Hunger Action Month - September 2020

September is recognized as the month set apart each year for the direction of our thoughts and actions to the health and well-being of our fellow Canadians/Durham residents who face hunger.

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Syringomyelia & Chiari Malformation Month - September 2020

Join the talk on Syringomyelia & Chiari Malformation, as we proclaim September 2020 Syringomyelia & Chiari Malformation Month to increase awareness. The Carion Fenn Foundation provides support for those living with Syringomyelia & Chiari Malformation in Canada with an international reach.

Syringomyelia is a disorder in which a cyst, referred to as a Syrinx, or cavity, forms inside of the spinal cord. Over time, the Syrinx can grow, damaging the nerves that run through the spinal cord and destroying the cord all together. Out of 100K people, 15% + are afflicted with SM - many not diagnosed because their doctors do not recognize the symptoms or fail to rule it out and misdiagnose patients with other conditions. Out of the 15% with SM, 6% have both SM and CM.

Chiari Malformations are structural defects in the cerebellum, the portion of the brain that controls balance. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum and brain stem often affects functions controlled by these areas and restricts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to and from the brain. Out of 100K people, 5% are afflicted by Chiari.

During the month of September, they will raise awareness and encourage everyone to learn more about these conditions and to understand the barriers faced by affected individuals.

The Carion Fenn Foundation is a registered charity established to provide support, education and resources to the public and individuals impacted by Mental Health, Syringomyelia, Chiari Malformation, Chronic Diseases and Rare Diseases through a variety of health and wellness programs that are free to the public. Their programs include Mental Health Chat, Mental Health Symposium, Covid-19 Virtual Seniors Program, Mental Health Forum, Mental Health Resilience Workshop, Rare Disease Expo, Accessibility Conference, Health 180 with Carion Fenn on Rogers TV Durham and more.

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Firefighters’ National Memorial Day - September 13, 2020

The second Sunday in September of each year is now designated in memory of firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. On that day, the Canadian flag will be half-masted on all federal buildings and establishments.

The Government of Canada recognizes the dangers firefighters often face when carrying out their duties, and the ultimate sacrifice of firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Firefighters’ National Memorial Day will commemorate their courage, their selflessness, and their unwavering commitment to serving our communities.

The Government of Canada has declared the second Sunday in September to be Firefighters’ National Memorial Day.

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World Alzheimer’s Day - September 21, 2020

World Alzheimer’s Day takes place annually on September 21st and is a day on which organizations dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can raise awareness about this cause. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, which is a group of disorders that impair brain functioning. Every three seconds, someone develops dementia somewhere in the world, and due to our aging population, the number of people living with dementia in Canada will only continue to rise.

This year, for World Alzheimer’s Day, Alzheimer Societies across Ontario will be asking people to wear blue and encouraging organizations to light up landmarks to show they are in support of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and to raise awareness about the stigma associated with dementia. Research shows that 87 per cent of caregivers wish that more people understood the realities of caring for someone living with dementia. Of those, two-thirds find the experience of caring for someone with dementia to be isolating.

Stigma associated with dementia is high. One in four Canadians would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had dementia. While age is a primary risk factor, dementia is not a natural part of aging. Dementia can occur in individuals in their 50s, 40s and even 30s, and can be present in the brain for up to 25 years before symptoms occur.

As the number of people living with dementia continues to increase, it is important that people living with dementia are made to feel accepted and welcomed throughout the Region of Durham, and that Pickering is an inclusive space for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, their care partners and families.

Founded in 1979, the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region is a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias and their care partners. For more information, visit:

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Franco-Ontarian Day - September 25, 2020

September 25 is Franco-Ontarian Day in the Province of Ontario.

The Franco-Ontarian Day Act adopted unanimously by the legislative Assembly proclaims September 25 of each year as Franco-Ontarian Day. This day will, every year, officially recognize the contribution of Ontarian Francophone community to the cultural, historical, social, economic and political life of the province.

La Loi sur le Jour des Franco-Ontariens adoptée à l’unanimité par l’Assemblée législative proclame le 25 septembre de chaque année. Cette journée reconnaîtra officiellement chaque année la contribution de la communauté francophone ontarienne à la vie culturelle, historique, sociale, économique et politique de la province.

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Orange Shirt Day - September 30, 2020

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. 

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.

Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

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Caribbean Heritage Month - October 2020

Ontario is home to a large and vibrant Caribbean-Canadian community; a rich and diverse group representing 42 Caribbean nations, regions and territories.

Since the first Caribbean immigrants arrived in Canada in the late 1700’s, Caribbean-Canadians from across Ontario have made significant contributions across all fields; including science, education, medicine, broadcasting, law, politics, business, sports and culture.

Caribbean-Canadians have helped build the City of Pickering, Ontario and the country, into the multicultural success story that it is and have helped to build this province into the best place to live, work and raise families. They continue to help foster growth, prosperity and innovation throughout Ontario and Canada.

October is a significant month for the Caribbean-Canadian community. With the points system incorporated into the Immigration Regulations in October 1967, it meant that visitors, including Caribbeans, and their families were given the right to apply for immigrant status while in Canada. By 1970, immigration from, in part, the Caribbean represented over 23% of the total; compared to 10% four years previously.

Caribbean Heritage Month is an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Caribbean-Canadians and the important role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario. For more information visit

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Dyslexia Awareness Month - October 2020

Imagine trying to manage everyday life with a disability that makes it difficult to write, spell, and read. This is the reality for 10 –15% of Canadians who live with dyslexia. It means that 2 to 4 students in every classroom in Pickering are impacted.

Dyslexia is a hereditary, lifelong condition, but with proper support and identification, children with dyslexia can learn to read and thrive along with their peers.

