Mary-Anne grew up in Orangeville, Ontario where she learned at a very young age through her parents, that it is always better to give than to receive. It was at that time she knew she wanted to live a philanthropic life of giving to family, friends and her community.
As an Occupational Health and Safety Consultant specializing in claims management, Mary-Anne sees the need to help others on a daily basis in her personal and professional life. Being a busy wife to her husband Brent and mother to her beautiful daughters has given her great pride and joy. The latest addition to the family is her grandson Benjamin who she adores with all her heart!
Mary-Anne’s contributions in the community in her almost 20 years of living in Barrie have been some of her most cherished. The most notable range from volunteering on the Lakeside Committee for three years from 2008-2010 raising in excess of $200,000.00 for Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, Organized a community fundraiser and give back program for a local family and raised almost $15,000.00, held a fundraising event for Hospice Simcoe in the fall of 2015 raising over $3000.00, assisted daughter Maddy (then 12) in her initiative for Key Chains for Cancer raising over $1700.00 for melanoma research.
There are other amazing projects that Mary-Anne and her family support in the community. She hosted the Barrie Toy Tea in 2011 in support of Children’s Aid to provide a Christmas to children they may otherwise not celebrate, sponsored local families through St. John Vianney Church during the holiday season, volunteered in the Prom Blitz project, a program for local young ladies in need of prom dresses, sorted food and filled hampers at the Barrie Food Bank and served Christmas dinners at the David Busy Centre.
As co-founder of A Ripple of Kindness, Mary-Anne is honored to help lead this initiative and is happy that women have embraced this program so enthusiastically. She looks forward to working with this community to create change for the greater good.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” Mother Teresa
Community minded with successful fundraising and organizational skills, Barbara helped to co-found A Ripple of Kindness in 2016 so that more like minded women could come together with greater impact.
Barbara’s drive to create caring communities was a result of her international upbringing. Her father’s corporate career with IBM took her family to a number of countries world-wide before settling in Newmarket. Barbara graduated from Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology with a diploma in Creative Advertising and Marketing in 1983. Making Barrie her home in 1992, she has loved growing with her husband Jeff, their business and their three children in such a wonderful community.
Working alongside her husband since 1988 in their group of companies, Barbara chose to focus on her community involvement beginning with volunteering at her children’s public school as Fundraising Chair and Council Member from 1997 – 2011. Her love for knitting has enabled her to donate monies from the scarves she has made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, RVH Foundation and Hospice Simcoe and Gilda’s Club in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
With strengths in event planning and organization , Barbara organized Prom Night for Cancer, a third party fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since 2008 raising over $ 150,000.00 and The Holiday Social for Gilda’s Club from 2011 – 2015 raising over $17,000.00 to “help keep the red door open”.
Other Community Outreach and Sponsorships that Barbara is involved with include the Barrie Food Bank, OSPCA Barrie, Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, Hospice Simcoe, Canadian Mental Health Association and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Barbara serves on the Board of Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka and is currently their Chair, The Start Talking Golf Tournament Committee, Hike for Hospice Committee and is working closely with the Kempenfelt Rotary Club on the Kempenfelt Derby which will benefit Gilda’s Club. Rotary International has recognized Barbara’s dedication to volunteerism by awarding her with the “Paul Harris Fellowship Award”. She recently was awarded the Ontario 150 by Anne Hogarth for her contribution in Simcoe County and just received the first “Heart and Soul” award of Barrie from the Barrie Chamber of Commerce.
“Ripple your Kindness” – Barbara White