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Lakefield girl named Junior Citizen of the Year

by Ben Clarke

Ontario’s young stars are shining brighter than ever.

The 12 final recipients of the 2013 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award have been named and among them is 11-year-old Lakefield resident Faith Dickinson.

Each of the young individuals nominated goes above and beyond what is expected of someone their age and Dickinson is no different.

Dickinson created Cuddles for Cancer when she was just nine years old. After hearing that cancer patients often got cold during their treatments, Faith came up with the idea of making fleece blankets, hoping it would bring patients warmth, comfort and love. Since then, she has raised over $10,000 to help her make 500 of her cuddle blankets.

They have been sent all across Canada, the United States, France, England and Australia. She has also created a signature ‘soldier’ blanket for soldiers overseas and those suffering from injuries or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

She recently launched a campaign called Kids at Christmas, asking the community to sponsor a child to ensure every child admitted to her local hospital is given a cuddle blanket on Christmas Eve.

The Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Awards are promoted through the 300-plus member newspapers of the Ontario Community Newspapers Association with the support of corporate sponsors TD Bank Group and Direct Energy.

Nominees are individuals whose leadership, ideas, creativity and generosity are fine examples of the outstanding youth of today.

These finalists represent a diverse group ranging in age, interests and backgrounds – but one thing they all share is their desire to make a difference.

The final recipients and their families will be invited to a special ceremony in the spring.

Nominees may be involved in community service; young people who are contributing to their community while living with a physical or psychological limitation; or individuals who have performed acts of heroism or bravery. Candidates are also recognized for being ‘good kids’ who show a commitment to making life better for others.

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