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George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation welcomes new executive director

George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation appoints new Executive Director Cindy Levanto-Kawahara.

THUNDER BAY – The Board of George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation is pleased to announce Cindy Levanto-Kawahara as the new Executive Director of George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation. Cindy replaces Steve MacDonald who has moved back to Southern Ontario.

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Cindy has many years of professional fundraising experience and is also a graduate of Lakehead University.

“I couldn’t be happier to be the new `chief fundraiser` for the George Jeffrey Children’s Fouundation! The Centre’s 60+ year history has impacted and enriched the lives of so many children and youth living with physical and developmental needs that it is my privilege to be a part of the Foundation’s team. I look forward to working with the Centre’s staff and meeting our wonderful donors and supporters”.

Tina Bennett, CEO of George Jeffrey Children’s Centre, says “We are excited to have Cindy join the team. The mission of the Foundation is to support the work of George Jeffrey Children’s Centre and we are fortunate that Cindy is local to Thunder Bay and brings a wealth of experience to the position. The Centre and Foundation work closely together and we are looking forward to working with her and the Foundation Board.”

In Cindy’s former role at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, she was a valued team member. Cindy is very proud of the many meaningful relationships she developed with staff, volunteers and donors and is very grateful for their time and generosity.

“Cindy will be a great asset to our Foundation Team” says Tyler Manning, President of George Jeffrey Children’s Foundation. “She’s a proven leader and extremely versatile and has the skill set that our Board was looking for during our search for a new Executive Director.”

Cindy Levanto-Kawahara assumed her role on Oct. 19, 2020.

Message from the CEO

I am pleased to say that as of June 29th George Jeffrey Children’s Centre (GJCC), gradually began opening its doors with limited access. To allow for physical distancing and incorporating the ever changing safety guidelines, ALL in person visits are by appointment only and require COVID-19 screening prior to entrance.

Although COVID-19 is our new realty, the GREAT news is that our Centre is once again providing the in-centre care needed for our children and their families that must have support for their communication, physical and developmental needs.

Our staff are always innovative in the ways they provide support to the over 1,800 children and youth we see each year at the Centre. However, the pandemic has inspired our clinicians to think differently and be even more innovative and donations from our community have helped make this happen!

The generosity of donors has helped our Centre be equipped for this continuity of care, and their ongoing support will be essential as we drive forward on building more capacity for special needs care throughout Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

Please reach out to Cindy if you are interested in supporting George Jeffrey Children’s Centre.

Together, we are helping our children and youth live their lives to the fullest.


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