In 2009, our founder, Kenneth G. Murray celebrated his 85th birthday. In recognition of his tireless work for the dementia cause, and his significant contributions to the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), a special recognition award was created in his honour. The Kenneth Murray Partnership in Dementia Award recognizes partners who have made significant contributions to MAREP’s research, education and advocacy work.

In the inaugural year, two very special partners were recognized for their long-time commitment to MAREP.


2009 Recipients

Brenda Hounam

2009 award recipient Brenda Hounam with Kenneth Murray.In April of 2000 at the age of 53, Brenda Hounam, a spokesperson and advocate, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. In her professional life, Brenda, a single mother of two, worked as a registered industrial accountant. 

Brenda has always been a dedicated volunteer and an original member of the Brant Community Services Society. She is also an active member of the Alzheimer Society of Brant, their Early Stage Support Group, and she has sat on the committee for the Brant Dementia Network since its formation. In June 2007, Brenda was asked to participate as a member of the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Most recently, Brenda has become a member of the L.E.A.D. day program for persons with early stage dementia. This program takes place at John Noble Home in Brantford.

Brenda had the idea for and was the inspiration behind the song “One More Memory”. In 2004 Brenda met a new friend, Linda Westbrook, who then introduced Brenda to her daughter Sara Westbrook, a singer/songwriter. Sara spent hours interviewing Brenda and truly looked into her heart and soul and was able to write the song “One More Memory”. Brenda now travels nationally and internationally with Sara, the co-writer and performer of “One More Memory”, and her mother Linda, promoting awareness through story and song.

Brenda has been an active and dedicated volunteer with the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program. Since 2003 she has served as a member of the planning committee for A Changing Melody. She has also played a role in the development of an online education tool which is housed on the Alzheimer’s Research Exchange website. In 2006 Brenda was involved with the release of a new educational tool, a DVD produced by MAREP entitled, “Breaking the Silence – Giving voice to persons with dementia”, and assisted with the development of the Dementia Care Education Series on CD-ROM, an interactive education tool for front-line staff in long-term care facilities.  Brenda also had the idea for and was instrumental in developing a series of guides written by persons with dementia, for persons with dementia, and appropriately titled, “By Us For Us”.

Ken Hancock

2009 award recipient Ken Hancock with Kenneth Murray.Ken Hancock is a Professional Engineer and a graduate from the University of Waterloo. His career began with DuPont of Canada in Kingston followed by 36 years at Queen’s University where his responsibilities included designing the expansion of the electrical distribution system, facilitating the installation of two turbines for cogeneration, managing the Engineering Group and was appointed Associate Director of Physical Plant.

His wife, Tuula, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in November 2001 when she was 54. Ken relinquished his management position at Queen’s University and reduced his employment hours to facilitate homecare for Tuula. He recently chose early retirement to optimize care and reduce stress. They shared their experiences with friends, relatives and support group members hoping to help remove the stigma that is associated with this disease.

Tuula passed away on April 10th 2008 after almost two years in a long-term care facility. Ken has recently become a co-facilitator for a new men’s support group formed through the Kingston Alzheimer’s Society Chapter and remains active with the family council at Trillium, Specialty Care and with the Regional Family Council Network. Ken has been a member of the Planning Committee for A Changing Melody since 2003, and has more recently become a member of the Planning Committee for the A Changing Melody forum in Kingston, participant in the BUFU Caregiver Series development and participant in the Alzheimer Knowledge Exchange Design and Dementia Community of Practice.

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2011 Recipients

2011 award recipientsIn 2011 MAREP recognized chapters and organizations who have partnered with others in hosting regional A Changing Melody forums. The following Alzheimer Society Chapters were honoured.

  • Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region
  • Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District
  • Alzheimer Society of Perth
  • Alzheimer Society of Leeds-Greenville
  • Alzheimer Society of Kingston
  • Alzheimer Society of Belleville
  • Alzheimer Society of Durham
  • Alzheimer Society of Brant
  • Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton
  • Alzheimer Society of Haldimond-Norfolk
  • Alzheimer Society of Oxford
  • Alzheimer Society of Lanark

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2012 Recipients

In 2012, MAREP honoured five partners with the Kenneth Murray Partnership in Dementia Award in recognition of their significant contributions to MAREP’s work.

Carl and Ann Marie Wilson

2012 award recipients Carl & Ann Marie Wilson with Sherry Dupuis and Kenneth Murray.Carl and Ann Marie have been active spokespersons and advocates for themselves and others living with dementia since Carl was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in June of 2006.

