TORONTO (January 18, 2007)LAWFUEL – Canada Law News – Blake, Cassel…

TORONTO (January 18, 2007)LAWFUEL – Canada Law News – Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes), one of Canada’s leading business law firms, today announced that three members of the Firm have been selected as recipients of the Firm’s first annual Volunteer of Distinction Award.

“The Volunteer of Distinction Award will be presented annually by Blakes to recognize outstanding community service or charitable work by any member of the Firm (other than Partners), as we believe volunteerism touches almost every aspect of life – from art and culture, environment and religion to sport and recreation,” said Jim Christie, the Firm’s Chairman. “2006 marked our 150th anniversary and we wanted to celebrate this milestone by starting a new tradition at Blakes.”

Each recipient of a Volunteer of Distinction Award will be recognized with a CAD 10,000 donation to the charitable organization supported by each of them. For this year only, in addition to the CAD 10,000, the honourees each receive for their charitable organization one-third of a CIBC “Spirit of Leadership” Community Award (CAD 5,000) awarded to Blakes in 2006. The Spirit Awards are presented annually by CIBC to organizations that are committed to giving back to the communities in which they do business, both from a corporate standpoint, as well as through the energy and passion of its employee volunteers.

The Volunteer of Distinction Awards 2006 were given to Claire Batcher, Claudette Gorham and Roy Millen.

Claire Batcher, Secretarial Assistant, Toronto

For more than 15 years, Claire has worked with Girl Guides of Canada, devoting numerous hours per month to the development of young women between the ages of five and 18 years. Claire successfully ran two units within the Girl Guides for more than three years when Guiders were in short supply. As an active member of the District and Division Councils, and as a Sparks’ leader and participant in numerous expeditions, Claire’s influence over these 15 years has helped build new leaders of tomorrow and strengthen the volunteerism base for the future.

Claudette Gorham, Secretarial Assistant, Montréal

Claudette is responsible for conceiving Home at Last/Un toit pour moi, a humanitarian project that reaches out to young singles or couples from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are aiming for higher education for themselves or their children. She has been a part of St. Gabriel’s Parish, in Point St. Charles, Quebec, for a number of years and an active volunteer in every conceivable way. As a member of Les Pères Trinitaires, she has spent time in Guatemala making it possible for people to access better living conditions.

Roy Millen, Associate Lawyer, Vancouver

Currently a Big Brother in Greater Vancouver, Roy participates in many events with, and is a great mentor for, his Little Brother. Roy has worked for many years at YMCA camps and with the YMCA’s Partners with Youth campaign, including successfully helping to ensure the camp’s continuance to serve children for years to come (when it was destined to close). He has focused on significant fundraising for children with special needs, as well as promoting respect for the rule of law and international standards on human rights around the world. During the past 15 years, Roy has served as chair on a number of specific committees and is a volunteer member of the board of directors of Better Environmentally Sound Transportation in Vancouver.

“The contributions of our award recipients and all of the nominees is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of many people throughout the Firm. It is something of which we can, and should, all be very proud!” said Julie Bean, Chief Administrative Officer at Blakes.

Criteria for the selection of the three recipients included: types of volunteer work currently being undertaken; a history of volunteerism (long-term vs. short-term); the amount of volunteer time committed; the impact the volunteer’s work has on the lives of others or the difference made in the community; and any accomplishments or results of volunteerism.

Founded in 1856, Blakes has more than 500 lawyers and offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and China. In October 2006, and for the fourth consecutive year, Blakes was the only law firm named one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” in Maclean’s newsmagazine. More information on Blakes is available by visiting the Firm’s Web site at

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