Happy International Women’s Day from your friends at Fresh Collective!
This week we learned about 6 amazing women and empowered you to support, vote and show love for them by LIKING their Facebook photos.
After a week of unprecedented participation, sharing and support, three women won our Fresh Awards (which included a wardrobe makeover in-store consult and a piece of hand-crafted jewellery from TANK jewellery)!
We want to thank the awesome gals who nominated their friends/family, each one of our six nominees, and all those who took the time to support, vote and share. THANK YOU for participating – we love you all!
So without further ado… here are those lucky ladies, as chosen by YOU!
“Years ago I met one Jennifer Heerschaap. We were young, impressionable, enjoyed a great bottle of wine – many actually – probably did some questionable things and all the while cemented an unbreakable bond of friendship. She is on of my best friends and I was one of her bridesmaids AND WE’RE STILL BEST FRIENDS. Yup! Over time we have weathered our ups and downs, always supporting each other. Taking care of each other. Sadly as time goes by life happens. Worlds get more full; lives get crazier, responsibilities gets bigger. We now live far apart and as we grow older it gets harder to find time for a simple phone call let alone actually getting together. Yet in tough times she has always been there for me. This is a woman who has championed her friends, co-workers and family. She is a rock we all lean on for her inner strength and compassion. We all know life can throw you some serious lemons. Recently she quietly and gracefully weathered the death of her father who was tragically taken from her in the fall. She was a rock for her mother and sister, her daughters, her husband and all those around her. She deserves someone to take care of her. Give her something special. Give her one day that’s just for herself.” – GILLIAN Z
“I nominate my friend Michelle Mastrandrea for a FRESH AWARD. She deserves a medal–every day! Michelle works as an instructor therapist (IT) at a centre for children with autism. What does she “do” every day? Well, some days she gets bitten, punched or slapped (or all three). She often has part of someone’s lunch on her clothes or in her hair. She follows and designs lesson plans specific to each child–because every child is unique. She helps children to learn and communicate–children and their families. She makes children smile. In short, she enriches the lives of children with challenges much bigger than they are. She calls them her “kids”; she treats every one of them with respect and love. When one of her kids is successful, you can’t wipe the smile off of Michelle’s face or shake the excitement out of her. She really works for them. She is one special woman.
Michelle is also busy furthering her education, working towards a Masters of Education degree concurrent to her full-time job. She knows there is so much more she can do, so she’s working harder!
I’ve known Michelle for almost 17 years. I’m so, very proud of her. She has always made time and effort to be a good friend, a great daughter and sister. When I’ve needed a pep talk or just someone to sit beside me for support–or a friend to have a dance party with–I haven’t had to ask Michelle, because she’s been right there.
I think she needs to know how awesome she is. In the last year, due to eating healthier and taking up the incredibly fun activity of hula hooping, Michelle has actually lost quite a bit of weight. She did a closet purge a short time ago and barely has any clothing left that fits her! I can’t think of a better woman to win a Fresh award AND get some new clothes for her amazing self.” – TRELLAWNY G.
“I would like to nominate my mother-in-law and friend Pam Hyatt. I think she is an inspiring, gorgeous, and very dynamic candidate for your award. Pam is a prolific performer in Toronto’s jazz and cabaret scene and would benefit enormously from the opportunity to expand her wardrobe, which as an independent artist, from a family of artists, is not always a financially attainable feat .
Pam is a Toronto-based professional actress, singer, song-writer, comedienne. She has worked in Toronto and Vancouver as an independent artist for over 50 years, producing and performing her own one-woman cabaret acts in a plethora of local clubs and venues including most recently the Rivoli, the Annex Live, Green Door Cabaret and Hugh’s Room. She has appeared in numerous stage plays, television shows and films including the Nat King Cole Show and CBC’s variety show A La Carte. Pam was instrumental in starting Toronto’s performing arts lodge, a rent-geared-to income residence for performing artists.
At almost 77 she is a force to be reckoned with and is currently writing her own material for a new autobiographical cabaret act. She appears regularly at Girls Night Out, a weekly jazz jam night organized by Lisa Particelli and is a frequent guest artist at JAZZ FM fundraisers.
This last October 2012, At the age of 76, Pam released her debut CD, PAMALOT! to a sold-out crowd. She self-produced, fundraised, arranged and directed the entire project using social media to reach out to fans and supporters. She attracts a broad range of audiences to her work, ranging from children, teens, showbiz colleagues and seniors with her wit and contagious charm and honesty. As Jaymz Bee (on-air host at JAZZ FM Toronto) says of Pam “If we were in England we would call Pam Dame Hyatt.”
Pam is a loving Mum of two sons, Carson T. Foster and Zack ward and Mum-in-Law to me, Heather Jones Foster. She is a touchstone and enthusiastic supporter of everyone and everything creative, and has been known to show up at Metal concerts at the Bovine; make stews for the Occupy Protest and even run for mayor of Toronto. She is generous and giving to family, friends and strangers without expecting anything in return.” – HEATHER J.