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Meet Mary Cherniak

Tell us a little about your family and professional back-ground.


From birth at St. Joe’s Hospital, I have enjoyed London for many years. As a permanent resident since 1989 after returning to Ontario from residing in Calgary, I am privileged to have gained a healthy knowledge of the City, local organizations, businesses and social/cultural attributes. London has proven to be a wonderful environment for my husband and I to raise our three children, who are fourth generation graduates of Ryerson Elementary and Central Secondary Schools and, most recently University of Western Ontario Law School. Altruism has been instilled in the upbringing of our children, who participate in various forms of volunteerism through such organizations as their schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Special Olympics, Amabile Choir and more.  I enjoy the ability to continue with my education at our fabulous University of Western Ontario.

Fortunate in health and family, I have been active as a community volunteer as a matter of course. In Calgary during the 80’s, I volunteered in the neo-natal unit of Rockyview Hospital. Volunteer work at my children’s schools has been a big part of my life. Aside from participating in numerous fundraising committees and school activities, I was a long term member of the Ryerson School Council, as well as a volunteer basketball coach for junior girls in-house Ramblers league.   Together with volunteer work with Western Area Youth Services, Boys and Girls Club, Participation House,  I became involved with Big Sisters in the early 90’s with the annual Gala Committe, the major fundraiser for the organization, which I went on to Chair as a Board Member.  I am currently a Director of London's Chelsea Green Home Society, a successful social housing organization.  

Giving back to the community is an integral part of my life, and the challenging needs of the community are daunting. However, the empowerment and benefits derived from volunteering in this non-profit sector are enormous. The sense of pride and identity resulting from community volunteering through challenging times is a personal reward.


Helping others truly does kindle happiness, as well as the benefits of voluntarily applying personal and professional skills to a worthy cause: teamwork, ingenuity, communications, problem-solving, project planning, task management and organization.