This annual award administered by Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention, honours a Canadian high school student who best exemplifies the spirit, drive and optimism of Stacey Levitt, a Toronto teen killed by a motor vehicle driver.
May 1, 2018 – Kate Walsh describes herself as “a small, soft-spoken girl but, if a mountain needs moving, [she] will give it a try.”
Her moving testimonials, leadership activities, volunteer achievements and what one advisor calls her “kind-hearted spirit” put her to the top of nearly 300 applicants from eight provinces and one territory for the Stacey Levitt Memorial Award.
Walsh, 18, is the elected student council president at Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, N.S. Among many initiatives she has led was to set up comfort stations with food and healing dogs at the school following the death of a fellow student in a car crash. She has volunteered with many organizations in her community, including:
- We Day
- Canadian Student Leadership Conference
- Canadian Cancer Society
- Relay for Life (at 13 high schools)
- Feed Nova Scotia
- Stephen Lewis Foundation
- Royal Canadian Legion
Walsh travelled as a school representative to Vimy, France last year and is set to travel to the Dominican Republic this summer on a humanitarian leadership trip. For the past two summers, she has taught drama camps to six-to-10 year olds at a community drama club in Dartmouth, N.S.
Walsh says she is “so honoured” to receive the award. “Not only does it help me, but it helps Stacey’s family. If I go on with their help and do things Stacey was not able to do, I’m keeping Stacey’s legacy alive and I can bring awareness to the cause (of injury prevention) at Parachute.”
This annual high school student award encourages Canadian youth to embody Stacey’s qualities and ideals and Parachute’s overarching goal of a long life lived to the fullest, while maintaining an approach that is rooted in risk management and injury prevention.
The Levitt family awards $2,500 to help the winning student live their life to the fullest. The award may be put toward an educational endeavour, engagement in sports, or investment in a travel experience – all pursuits that would have resonated with Stacey. Kate Walsh says she will use the funds toward her tuition and expenses to attend Renaissance College at the University of New Brunswick.
“We feel that Kate, with her demonstrated leadership qualities, will be a fantastic ambassador for the principles of the Parachute organization and those that guided Stacey and made her the admired young woman that she was,” says Ned Levitt, Stacey’s father and a board director for Parachute.
Walsh’s application was supported by her Student Council Advisor, Megan McCormick, who says Walsh stands out from her peer student leaders “in a very positive way … she commands the respect of those around her and inspires her peers to follow her … She has an innate sense of right and wrong and the intuition to predict and solve problems before they occur.”
For more information or to arrange interviews with Kate Walsh, contact:
Kelley Teahen, Director, Communications and Marketing, Parachute
About Stacey Levitt
Stacey Levitt was born May 19, 1977 at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. She attended Allenby Public School, Glenview Senior Public School and Northern Secondary School. Stacey had a wide variety of interests and lived a busy and active life while growing up in North Toronto with her family – her parents Ned and Cheryl, her sisters Marni and Jacqueline, and many very special and close friends.
On Aug. 30, 1995, the driver of a motor vehicle struck and killed 18-year-old Stacey while she was jogging in her Toronto neighbourhood.
Parachute is Canada’s national charity dedicated to reducing the devastating impact of preventable injuries. Injury is the No. 1 killer of Canadians aged 1 to 44, where one child dies every nine hours. The financial toll is staggering, with injury costing the Canadian economy $27 billion a year. Through education and advocacy, Parachute is working to save lives and create a Canada free of serious injuries. For more information, visit us at parachute.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.