Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award

2015 Award: Don and Donna Winstone

The following is an excerpt from Helen Whetter’s presentation of the 2015 Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award.

This year’s recipients of the Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award are a couple who have volunteered extensively for the increased awareness and promotion of social justices issues through the establishment of the Global Justice Film Festival.

Don and Donna were the driving force of establishing the Global Justice Film Festival in Manitoba thirteen years ago. Don and Donna attended the Traveling World Community Film Festival in Courtney, BC in 2001. They were so moved by the festival that they thought there should be one in Winnipeg. When they returned from their holiday they set out to gather some folks together through their church at the time at St. Mary’s Road United Church and organized the first one.

They have since retired and moved to Dunnottar, Manitoba but continue to be very active on the Steering Committee. Don is the Treasurer for the GJFF Committee. Don and Donna scout out the films each year in BC, while visiting family and friends. The weekend of the festival Don and Donna are the first ones there. Donna has the pink signage for the venues at University of Winnipeg down to a science. Together they have put in countless volunteer hours to make the GJFF happen. MCIC participated with a display at the first GJFF, and since the second year has been on the steering committee, and for approximately the last eight years MCIC has been hosting the GJFF in our office. The GJFF is a collaborative effort and supported by MCIC and 12 other organizations, such as Match International, United Church, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Project Peacemakers, U of W Global College, Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy, Menno Simons College and Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at U of M.

I have had the opportunity to be involved in the Festival since the first year and continue to be involved on the steering committee. I can attest to the fact that both Donna and Don put in countless hours making the Global Justice Film Festival a reality.