CTV Ottawa is announcing  a major development in connection with its highly successful Amazing People series hosted by Kimothy Walker and its awards gala October 27th, 2012, when we honoured almost 50 Amazing People who are all major contributors to the the communities serve by CTV Ottawa.

At the red-carpet gala, chaired by Eric Collard, we doubled our goal and raised enough to build two schools in Nicaragua with Almonte-based charity SchoolBox. Those schools will be built, in part, by Ottawa young people who will learn about their own power to affect change in the world by integrating into a Nicaraguan community. They will build  safe schools for children currently being educated in difficult and unsanitary conditions.

We  honoured at our Amazing People Gala, almost 50 people and handed out awards to four.  Two of them were given awards for Amazing Person of the Year -- for each of 2011 and 2012, as chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, including Mayor Jim Watson, CTV Vice-President Richard Gray and CTV Ottawa News Director Peter Angione. 

Two other winners  were chosen by our viewers, with more than 5,000 votes cast at  ottawa.ctvnews.ca  One of those "CTV Viewers Choice" winners was Peggy Taillon, who won for her dedication to motherhood. She took on an entire African country to win the right to adopt her Kenyan-born son.

The 2012 CTV Amazing People Gala event  featured talent from CASCO, dancers and musicians with the uOttawaTelfer School of Business, in addition to a dance flashmob featuring our own gala steering committee! Our guests laughed and cried, then danced until well after midnight in the most beautiful room in the Capital.  After the success of that magical night,  demand was high to host another event and CTV responded by announcing the second annual gala for February 2014, again at the Ottawa Convention Centre's Trillium Room. The newest Amazing People featured on CTV News at 6 will be honoured at the next event.

CTV Ottawa, together with the gala steering committe,  has decided to once again partner with SchoolBox, after the tremendous success of its joint-project, but will also add Peggy Taillon's charity,  Hera Mission, as a recipient of the funds raised.  Peggy and Wendy Muckle now run the charity, named for Peggy's son, to help more than 200 orphans in his Kenyan village by empowering "Asembo Bay Women for Development" to save them through contributions by Ottawa residents.   Hera means love in their tribal language and is the middle name of Peggy's son Devlin.

Hera has recently come together with a partner organization, Tumaini Children's Project also Ottawa-based and also working with orphans in Western Kenya. Tumaini was founded by Julie Hakim and is the Kiswahili word for Hope


In the end, CTV Ottawa will help local young people benefit from the lessons of international development by doing work in both Nicaragua and Kenya, to help provide education and safety. We will also continue to celebrate the people in our region who have often overcome their own hardship to make a difference, here at home and in other countries.

The CTV Amazing People series is on hiatus now until February, 2013, but you can still nominate an Amazing Person by clicking on this link

Our CTV viewers made this all happen and we look forward to hearing from you.

CTV Ottawa is very proud to empower Ottawa-area young people to change the world while celebrating those Amazing People who make a difference in it.