a peek inside the fishbowl

17 May, 2019

Three cheers for the community builders

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa|Yaktivism

Last night, Mark and I had the pleasure of attending the 19th annual United Way Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala at the Shaw Centre. I’ve been a few times and it’s always a great event. Good food, good chatting, and of course, a chance to learn about some of the people and the organizations who are doing such great work in Ottawa. There is always a person or a group I have never heard about introduced during the presentation part of the evening. When this happens it almost always unfolds the same way in my brain. I get their back story and I think, YES. WOW. PEOPLE DOING GOOD. Sometimes I feel myself welling up and I remember I didn’t bring a hankie.


The gala was – and is – the perfect antidote to all the dreary news we’re bombarded with all day long. It’s so uplifting to meet people – regular people – who are making a positive change in other people’s lives, right here in the city we live in, and making it a better place for everyone. Honestly, it did my heart good. I overfloweth, hankie issue notwithstanding.

I hope you take a minute to read more about the award recipients on the United Way Ottawa website. They are inspiring, innovative, and giving, and I applaud them. If you ever have the chance to attend the Community Builder of the Year Awards gala, you should go, because it might change you (in a good way)!

And speaking of people who are making this city great, I have some news to share soon about Cornerstone Housing for Women. Stay tuned for that!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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