They provide peer mentoring to those walking the same journey. As part of their work with MAREP, they have been members of the planning committee for the A Changing Melody forum and have engaged in the process of creating a number of By Us For Us guides. For the Living with dementia website, they agreed to be featured in one of the 5 videos created for the resource.

Carl and Ann Marie have also been involved in the project “Journey of Dementia through Photography”, where they have been working closely with photographer Diego Quattrociocchi who has been capturing their journey with dementia through his photography. Last month, the first photo installation for that project was unveiled at the new Sunnyside Community Alzheimer Program in Cambridge.

Jack Henderson

2012 award recipient Jack Henderson with Sherry Dupuis and Kenneth Murray.As a family partner in care, Jack Henderson supported his father, Dugald Henderson, for over six years. Since Dugald’s death in January 2007, Jack has continued to share with others the knowledge he gained from their journey.

In 2008, Jack connected with MAREP and joined our planning committee for the A Changing Melody forum and has served on planning committee for the national and international events. He was also a member of the workshop committee for the development of A Changing Melody toolkit. Jack has also been serving as a member of the By Us For Us Family Partner in Care committee and has been the chair of the planning committee for the southeastern Ontario regional A Changing Melody forum for the past 3 years.

Jack continues to promote MAREP’s Authentic Partnership philosophy and will be starting work with our associate director Jessica Kim Luh to create a practical guide to assist other to create authentic partnerships in the dementia context.

Lynn ​Jackson

2012 award recipient Lynn Jackson with Sherry Dupuis and Kenneth Murray.In 1999, at age 44, Lynn Jackson was diagnosed with the early stages of frontotemporal dementia. Since her diagnosis, Lynn has been a dedicated advocate for people living with early-stage dementia.

In 2000 she helped found “DASNI” – the Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International – an Internet-based organization. Lynn’s involvement with MAREP began when Sherry Dupuis, MAREP’s director, wrote to DASNI broaching the idea of developing some sort of “conference” for people with early-stage dementia and their partners in care. That conference became a forum called A Changing Melody. DASNI was asked to be a “partner” in the planning and implementation of this forum, and Lynn, on behalf of DASNI, has been actively involved since its inception.

Since 2003 Lynn has served as a member of the organizational committees for A Changing Melody, relying on DASNI members in its e-mail community for input and advice when making pivotal decisions. Lynn was pivotal in bringing the philosophy of A Changing Melody to the forefront of the Alzheimer Disease International community: so much so that Alzheimer’s disease International created a dedicated stream for persons with dementia at their annual conference in March 2011.

Lynn has presented locally in BC, nationally and internationally and has co-presented at numerous events with MAREP in an effort to promote better diagnosis, enhanced access to treatment and inclusiveness. She takes a particular interest in breaking the stigma surrounding a diagnosis of dementia.

Jim Mann

2012 award recipient Jim Mann with Sherry Dupuis and Kenneth Murray.Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in February 2007 at the age of 58. He is now an advocate utilizing his experience and expertise in the business and volunteer sectors and as a care partner for his mother who also had the disease.

Jim’s involvement with MAREP began in 2008, when he joined the A Changing Melody planning team. He has co-presented on many occasions academic papers and workshops with MAREP to ensure the lived experience of those living with dementia are being heard.

Since 2009, Jim has been involved in the development of the Living with Dementia resource. His active participation has been of the utmost importance to the relevancy and reliability of the information provided in the resource. Jim has been an invaluable support to the MAREP team on this project and all of his activities with MAREP.

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2014 Recipients 

Sherry Dupuis

Ken Murray and Sherry Dupuis holding a certificate and flowers

For over a decade, Sherry Dupuis was the Director of the MAREP. In May of 2013, Sherry stepped down from this position to focus on her own research. During her tenure as Director, Sherry was instrumental in bringing a focus to dementia research in Canada through her work with MAREP. She advocated for the voice of persons with dementia to be heard around the world and was recognized as a valued partner by many. 