In recognition of International Dyslexia Awareness month, Dyslexia Canada is lighting up monuments, buildings and landmarks red for one day in October. For more information, please visit:

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Islamic History Month Canada - October 2020

Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC) in October aims to celebrate, inform, educate, and share with fellow Canadians the rich Muslim heritage and contributions to society. Contributions in sciences, humanities, medicine, astronomy, and other disciplines that have greatly benefited human progress. IHMC believes that through education and sharing positive stories, all Canadians can grow and connect in the best way possible. Visit for more information.

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Wrongful Conviction Day - October 2, 2020

Wrongful Conviction Day is designated as an annual international day to recognize the tremendous personal, social and legal costs associated with wrongful criminal convictions. This day recognizes those persons who have been forced to endure the tremendous consequences brought by a wrongful criminal conviction. The purpose of this day is to inform and educate the broader international community on the causes, consequences and complications associated with wrongful criminal convictions.

It is important to raise awareness in order to work toward the prevention of further wrongful convictions. Proclaiming October 2 as Wrongful Conviction Day can direct the public’s attention to this issue and generate support and understanding.

Wrongful Conviction Day was spearheaded by the Wrongful Conviction Day Committee and now many organizations are leading events in its honor. The committee is committed to raising awareness of and advocacy against wrongful convictions globally.

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Firefighters’ Memorial Day - October 4, 2020

Firefighting is known as one of the most dangerous professions. Firefighters working on behalf of the people of this Province are called upon to take extraordinary risks every day in order to protect the public from the dangers posed by fires and other life-threatening situations. Many firefighters have given their lives in the performance of their duties.

Given the enormous commitment which the firefighters in this Province have demonstrated repeatedly to the people of Ontario, it is appropriate to proclaim a memorial day to commemorate those firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. This day will provide an opportunity for all Ontarians to honour and recognize the important contribution these people made to preserving our safety and well-being.

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National Fire Prevention Week - October 4 to 10, 2020

National Fire Prevention Week is observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9th falls, in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire that began on October 8, 1871, and did most of its damage on October 9th.

National Fire Prevention week 2020 takes place October 4 to 10, and Fire Prevention Day is always on October 9th. Every year in October, Fire Prevention Week is celebrated to bring awareness to the importance of fire safety. A particular theme is chosen by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) each year.

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International Trigeminal Neuralgia Day - October 7, 2020

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a very painful disorder of the portion of the fifth cranial nerve (trigeminal nerve) that supplies sensation to the face. It is characterized by recurrent electric shock-like (paroxysmal) pains in one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve (maxillary, mandibular, and/or ophthalmic branches), each supplying a different portion of the face. Severe facial pain can last from one second to 15 minutes or longer; some individuals may have up to 100 lightning-like bursts of pain in a day. Although remissions are common, TN is usually a long-term condition. It can be triggered by such stimuli as heat or cold, wind hitting the face, chewing, yawning, or talking. Because the sudden, sharp pain causes the individual to wince, the condition is known as Tic Douloureux or painful twitch. Perhaps you know someone who has it and they have not been diagnosed. Ten percent of MS patients will be diagnosed with TN.

The Canadian Trigeminal Neuralgia Association (CATNA) supports Trigeminal Neuralgia and Me (TNnME) in the lighting up of buildings and bridges all over the world, to help bring awareness for those who suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia. For more information, please visit the TNnME website.

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Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week – October 18 - 24, 2020

Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week offers an opportunity to recognize the value of spiritual and religious care and to honour those who provide the care. Spiritual and religious care is about listening, clarifying and offering spiritual direction to those in need. When one is scared, lonely, confused, angry or disillusioned, spiritual and religious care providers offer counsel and support.

Across Canada, thousands of dedicated spiritual and religious care providers of all faiths work in specialized settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, mental health centres, and facilities for people with developmental disabilities.

During Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week, facilities recognize the contributions of staff, families and faith community volunteers in providing the best care possible for clients, inmates, residents, patients, etc. in private, public and government organizations.

Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week is sponsored by the Canadian Multifaith Federation. Canadian Multifaith Federation is one of North America’s largest organizations dedicated to advocacy of spiritual care and the protection of religious rights. The activities of the Canadian Multifaith Federation promote an environment of acceptance and respect amongst the diverse communities of Canada. Each year, the Canadian Multifaith Federation provides Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week packages to facilities to help promote this very special work.  For additional information, please visit

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Waste Reduction Week - October 19 to 25, 2020

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a national year-round program that focuses on the circular economy, resource efficiency, and waste reduction. The purpose is to promote individual and collective environmental efforts and achievements while encouraging new innovative ideas and solutions.

Held annually in October since 2001, Waste Reduction Week in Canada, through a coalition of environmental non-profit and government organizations from across Canada, also shines the spotlight on conscious consumption and responsible recycling.

For more information, please visit

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Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day - October 22, 2020

October 22 has been designated as Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day in recognition of the education, dedication and commitment of child care workers to children, their families and quality of life of the community. Many children, families and communities benefit from the work of child care workers and ECEs. Child care and early learning also contribute to the economic life of communities. Research shows the many economic benefits accrued from affordable, accessible, high quality early learning and child care. These benefits come from the number of people employed in the child care industry and because the availability of child care allows parents to work and retrain and to contribute to the economic life of society.

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World Polio Day - October 24, 2020

A time for Rotarians and communities across the globe to raise awareness about our work to eradicate polio for good. If we stay committed to making progress, polio will be the second human disease ever to be eradicated.

In our fight to end polio, we have used our collective strength to defeat this devastating disease in almost every part of the world. This year, the World Health Organization’s African region was certified free of wild poliovirus – showing that eradication is possible even in very difficult circumstances. Wild poliovirus still paralyzes children in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and as long as polio exists anywhere, it remains a threat everywhere.

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