Shirley Levene has been living in Waterloo with her husband, Ron, since 1987. Originally from Montreal (and Ron from Kitchener) they raised three sons, Casey, Leejay, and Elli.
When tragedy struck their family in 2007, losing Leejay to a dental accident which occurred during routine wisdom teeth extraction in Waterloo, Shirley took to fundraising for many charities using Leejay’s artwork.
Shirley has always enjoyed supporting fundraisers and helping charities, but never dreamed she would be doing so in memory of her son.
Each year she partners with a different local charity, and together they print 3,000 calendars. Each month contains a different sponsor, as well as a personal quote, written by local and not- so- local recognizable names.
Shirley is very committed to her calendar project, and works at it every day of the year. The 2017 calendar, selling in many stores around K-W, is the 10th anniversary calendar, and supports Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Shirley’s past calendar charities have been: Grand River Hospital Foundation (in 2008 and in 2013), The Humane Society of KW, Habitat for Humanity, The KW Art Gallery (KWAG), The KW Symphony, THEMUSEUM, Meals on Wheels, The Kitchener Public Library, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The calendar presently in progress will be in support of Child Witness. There is a list until 2025 of charities waiting to partner with Leejay’s calendars.
Shirley, also a Rotarian with the Waterloo Chapter and a member of 100 Women Who Care Club, is committed and determined to helping her community, and considers this to be her way of life.
“GivingTuesday Waterloo Region is the ultimate way to give back to our community”, says Shirley Levene, “and I am honoured and overjoyed to have been asked to be one of the GivingTuesday Community Ambassadors.”
Shirley holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History, and a Bachelor of Arts in English, both from Concordia University in Montreal.