YMCA Peace Week (November 19 to 26) celebrates the presence of peace in our local and global communities. Throughout the Week, YMCAs across the country promote ways we can build peace, and highlight the peace-building work that happens all year round, both inside and outside the YMCA.
The YMCA of Niagara is pleased to recognize Mendelt Hoekstra with the 2016 YMCA Peace Medallion.
Mendelt is the Executive & Artistic Director of Momentum Choir. As a music therapist, he gets people involved in music who otherwise may not have access to a traditional choir experience.
As an advocate for members of the community with intellectual disabilities, he gives everyone the opportunity to showcase their talents.
"The whole concept of Momentum is not only to produce musicians but to nurture people to be more confident and feel like they have a deeper sense of belonging in this community," says Mendelt. "It is an honour to receive the Peace Medallion from the YMCA of Niagara. Momentum Choir and the YMCA share very similar values. We both want to build healthy communities and work hard at engaging everyone in that process. Momentum Choir has been trying to do that for ten years, blazing a trail for musicians who live with a disability to give back to the community, to share our music, and make our community a more peaceful place to be."
Mendelt will be presented with the YMCA Peace Medal on December 11 at a Momentum event. Congratulations, Mendelt!
Peace Medallion Awards
The YMCA Peace Medallion, introduced in 1987, offers a reminder that it is possible to build a more peaceful world, community by community, and that everyone can be engaged in these efforts. By highlighting peace concerns and celebrating others who share these values and are engaged in similar work, we remind the wider community that these concerns are a core part of the YMCA’s work.
As part of Peace Week, the YMCA awards Peace Medallions to remarkable individuals or groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, have demonstrated a commitment to building peace within their community or in communities elsewhere in the world. Peace Medallion recipients can be parents, students, community groups, people who have given freely of their time and talent to make local and global communities more peaceful places to live.