayden, who is also a member of the Roxy Kids, also has plans for a Shooting4MentalHealth event to collect donations for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
“I thought that winning this award was even cooler since Josh got nominated too, since we go to the same school in the same town and there’s people entering from all over Ontario,” Hayden said.
The Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Awards are promoted through the 300-plus member newspapers of the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA) with the support of corporate sponsors TD Bank Group and Insurance Bureau of Canada.
“These young people represent a diverse group ranging in age, interests and backgrounds – but one thing they all share is their desire to make a difference, both locally and globally,” said Gordon Cameron, President of Ontario Community Newspapers Association.
The Junior Citizens and their families will be invited to a special ceremony in Toronto in the spring to celebrate their achievements.