QueenPins was started in Spring 2016 by a group of women from Halifax with the mission to raise funds for a local cause while networking with other powerful women. The event came together at lightning speed. In around 30 days the event was planned, marketed and executed. The inaugural event in May 2016 hosted over 100 women business leaders and raised funds for the Canadian Women’s Rugby Team. Building on the momentum of that first event, we’ve held another three in support of Junior Achievement Nova Scotia, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and Eating Disorders Nova Scotia.
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The Queen Pin Award
Cherryl Oake: First Queen Pin Award Recipient
Cherryl Oake’s path to volunteer extraordinaire started with a simple desire to solve a problem for one family. When a girl she knew visited a new Syrian friend’s home and remarked that the family had almost nothing – only the barest kitchen necessities and very little furniture – Cherryl sprang into action. With her first callout for help on Facebook, she was able to furnish that home, but soon discovered three more families in need. Within ten days, they too had beds, couches, tables, chairs, and kitchen supplies. The rubber really hit the road when Cherryl learned of scores of government-sponsored Syrian refugee families in need in Spryfield. “I thought oh my god, we have to do something,” she says. “I put out another call and said this is serious.” After collecting donations of goods and money, Cherryl and a couple of other volunteers rented a truck and through Easter Weekend of last year delivered furniture to 19 families in two buildings.
To date, Cherryl has helped more than 50 Syrian families build comfortable Canadian homes. “I’ve made a lot of friends, and seen the pictures and heard the stories, but you can’t even imagine what they’ve been through,” she says. “When I first started working with them, I learned you have to have tea or meal. I’ve learned to say, ‘Thank you, I’m full’ in Arabic,” she smiles. “They’re just amazing people, so resilient, and I just have so much respect for them.”
On April 20th , QueenPins will proudly present Cherryl Oake with the first ever QueenPin Award. “You don’t do these things for awards, for sure,” says Cherryl. “And I didn’t do it by myself for sure. But it’s wonderful! It’s great to be acknowledged. The families are happy.”
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