She continues in her position as a Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo. She also holds adjunct positions in the Gerontology Program at McMaster University and in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph. Guided by an authentic partnership approach and a number of years of experience working in long-term care, Sherry’s research program has focused primarily on identifying ways to improve the quality of the lives of persons living with dementia and their families and to ensuring that the voices of persons with dementia and their partners in care are represented in research, education, and practice. Sherry is also committed to research as a means of triggering personal transformation and social change. Thus, she is interested in exploring creative approaches to research and alternative representations of research results that make research findings more accessible and more effective in shifting images, understandings and actions in dementia care. She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on a close to two million dollar research initiative focused on culture change in dementia care funded by the SSHRC Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) program and the partners of the Partnerships in Dementia Care (PiDC) Allliance. 

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2015 Recipients 

Ron and Anne Hopewell

Ron Hopewell holding his awardRon Hopewell was born and raised in Montreal some 80 years ago and moved to Ontario in 1978. Prior to retirement Ron had a variety of jobs and was in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Part of his work life was at Grand River Hospital where he actively cared for people with dementia. So when Ron was diagnosed 5 years ago he had an idea what might lie ahead.

After the initial shock wore off he wanted to do something that would help others on this journey so became an active participant in research projects through MAREP and other disciples associated with the University of Waterloo. Ron says, "If what we do can help others now and in the future that's a good thing."

Ron has a terrific sense of humour and always tries to put a positive spin on things.

Anne Hopewell is a retired registered nurse & is Ron's care partner & biggest supporter. They have 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren. This year they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Once Ron was diagnosed their life took a completely different path.

The way Anne felt she could cope was to become actively involved in research projects and becoming an advocate for Alzheimer's/dementia issues. She and Ron began a social club for couples living with dementia that has become very successful. The aim is to feel supported and find some joy and happiness on this journey. They have been active in getting signatures on petitions that have been presented to both federal and provincial governments to urge them to develop comprehensive dementia strategies. Anne says, "There is much that is good and positive in our lives. We live each day as it comes & cherish the good ones."

Ron and Anne have been involved with MAREP for over 5 years now. They participated in the research and development of 3 By Us For Us guides: Food and Mealtime, Living Safely, and our newest publication, Safety When out and About. They were featured in MAREP’s DVD A New Voice that we launched at our AAE in 2014.  They also participated in the Gather at the Gallery program and evaluation.

Harold (Harry) Gutoskie

Harry Gutoskie holding his awardHarold Gutoskie is a loving husband to Donna (married 45 years). They are proud parents of 2 children, and grandparents to three grandchildren. Donna was diagnosed with dementia just over 3 years ago and became a resident in a local Long Term Care home last fall. 

Harry has always been an active participant in the community. He played various sports and coached hockey for about 30 years. Also, he coached his children, golfed with Donna and played Old Timers Hockey. 

Harry’s role as an advocacy started with Donna's diagnosis.  Not knowing much about the disease Harry decided to get involved with the local Alzheimer's Society to find out as much as possible through their education programs. He had 3 goals: become a spokesman on behalf of Donna, Further his understanding of the disease, and show a male presence amongst the sea of female partners in care and encourage other men to get involved.

Harry met a lot of great people taking the same journey and hearing of their involvement with MAREP he felt that it would be good for him to approach MAREP and see if he could help out in anyway. He quickly became involved in the Gather Art Gallery program and evaluation. Harry has also helped in the research and development of MAREP's By Us For Us guides, both on safety. Over the past 2 years he has also been involved in the self-management project as an advisory team member and is now a member of the regional dementia advisory group. 

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2016 Recipients 

Mark and Maggie Weidmark

Mark and Maggie Weidmark standing on stage with Lisa Loiselle and Ken MurrayMaggie Weidmark had a career as a public health nursing manager for nearly 30 years in southwestern Ontario. Maggie was initially assessed in 2010 for memory issues, and later diagnosed with frontal variant of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Mark Weidmark was a newspaper reporter and editor for many years before becoming an internet producer for Torstar, and finally choosing to enter the education sector.

Mark and Maggie have been married for over 30 years and have 2 daughters. They are both actively involved in volunteer work with the Waterloo-Wellington Dementia Advisory Group, the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo-Wellington, and MAREP.

Their many roles at MAREP have included:

  • Self-management (advisory hub and pilot)
  • By Us For Us – Safety when out and about
  • Blue umbrella project
  • With sponsorship and support from MAREP, in 2014 Maggie spoke at the Alzheimer’s International conference in Puerto Rico on the value of support groups for persons with dementia.

In addition to being wonderful people, Mark and Maggie are true advocates. They are standing up, speaking out, and helping to change the face of dementia. They have been valued partners of MAREP. For this reason, Mark & Maggie Weidmark have been selected to receive this year's Kenneth G. Murray Partnership in Dementia award.

