Inspiration Part 2

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City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson (left) and Rideau-Goulbourn Councillor Scott Moffatt present Hannah Hempinstall the Mayor’s City Builder Award on Wednesday, August 29, 2012.

Hannah Hempinstall is an inspiration.

Although she might not admit it to you, I believe she is.

Hannah is a hard worker, determined, polite, kind, caring, a true friend, humble and much more.

Last Wednesday she was honoured with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council for her tremendous community involvement.

Since 2008, she has raised more than $28,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)through her Dance for Diabetes events (D4D).

Why did she try to raise money for this foundation you might ask? Her best friend, Emma, was dianosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes in August 2008 and she has done everything she can to support her including learning to count carbohydrates and more.

“Even though I learned all I could about type 1 diabetes I felt like I really needed to do someting more to help,” Hannah explained. ” At that time I was still on a competitive dance team, so I mixed my two favorite things (dance and Emma) together and came up with D4D!”

When I first had the privilege to chat with her about her event at Richmond Public School in the fall of 2010, I asked her why she wanted to do something like this. Her answer was simply.

“I’m really happy to help Emma and anyone else.”

I was honoured when Hannah’s mother Nancy invited me to the ceremony last week as I had never really been to a ceremony at City Hall strictly as an observer.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is described as the following “a civic honour created by Mayor Jim Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future.
To view the full press release click here:

http://ottawa.ca/cgi-bin/pressco.pl?&Elist=17859&lang=en

As Hannah her family, friends and supporters sat awaiting the council meeting we took pictures and caught up before the main event.

Hannah was very gracious when we discussed the award.

“I am really excited to be honored with this award. It was a total surprise and it makes me feel really good about what I a trying to do,” said Hannah. “It makes a big difference when I know people are really supporting D4D and it also helps raise even more awareness about D4D and JDRF.”

Hannah’s mother Nancy is extremely proud of her daughter and helps her daughter balance her many activities including kung-fu, dancing, time on the Youth Advisory Committee, Keep A Breast Foundation, anti-bullying work; all while being on the honour role.

“What makes us proud is her determination, guts and passion for what she believes in,” said Nancy. “She might be tiny and soft spoken, but she is a warrior. Awards and accolades aside, we are proud of her every day, because she is funny, kind, smart and filled with empathy. She is the bravest person I know.”

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Hannah with Councillor Moffatt.

Rideau-Goulbourn City Councillor Scott Moffatt first met Hannah when he and Mayor Watson presented her a certificate in honour of her Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award in 2011.

“What makes Hannah special and deserving of any and all accolades she receives is the absolutely selflessness that she displays on a regular basis,” said Moffatt. “At a young age, she chose to fight juvenile diabetes when she learned her best friend was diagnosed. Most kids that age would not react the same way.”

He describes her kind, caring and a considerate individual, who carries incredible focus and determination to find a cure for Diabetes that just grows stronger.

“By hosting her D4D events at Richmond Public School and Goulbourn Middle School, she is being a true role model in our community and definitely someone that young boys and girls can look up to. I don’t know many people, of any age, that are as committed to a cause as Hannah is,” said Moffatt.

Hannah is entering Grade 9 this week at South Carleton High School in Richmond and is continuing to be a shining light her community. She is now planning her 10th D4D event on November 14 at Richmond Public School, where things all started.

“She has been making a difference to those around her by bringing awareness to a disease that is rarely talked about,” Moffatt added. ” I strongly believe that as Hannah moves on beyond her school years, she will continue to make a difference wherever she is and will be a leader in anything she sets her mind to.”

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Hannah and I before council.

I to know that Hannah will be able to accomplish anything she has her mind set on.

Hannah, in a sense reminds me of myself when I was her age. I took a cause all the way to Parliament Hill, New York City and the front page of many newspapers. That experience gave me the confidance to become the person I am today and sparked my love of writing and journalism.

What a better place our world would be today if there were more people like Hannah who stepped up and did what they believed in?!

What Hannah is doing is simple, she wanted to help a friend, but her message is strong. Be kind to one another and lend a helping hand when you can.

What she has done is anything but simple, do not get me wrong! She is a beautiful young woman who I am proud to call a friend.

Hannah one of my role models, she inspires me to be a better person and I hope she inspires you too.

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