“I’m getting the SAME award as all of THESE people here?”. Those were Zach’s words when we walked in to the Royal Canadian Legion in Barrie, took our seats and took a look at the program for the evening’s ceremony. We had already had an awesome start to the evening celebrating by having dinner with our family!

A few weeks ago, we received an invitation from our MP Alex Nuttall to attend the John Graves Simcoe Medal of Excellence award ceremony. Someone had nominated Zach! Of course we said YES! But we still didn’t know who had nominated him, or who else might be receiving one. MP Alex Nuttall, in honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday, opened nominations for this award back in April. His intention was to commemorate people in our community who make it a better place.

A little background. John Graves Simcoe was a British Army General, and served as the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791 until 1796. He was instrumental in introducing institutions such as courts of law, trial by jury, english common law, and the eventual abolition of slavery. His legacy preceded him as he named both Simcoe County and Lake Simcoe (taken from the ceremony program).

So Zach sat there, watching different incredible people being called up to accept their awards. The hosts of the evening, Matt and Tara from 93.1 Fresh Radio, gave a description of each and every person’s achievements and contributions. Zach was quite nervous to go up but as his name was called, there he went, and I had a tear in my eye. My hands were so shaky I could hardly take the picture. My little man was standing up there with people like Mayor Jeff Lehman, MPP Patrick Brown, Natalie Harris and Zach’s favourite – a Korean War veteran. There were 46 incredible people who received a medal at the ceremony.

I’m sooo proud of Zach at this moment. I’m grateful that his message is getting out there, that the importance of talking about our mental health is being shown. He’s been quite nervous about being in front of crowds, but he stood tall and proud among all of these heroes. Barrie is an amazing place. Thank you MP Alex Nuttall for this honour. Congratulations to every single recipient of this award – you’re all such great role models! Thank you Barrie for standing with Zach.



We just received these two images from MP Alex Nuttall and his team! Way to go Zachman and congratulations to everyone!