Article on InsideTorontoBy Lisa QueenClayton Thomas, a youth mentor in the Driftwood community of Jane Street and Finch Avenue, received an award from York West Councillor Anthony Perruzza."Clayton founded Recognize the Real (Respect Everyone And Life), a grassroots life skills and education organization (that) works with youth who don't normally participate in youth programs," said Perruzza, adding the organization helps young people find the power within themselves to make their dreams reality."The program is run by well-respected leaders in the community, leaders who have gained an education but still remain tightly connected to Jane-Finch. It is supported by positive youth mentors who have succeeded in the wider community."Councillor Anthony Perruzza, York WestVOLUNTEERS RECEIVE WELL-EARNED AWARDS¨The North York Historical Society was not the only recipient of honours at last week's meeting of community council.Some councillors also presented awards for outstanding volunteers in their ward Tuesday, May 25.York Centre Councillor Maria Augimeri presented an award to Marina Laccona, an active member of the Downsview community. She has helped more than 130 students through her My Community Homework Club at the Northwood Community Centre."Marina has created an after-school atmosphere that gives young students the opportunity to learn from high school students as well as from post-secondary mentors," Augimeri said."Marina has also partnered with War Child Canada and helped to raise $12,000."Don Valley West Councillor John Parker recognized Patricia Stevenson, who was instrumental in saving the historic Talbot apartments from the wrecker's ball.When a developer announced a bid to redevelop the site, Stevenson helped have the buildings designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and worked to convince the city to reject the proposal."In doing so, she stressed the sense of community that existed amongst the building residents, which she clearly attributed to the nature of the buildings themselves and the manner in which they promoted relationships amongst neighbouring residents," Parker said.Hillcrest Village Soccer Club leaders Randy and Gaile Armstrong were honoured by Willowdale Councillor David Shiner for their "many years of dedication, time and effort and tireless participation and their commitment to the youth in our community."Eglinton-Lawrence Councillor Karen Stintz presented an award to Lauralyn Johnston, a long-standing and active member of the board of directors of the Lytton Park Residents' Organization (LPRO) and a representative of LPRO at FoNTRA (Federation of North Toronto Residents' Associations)."In addition, (she has) been a driving force in the community's review of the Yonge-Eglinton urban planning process and the RioCan redevelopment project," Stintz said.Stintz also recognized Arlena Hebert, president of LPRO and a FoNTRA representative."(She has) been instrumental in creating a cleaner and safer environment through (her) role in organizing community cleanup days and getting the lighting improved along the Otter Creek path," she said."In addition, (her) hard work as a member of the Let's Make Waves for the LPRO and (her) involvement in forging an understanding of the heritage designation process is most appreciated."Willowdale Councillor John Filion recognized Jesse Hsu of the Tzu Chi Foundation."The Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers have been providing their continual support to our local community by providing volunteer assistance in their fields of charitable work, medicine, education and environmental protection with kindness, compassion, joy and caring," said Filion, who also noted volunteers clean Yonge Street in Willowdale every year and help local seniors.Clayton Thomas, a youth mentor in the Driftwood community of Jane Street and Finch Avenue, received an award from York West Councillor Anthony Perruzza."Clayton founded Recognize the Real (Respect Everyone And Life), a grassroots life skills and education organization (that) works with youth who don't normally participate in youth programs," said Perruzza, adding the organization helps young people find the power within themselves to make their dreams reality."The program is run by well-respected leaders in the community, leaders who have gained an education but still remain tightly connected to Jane-Finch. It is supported by positive youth mentors who have succeeded in the wider community."York Centre Councillor Michael Feldman recognized two senior volunteers from his ward.Evelyn Rabkin-Yuditsky has an impressive resume of volunteer efforts, including several duties at the Bernard Betel Centre and with the National Council of Jewish Women."Evelyn Rabkin-Yuditsky is unassuming and modest. She comes from a family of volunteers and says she is simply carrying on their legacy," Feldman said."Evelyn's contributions to the Jewish community are worthy of recognition. She has made the lives of so many Jewish seniors more pleasant. At age 90, she has an enviable energy level, an exemplary disposition and a continuing desire to make a difference. She is a perfect role model for aging graciously and with purpose in life."Meanwhile, Marion Greenberg was honoured for her many achievements as a volunteer, social and political activist, community leader and senior peer supporter.Ever since she was a young woman, her mandate has been to give back to the world that has been good to her."Frail and quite limited in her mobility, she is unassuming and subtle in her approach to volunteerism," Feldman said."She is clearly one of those members who would be described as the unsung hero. At 84 years young, Marion is a full-time volunteer to the nth degree."~Lisa QueenNot only is history often about wars but even preserving history can be a battle.Just ask Geoff Geduld, president of the North York Historical Society."Every building saved is a prelude to the next fight," the affable Geduld said."Every battle is new. It's as if we never had one before."But making sure history is preserved is a battle worth waging, he said.And the society's efforts have paid off.At the Tuesday, May 25 meeting of North York community council, Geduld was presented with a book on Toronto's historic homes and a certificate of distinction to recognize the society's 50th anniversary and its tireless work to preserve the city's rich tradition of architecture.The society was established in 1960 after some residents became increasingly concerned about North York's early history disappearing.The society was formed with the strong support from the C. W. Jefferys chapter of the Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire and then-Mayor James Service, according to a society pamphlet.Over the following decades, members of the society have worked to preserve North York's history.For example, in the early 1960s, the society lobbied for the preservation and restoration into a museum of Gibson House at 5172 Yonge at Park Home Avenue.The society is also credited for its work preserving the Miller Tavern, David Duncan House, Elihu Pease House and Dempsey Store.In addition, it has sponsored bronze sculptures of C. W. Jefferys, Canada's foremost historical artist, and social reformer Robert Gourlay and compiled an archive of the history of North York.In recognition of its ongoing efforts, the society was given the American Association of State and Local History Award of Merit in 1985.The society has also twice received Heritage Toronto's Community Heritage Award for the North York community council area.While time marches on and brings new development, Geduld said it's important residents and politicians make sure history is not erased."There are many pressures on the councillors and council and heritage has rarely been a top priority," he added.