The 2009 Representative for Children and Youth Awards of Excellence recognized recipients for their commitment to and focus on improving the lives of vulnerable children. Four British Columbia organizations and two individuals have been recognized for their dedication to making a difference in the lives of B.C.’s vulnerable children and youth.

Award recipients for 2009 are:

Advocacy Award of Excellence:
Winners of the Representative's Award of Excellence for Advocacy, Sophia Barton-Bucknor, Lacey Morin-Desjarlais Chris Tait and David Egan, president of the board of the Adoptive Families Association of B.C., with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.

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Cultural Heritage and Diversity Award of Excellence:
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond with representatives of antidote, winner of the Cultural Heritage and Diversity Award of Excellence, Jin-Sun Yoon, Rosalyn Cua, Asia Rattigan, Eliza Robinon, Desiree Caecinha, Majeet Birk and Patrick Kelly of the Law Society, sponsor of the award.

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Innovative Services Award of Excellence:
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond with Innovative Services Award of Excellence recipients Sue Bishop, Deb Cameron and Ariel Patterson of MoYO and Surrey councillor Barbara Steele who presented the award.

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Service Provider Award of Excellence:
Teresa Olsen, Brooke Calvert, Sarah Stewart and Pam Costello of Aunt Leah's Lifeskills Society receive the Service Provider Award of Excellence from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond and Joy Spencer-Barry, CEO of the Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children which sponsored the award.

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Youth Leadership Award of Excellence:
Chris Tait, winner of the Youth Leadership Award of Excellence with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, and Mark Gifford of the Vancouver Foundation which sponsored the award.

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Life-time Achievement Award of Excellence:
Lifetime Achievement Award winner,Alan Markwart with Mary Ellen and Jack McGee, president of the Justice Institute of B.C which sponsored the award.

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"The work and initiatives of the people we recognize with these awards is truly inspiring. These are outstanding individuals and organizations who believe in possibility. They develop programs and pull together resources to help shape better futures and better lives for young people. They are innovative, they are spirited and it is a great honour to recognize and celebrate their achievements."

~ Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond
B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth