Maria Anton and Legacy members giving her her award
Thursday, December 3, 2020

KW Legacy Leaders receives President’s Community Impact Award

Maria Anton and Legacy members giving her her award

The KW Legacy Leaders group supports awards at the School of Pharmacy and other academic institutions across Canada. Above: Vince Denomme, Will Schill, Maria Anton (pharmacy student award recipient), Cathy Schill and Mike Denomme. Photo taken in 2019.

In its fourth year, the President’s Community Impact Awards were created to celebrate the rich connections between the University and Waterloo Region communities. This year the KW Legacy Leaders group was recognized with a University Champion award.

Co-founded by University of Waterloo alumni Mike Denomme and his late brother Brian, KW Legacy Leaders is a grassroots group of people who grew up in Waterloo Region and have an earnest desire to give back to their home community. Ten of the members are University of Waterloo alumni, including the School of Pharmacy’s own Professor Jeff Nagge.

Since 2016, the group has raised over $520,000 to support 55 student scholarships for incoming University students, the School of Pharmacy and St. Jerome’s University. The scholarships celebrate and encourage civic engagement, advocacy and volunteerism.

Alongside scholarships, students also gain access to KW Legacy’s network of mentors. Recipients at the School of Pharmacy have benefitted from the mentorship of Cathy and Will Schill, two KW Legacy members who are local pharmacists. Through formal events and informal check-ins, Legacy members take scholarship recipients under their wing to support professional development and connect them with others who can turn their ideas into reality.

“My first year of pharmacy school was not what I imagined, but the Legacy scholarship was a bright light among the stress and uncertainty. I felt an overwhelming amount of support and appreciation from the KW Legacy group,” says Randilynne Urslak, pharmacy student and 2020 award recipient.

In addition to championing students, KW Legacy demonstrates a broader commitment to the community. The group has hosted fundraising events that have raised over $90,000 to support Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council initiatives to spread awareness about suicide and provide education, particularly on the topic of men’s mental health. This is one of several additional initiatives the group is developing to support Waterloo Region.

We are so proud to be associated with the KW Legacy Leaders. Though they are a relatively young organization, they have made a tremendous impact in our community. They demonstrate how a group of individuals can have an idea, come together, and grow it into a sustainable system for building a brighter future.

Congratulations to the KW Legacy Leaders!