Chili for Children is the 2018-19 recipient of the President’s Community Award

By Katherine Cormack Posted: January 24, 2019 2:40 p.m.

L-R: Greg Stevenson, CEO, Chili for Children, recipient of the 2018-19 President's Community Award being presented with "Mother and Son" by Lloyd Dubois by Pam Klein, Vice-Chair, University of Regina Board of Governors, and, Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor at an award reception on January 22.
L-R: Greg Stevenson, CEO, Chili for Children, recipient of the 2018-19 President's Community Award being presented with "Mother and Son" by Lloyd Dubois by Pam Klein, Vice-Chair, University of Regina Board of Governors, and, Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor at an award reception on January 22. Photos: University of Regina

On Tuesday night, Greg Stevenson, CEO of the Chili for Children program, was presented with the President’s Community Award by Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina and Pam Klein, Vice-Chair of the University’s Board of Governors.

“If I could open my chest, you would see that my heart is overflowing with gratitude tonight,” Stevenson shared with the friends, family, community leaders, and members of the University and wider community gathered to honour the not-for-profit hot lunch program.

Chili for Children was founded in 1979 by Theresa and Robert Stevenson, Greg’s parents. They were moved to act when they saw schoolchildren sitting in class with empty stomachs.

“I was one of those youth that benefited from this hot lunch program from grade 4 to 8 while attending Albert School and am grateful for people like Theresa Stevenson who had the vision to support youth in a way that she knew best,” says Thomas Benjoe CA'09, CHTGEM'09, DAdmin'09, BBA'11 (FNUniv), now President/CEO of File Hills Qu’Appelle Developments (and the recipient of the University’s 2017 Outstanding Young Alumni Award).

“It’s because of role models like this that I work to give back to the community in a way to change the lives of youth in our community and truly pay it forward!”

Today, from its kitchen in the mâmawêyatitân centre, the program now serves 800 hot lunches every day at various schools in Regina. The Chili for Children program contributes to a healthy school environment--setting the table for effective learning--thanks to the generosity of its donors and the dedication of its staff and volunteers.

“Chili for Children aligns with the University’s work of education and community development,” said Dr. Timmons. “Their focus on social impact has been making a difference for vulnerable children and families for more than 40 years.”

At lunch on January 21, members of the University Executive Team donned U of R aprons and worked

Vianne Timmons talking with child

Dr. Timmons chats with a
student from Albert
Community School while
volunteering for Chili for
Children on January 21.

alongside the program's tireless volunteers, handing out lunches to students at Albert Community School. The University is also donating a week’s worth of lunches to school children in recognition of the incredible contribution Chili for Children makes to the community.

While Theresa Stevenson was unable to attend the reception, her many achievements were celebrated by Dr. Timmons and include:

  • 1998 Citizen of the Year by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
  • 1999 National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the category of community development
  • Saskatchewan Order of Merit
  • Member of the Order of Canada
  • Regina’s Theresa Stevenson Park is named in her honour

The President’s Community Award was created in 2010 in keeping with the University of Regina’s commitment to serve the provincial community and to recognize those who have a strong history of working to better the lives of others in Saskatchewan. Previous recipients include:

2017/18           The Saskatchewan Roughriders
2016                Dr. Jacqui Shumiatcher (philanthropist)
2015                Mrs. Cindy Fuchs (Canadian Red Cross – Saskatchewan)
2014                Mrs. Renu Kapoor (Community volunteer)
2013                Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
2012                Mr. Pat Fiacco, CEO of Tourism Saskatchewan and Former Mayor of Regina
2011                Mr. Jim Scarrow, former Mayor of Prince Albert
2010                Inaugural President’s Community Award was presented when the RCMP “Depot” Division
                       was honoured for its 125 years of service to the province.