Dr. Shakhlo Sharipova is the winner of the 2023 Agnes Macphail Award for her contributions to the East York community.
The award was presented on Sunday, March 19, during a ceremony held at the East York Civic Centre.
The Agnes Macphail Award is presented annually to an East York resident who shows exceptional volunteer leadership in the areas of community-building and social justice issues.
Dr. Sharipova was honoured for her involvement with a number of organizations in the Thorncliffe Park area.
She founded the Thorncliffe Park Autism Support Network (TPASN), which stemmed from her experience as a mother with a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. TPASN provides information and inclusive activities for children living with autism and their families.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Sharipova organized outdoor and inclusive camps for children living with autism with special needs and their siblings, providing respite opportunities for families.
She also supports the community by organizing a toy drive for low-income families and the Ramadan Free Hot Meal Project. With a team of volunteers, she has provided 4,240 meals since the program started, delivering meals door to door during the pandemic.
Dr. Sharipova also fundraises to provide food and supplies to families and seniors in need. She is also dedicated to creating opportunities for youth to engage in community development.
A skilled ophthalmologist specializing in the treatment of glaucoma, Dr. Sharipova came to Canada from Tajikistan in 2009. A mother of four and grandmother of two, she has lived in East York since 2010.
“Dr. Sharipova’s contributions to the East York community are nothing short of inspiring,” said Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher in City of Toronto news release.
“From toy drives for low-income families to hot lunches during Ramadan – her heart has always been in community service. Her dedication to the East York neighbourhood is incredible and I couldn’t be prouder to see her honoured in this way.”
Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford also offered his congratulations to Dr. Sharipova on her winning of the Agnes Macphail Award.
“Dr. Sharipova is a physician, mother and grandmother who has dedicated her time and energy to ensuring the families in her East York neighbourhood are supported. She is a selfless leader – creating inclusive communities to help others understand autism and other developmental disabilities. Her leadership and passion make her well-deserving of this award,” he said in the city news release.
This Agnes Macphail Award was established as a tribute to Canada’s first female Member of Parliament and the first female sworn-in as an Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament in the riding of York East. Macphail championed causes such as women’s rights, fairness for seniors, criminal justice reform and access to housing, health care and education.
Award recipients designate a charity to receive donations from the Agnes Macphail Fund, which the East York Foundation manages. The charity for this year is The Neighbourhood Organization.
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