Carolyn Letournea
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Thirty years ago, kindhearted volunteers set out on a mission to help care for The Blue Mountains communities' vulnerable residents. Beaver Valley Outreach was born and has since grown to include more than 20 programs for kids, youth, adults, families and seniors. It's a beloved icon of the generosity of The Blue Mountains, daily fulfilling its mandate: “Making good things happen in our community.”
The movement began with volunteers, but has grown to employ some full-time staff, including Executive Director Carolyn Letourneau.
She was born in Georgetown, and discovered Beautiful Beaver Valley in 1998. Like so many others, she fell in love, and bought a small cottage in the area.
She married and moved to Beaver Valley full time, where she and her husband Gil had two children, Zoë and Quinton. For her 40th birthday, Carolyn received a motorcycle. She's now working on getting her license and will soon be ready to ride the scenic routes so characteristic of the Valley.

GLGB:  What did you go to school for and what made you go for a job in social services/charity?
I studied business for a year, then went into social services. I worked in the field for 12 years before I found BVO. The rest is history!  In August I will have been at BVO for nine years.

GLGB:  What's the best part of your job?
The People! BVO is my second family - the people here are amazing individuals and very inspirational.
GLGB:  What's your favourite
thing to do with your family?
Attending music festivals - we have a couple of favourite ones we go to every year, which usually involves friends, camping, hiking, biking and great food!

GLGB:  What's your family's favourite meal?
That is a tough one!  We have a number of favourites. Homemade pulled pork and coleslaw at this time of year and anything barbecued, but Mexican pile on, homemade shepherd's pie and lasagna are up there for comfort foods.

GLGB:  What sports are you and your family going to keep a close eye on during the 2012 London Olympics?
We do not have cable or satellite, so unless it is on CBC we won't be watching much.  Rowing, swimming, tennis and diving will be up there.  But, I do like to see the gymnastics, as that is something I competed in when I was young.

GLGB:  The Blue Mountains is known as an affluent community, what's it like to see the poverty amongst the wealth?
Every community has poverty. I think it is something people tend to lose sight of when they are immersed in a community that presents itself as affluent.  It is bittersweet for me, I deal with people every day struggling to make ends meet, but it makes me proud to be part of such an amazing organization that has resources to help support this population and we are able to do this because of our generous community.

GLGB:  What's your vision for BVO's role in The Blue Mountains?
I can't resist this one, to continue fulfilling our motto of “making good things happen in our community!” Also to continue to serve all walks of life, meeting a variety of community needs with a high level of service.

GLGB:  What is most needed in The Blue Mountains?
More year round employment (at higher than minimum wage), more affordable housing and transportation.  They all go hand in hand!


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