2007 Archived Articles
July 1, 2007 | Governor Shelton
Sharon Shelton is well-known as the Executive Director of Tropicana. But she is also a member of the Board of Governors of Centennial College. At the June 2007 convocation for graduates in the School of Community &Health Studies, which includes nursing students, she was the Governor representing the Board.
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May 28, 2007 | Tropicana saddened by death & calls for end to gun violence
The tragic shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Manners has been made even more painful with the arrest of two other teens suspected in the murder of the 15-year-old, says professor Gervan Fearon, president of Tropicana Community Services.
The two suspects, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, are both 17 and had been friends with Manners.
"We have one kid dead and two others suspected of his murder. This is particularly tragic for Jordan’s family, and I'm sure traumatic for the families of the suspects," said Fearon, who holds a Ph.D. in economics.
Manners was shot at North York’s C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute May 23. The Grade 9 suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and died later at Sunnybrook Hospital. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday, May 31.
"As president of Tropicana Community Services, I would like to express our condolences to the family of Jordan Manners and to support them as they show extraordinary strength during this period," said Dr. Fearon. "We also call on youth across Toronto to say no to guns and no to violence."
Dr. Fearon said Tropicana, which makes "tremendous efforts" to help youth and family by offering many social service programs such as tutoring, counselling and anger management training, would like to see a more comprehensive approach to countering violence and helping youth in Ontario and Canada.
"Many youth," Dr. Fearon added, "are succeeding and making significant contributions to our society. Yet, some others need assistance."
He is encouraging continued support and participation by the City, Province and Federal governments in funding and establishing youth programs that would eliminate the sense of marginalization that some young people feel, and which would also provide them with positive alternatives to lives of crime, violence and drugs.
The Tropicana president said gun control, and addressing gun trafficking at its source, must be part of the solution to stemming gun violence. Since 1975, there have been more than 15 incidents of shooting at schools and universities across Canada.
"Basic economics tells us that weak gun control laws and enforcement cause an increased supply of guns on the streets, reduce the street price, and cause these guns to be more accessible and affordable to youth who may not fully understand the consequence of their choices," Dr. Fearon argues.
"Ultimately, we cannot address gun violence without addressing the supply of guns. These issues require government action as they are beyond the capacity of individual communities to address. Only recently, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Rivard heard evidence about organized crime involvement in the sale of illegal guns on the street. This is truly troubling."
Dr. Fearon said Tropicana is backing calls by Toronto Mayor David Miller for greater gun control laws and for intensified efforts to keep guns out of Toronto communities.
"We believe that communities working in partnership with governments, corporations and charitable organizations, can move our city, province and country further ahead and make us a beacon for the rest of the world," he said.
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May 6, 2007 | Former Cabinet Minister among three honoured
Zanana Akande, a former Ontario government minister, was among three persons honoured for their contributions to Toronto and the province at a Tropicana event on May 5.
She received the TD Bank Financial Group Community Builder Award at the 14th Annual Charity Ball of Tropicana Community Services. Tropicana, founded in 1980, provides counselling, tutoring and other social service programs to youth and families in Toronto.
Akande, a former school principal who was appointed Community and Social Services Minister in the NDP government of Premier Bob Rae in 1990, was recognized for her "sterling contribution to our society as an educator, politician, volunteer and social activist," says Tropicana’s Executive Director Sharon Shelton.
Other awardees were retired labour leader and human rights activist, Bromley Armstrong, and banker Christine Williams, an executive committee member of the College Compensation and Appointments Council of Ontario and vice-chair of the Scarborough Hospital Foundation.
Armstrong, 81, received the Daimler Chrysler Financial Services Community Builder Award. A recipient of the Order of Ontario, Armstrong worked with the provincial Human Rights Commission and the Labour Relations Board. He also was a member of a 1954 delegation that travelled to Ottawa to lobby for changes to the immigration laws, which were considered prohibitive to allowing entry to Canada of people of colour.
Williams, a former president of Tropicana Community Services, received the Royal Bank of Canada Tropicana Builder Award.
"She was one of our best leaders," said Shelton. "Christine is best remembered for initiating the launch of a campaign that is still underway to raise $10 million for a Tropicana centre."
It was the second year of the awards. Inaugural winners in 2006 were lawyer and former Ontario Liberal MPP Leonard Braithwaite and volunteer and retired Revenue Canada employee, Ronald Blackman.
The 2007 Scotiabank-sponsored Charity Ball was held at Angus Glen Golf and Country Club, 10080 Kennedy Road, Markham. In addition to the awards presentation, the $125 ticketed affair included dinner, auction and live jazz entertainment from the Jason Murray Quartet, as well as a performance from Ayah Yousef, a 21-year-old singer and songwriter, who is soon to release her debut CD.
"We were pleased that our collaboration with many well-wishers, including FLOW 93.5FM, enabled us to attract such top notch entertainers," said Shelton. "We believe this Ball was one of our best ever."
The keynote speaker was Queen’s Counsel Douglas Ruck, vice-chair of the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. He is a former Ombudsman of Nova Scotia.
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