Stephanie & the late John MacDonald (d. 2022)

Upon reviewing the long list of John and Stephanie MacDonald’s numerous community affiliations and contributions to Peterborough life as we know it, one question comes to mind before all others…

Just where did they find the time?

Between raising a family, serving Westdale United Church in a variety of capacities and serving as school principals respectively as lifelong educators – Stephanie still teaches with Trent University’s School of Education – our inductees made the time as opposed to finding it, solidifying their stellar reputations as respected leaders in the community. Their involvement alone, ensured projects and initiatives had the best chance of success.

A lifelong member of the local YMCA, John MacDonald chaired its Capital Campaign, and brought the same leadership qualities to his chairmanship of boards for both Fleming College and the former Peterborough Civic Hospital. John was also a founding director of what is now the Peterborough Innovation Cluster, a member of the YMCA Canada national board of directors, and served at Five Counties Children’s Centre for close to 10 years, including time as its finance chair.

As one would expect, John’s contributions didn’t go unrewarded. Honours bestowed upon him include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the local Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award, and Canada’s 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal for Community Services. For his 34 years as a volunteer trainer for Telecare Canada, John was also duly recognized.

Stephanie MacDonald, meanwhile, left her own mark on the many organizations and causes she selflessly stepped up to support. The founding chair of Peterborough’s Block Parent Program, she also served on boards for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peterborough, the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Peterborough Community Care. Also ensured success through her involvement were Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival, Fairhaven Home and, in tandem with her husband John, the YMCA Capital Campaign.

As noted by their nominator, John and Stephanie respectively, and selflessly gave of their time and talents “with a smile on their faces, open hearts and hands dedicated to helping others,” bringing to bear, in the words of another supporter three foundational factors which lead to “successful and resilient community building – participation, relationships and empathy.”

John MacDonald passed away on New Years’ Eve, 2022 in his 83rd year.


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