GBF Newsletter Winter 2018

10 | WINTER 2018 | GBF.ORG DONOR PROFILE SYDNEY STEVENSON Georgian Bay Forever received an extraordinary letter in the mail. It was from a young womannamedSydneyStevenson, who,because of her love for the Bay and a life-altering journey to Africa, made a gift to protect the water of Georgian Bay, now and forever. This is her story... Many, many years ago, Sydney’s grandparents, having seen and fallen in love with Georgian Bay, purchased an island in Bayfield Inlet, just outside the little community of Pointe au Baril. This island would become the most cherished gathering place for every member of the Stevenson family — the place where their best memories and stories were and still are made, from numerous family picnics, to the children learning to fish, to swimming and hunting for frogs and minnows, to the annual attempt to make it to Killarney for fish and chips! On the island, family time and connections are top priority and family fun is mandatory. Having lived every summer of her life on the island from the time she was born and then working hard at the family’s marina business in Bayfield Inlet since the time she could do chores, Sydney feels a deep and sacred con- nection to the water — the water that we so often take for granted and are so very lucky to have! Then, last year, she had the opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime ad- venture that would profoundly change her life. Through the Me to We program, hosted through Pickering College, Sydney applied for and received one of the coveted mission posi- tions. She was awarded the chance to travel to Africa and work side-by-side with village mamas and their children, learning about a new culture and way of life in another part of the world. During her visit, she learned how precious clean water REALLY is. It is more precious than gold, and every drop is cherished. To the women of this little village, water is life. As she marched side by side with the women and girls of the village for many kilometres in the African heat just to get water, she realized how fortunate we, the people who live, work and play on the shores of Georgian Bay, are to have such an abundance of this most pre- cious resource, at our fingertips — an abun- dance that we need to protect and ensure stays clean and healthy! This is why Sydney chose to support the work of Georgian Bay Forever. She wanted to contribute to research that helps to monitor the water quality of the Bay and to ensure that our water and wetlands stay healthy. Sydney makes her philanthropic gifts possible by mak- ing jewellery from rock, quartz and granite chips that she and her family, including little cousins and grandparents, find on their many explorations by boat in and around the outer islands of Bayfield Inlet and up the I