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Meet your 2018 Holiday Hero winner

This year, Tbnewswatch.com and Vince Mirabelli want to recognize The Green Dream Team as this year’s Holiday Hero.
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Holiday Heroes 2018
Vince Mirabelli (left) and The Green Dream Team.

THUNDER BAY – Local volunteer group, The Green Dream Team, is striving to make Thunder Bay a better place for everyone.

Since April, The Green Dream Team has committed to making a positive impact on the city of Thunder Bay by spending countless hours cleaning up the streets and providing a little extra for those in need. The inspiration to the team’s story led to hundreds of votes being cast on tbnewswatch.com and hundreds of shares through Facebook and Twitter.

As the Holiday Hero winner, The Green Dream Team receives the title of tbnewswatch.com's 2018 Holiday Hero and a $1,000 cash prize.

“This is not something we expected whatsoever,” said group leader Ashlee Burton. “We just do what we do because we love our city and the people who reside here.”

“We’re ecstatic to see that the people of Thunder Bay love and support what we are doing for our community.”

During the summer, The Green Dream Team volunteers gather at least once a week and sometimes more to clean up areas around the city.

This year, the community cleanup crews were able to gather 364 bags of garbage from the streets. They also cleaned up more than 2,500 used needles between April and Nov.

“One of our main initiatives is to clean the street of Thunder Bay,” Burton said. “We want the streets safer for everyone who resides here and we want to bring back the safer and cleaner Thunder Bay we remember growing up.”

Recently, The Green Dream Team have been working together to create and install Blessing Boxes throughout the city.

The Blessing Boxes are filled with non-perishable foods, mittens, toiletries and hygiene products for anyone who may be in need.

The group, along with Jeremy McFarley and Nicole Berube, has installed three Blessing Boxes and is planning to build five more.

“We are on a mission to make a change. It might be a small change, but it’s evident and we strive to set an example for our children and the community to do the same,” Burton said.

The Green Dream Team’s passion to make a positive impact on Thunder Bay doesn't stop there.

The group hosts hot chocolate walks throughout the winter. They walk around the Kaministiquia River Heritage Park, Simpson Street, and May Street areas and hand out hot chocolate and baked goods for those in need of extra warmth on the cold winter nights.

The volunteers have also been lending a hand at the Underground Gym.

Burton said she is honoured to work alongside Melissa McMahon, Eric Klages, Lyndsay Allesandro, Tim Borg, Dan Chiarello and Dennis Ukrainic.

“These people and their dedication are what make all of this happen. We have become like family and together we will continue to do great things.”

Burton and her team plan to continue to strive for change, safety and togetherness in the New Year.


Tbnewswatch.com and Vince Mirabelli would like to thank everyone who participated in the Holiday Heroes contest. Congratulations to our winner, The Green Dream Team, and all the other finalists who shared their amazing stories with us.

Thanks to the people who brought these wonderful community members to our attention through the nomination process. We'd also like to thank all the wonderful and selfless people who were not chosen as finalists. Every nominee proved to be incredibly worthy of the title Holiday Hero.



Nicole Dixon

About the Author: Nicole Dixon

Born and raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Nicole moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario in 2008 to pursue a career in journalism. Nicole joined Tbnewswatch.com in 2015 as a multimedia producer, content developer and reporter.
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