RNC presents awards to two com­mu­nity-minded Cor­ner Brook res­i­dents

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COR­NER BROOK — The Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary re­cently hon­oured two Cor­ner Brook res­i­dents by giv­ing them Chief of Po­lice Ci­ti­zen Awards for their con­tri­bu­tions to the com­mu­nity.

Mark Grif­fin, a for­mer mem­ber of the Cor­ner Brook Fire De­part­ment, and Ger­ard Lowe, guid­ance coun­sel­lor at Cor­ner Brook Re­gional High School, were the re­cip­i­ents.

Grif­fin was se­lected for help­ing forge a con­nec­tion be­tween first re­spon­der agen­cies and be­tween those agen­cies and youth.

For the last six years, he has been a part of the RNC’s an­nual Ju­nior Po­lice Academy held at Killdevil Camp each Au­gust. His pre­sen­ta­tion ex­plains fire­fight­ing to chil­dren at the camp, in­clud­ing let­ting them try out breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus and bunker suits, and is of­ten con­sid­ered one of the high­lights of the camp.

Grif­fin has also been one of the or­ga­niz­ers of the an­nual Rusty Cup char­ity hockey game that pits mem­bers of the fire de­part­ment against po­lice of­fi­cers.

He has also been in­volved with Cor­ner Brook youth with the Kids for Christ pro­gram held at the Sun­rise Min­istries on a weekly ba­sis.

Lowe, who has been Cor­ner Brook Re­gional High School’s guid­ance coun­sel­lor for the last decade, has gone above and be­yond those du­ties to help im­prove stu­dent life within the school and the com­mu­nity.

He was re­spon­si­ble for the de­vel­op­ment, im­ple­men­ta­tion and suc­cess of the Cor­ner Brook Re­gional High Pride Al­liance, which has suc­cess­fully united stu­dents and ed­u­ca­tors in sup­port­ing LGBT stu­dents at Cor­ner Brook Re­gional High and has en­sured that the school is a safe and in­clu­sive school for all stu­dents.

This was ac­com­plished by ed­u­cat­ing staff and stu­dents about the is­sues fac­ing sex­ual and gen­der di­verse stu­dents, es­tab­lish­ing gen­der neu­tral bath­rooms at the school and the de­vel­op­ment of Pride Week and Rainbow Days at the school.

Un­der Lowe’s di­rec­tion, the school’s Pride Al­liance de­vel­oped and hosted the first LGBT high school con­fer­ence, STAND­OUT, for stu­dents, ed­u­ca­tors and al­lies in 2015, an event which more than dou­bled in par­tic­i­pa­tion from 100 to 200 peo­ple when held again in 2016.

Lowe forged new part­ner­ships with al­lies for the con­fer­ences, in­clud­ing the RNC, which part­nered and participat­ed in STANDOUT2.

Lowe or­ga­nizes the Cor­ner Brook Re­gional High Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony, which now pays spe­cial trib­ute to Cpl. Brian Pinksen, a for­mer Cor­ner Brook Re­gional High stu­dent who died dur­ing ac­tive duty in Afghanista­n in 2010.

This year, Lowe es­tab­lished the Art of Con­ver­sa­tion, Con­fi­dence and Kind­ness Club at the school. This stu­dent club is aimed at building self-es­teem, fighting sex­ism, per­form­ing acts of kind­ness and wel­com­ing new stu­dents to the school.

He has also been in­volved in coach­ing high school hockey, mi­nor hockey, bas­ket­ball and soft­ball and, as an or­ga­nizer of the school’s break­fast pro­gram, was re­spon­si­ble for chang­ing the pro­gram to a com­bi­na­tion of a sit-down break­fast and a grab-and-go sys­tem that helps en­sures the pro­gram reaches as many stu­dents as pos­si­ble.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Lowe also sits on the shelter com­mit­tee for the NL West SPCA

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