Frederick Allen and Penny Stager

Al and Penny Stager on stage with Lisa LoiselleFrederick Allen Stager has been married to his wife Lynn for over 40 years. They have two children and three grandchildren. Al finished his apprenticeship at Budd Automotive and worked at various other manufacturing facilities across Ontario. He is a tool and die-maker and an Engineering Technologist. Al was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's disease approximately 4 years ago. Since then, he has remained an active member of the community, the Alzheimer Society and MAREP. Al’s involvement with MAREP has included:

  • Arts based project
  • Self-management advisory hub that met for over 2 years
  • Waterloo Wellington Advisory Group
  • Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative in Kitchener
  • Hackathon event hosted by MAREP and the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
  • Speaking at the 4th annual Alzheimer awareness event in 2015

In everything he does, Al brings his sense of humour with him. He is a joy to work with and for over 4 years he has partnered with MAREP and has helped us with our work to enhance the well-being of those affected by dementia.

Penny Stager was a neonatal nurse until she retired 8 years ago. She is married with 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren.

Penny’s mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s. Her husband and his sister were power of attorney for her and Penny was there for her as well and was proactive in her care. Being a nurse came in handy to help the family understand what was happening as her disease progressed.

Al is Penny’s brother in law – her husband's brother. Al’s wife Lynn asked if Penny would like to accompany him to a MAREP workshop in Toronto a few years ago, as she was working and unable to attend with him. She did and has continued as his care-partner with MAREP and the Alzheimer Society. Penny’s involvement in MAREP has included:

  • For 2 years, Penny was part of the self-management project as a member of the advisory hub - a research group that helped to  develop a program for those newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their care partners
  • Penny now also sits as a member of the WWDAG and meets once a month
  • Through her participation in this project, she has also become involved in piloting a new DFC initiative in Kitchener. 
  • In the fall of 2015 she also took part in the first ever Hack4Health event as a mentor
  • Spoke at 4th annual Alzheimer Awareness event in 2015

What is amazing about Penny is her commitment to the dementia movement. Even when Al was unable to attend meetings, Penny would still be there. Both Al and Penny have been valued partners of MAREP. For these reasons, Al and Penny Stager have also been selected to receive this year's Kenneth G. Murray Partnership in Dementia award.

2017 Recipients 

Monique and Gerard Laderoute​

Monique and Gerard Laderoute, recipients of the 2017 partners in dementia award

Our recipients this year are Gerard and Monique Laderoute – a husband and wife team extraordinaire.

Monique has had a long career as an RN and Gerard retired from Pillars after 40 years of service beginning as a meat cutter and finally as an accounts manager.

Gerard was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012 after Monique and other family members suggested he see a doctor.  Monique is currently his primary care partner.

When Gerard is not at a community meeting, or hanging out with friends at trinity village and Memory Booster Social Club, he can be found in the garden, cooking, doing word search puzzles, reading, or  enjoy colouring in his adult colouring books. He tries to keep his brain active as much as possible.

When Monique trained to be an RN she didn’t learn about dementia. Since Gerard’s diagnosis she has taken part in many education sessions through the Alzheimer society and has learned so much. This she says is why they have become so active. She and Gerard enjoy the many advocacy roles they play and try to take life day by day.

They are both actively involved in volunteer work with MAREP and many other organizations, including the Alzheimer Society. 

Their many roles have included:

  • Hack4Health (2015 and 2016) – as part of the planning team, getting sponsorship, volunteering to prepare food, being mentors, also participating on the judging panel
  • They are also active members of the WWDAG for 2 years
  • Through their participation on WWDAG, they have become involved in a pilot project looking at establishing a new Dementia friendly community program in the waterloo region call Blue umbrella. They are actively involved as advisors on this project
  • In 2016, Monique and Gerard also volunteer as part of the planning team for the first ever A Changing Melody, a learning and sharing forum for people with dementia and their care partners Waterloo Region

Despite their own lives being affected by dementia, and the many hours caring for their beloved family, they still find time to help out the most vulnerable people in our community – you will often find Monique and Gerard gathering donations and bringing them to a local woman’s shelter. 

Gerard and Monique have been valued partners in MAREP and in our community. For this reason, Gerard and Monique Laderoute have been selected to receive this years’ Kenneth G Murray Partnership in Dementia award.

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