Honour Women on International Women’s Day

Honourees checking out the fundraising baskets - Rose Burton Spohn, Elspeth Belair, Domenica Braido, Melinda Freer and Lea Jylha.  Photo credit BPW Sault Ste. Marie

On Thursday March 7th the 2019 honourees were guests at a Women’s Week Dinner.

Guest speaker was Dr. Patricia Zehr, ‘Campaign for Women’s Health’.

The 2019 honourees were:

Monday : Rose Burton Spohn – Currently in her second year as Director HSCSB guiding and mentoring approximately 600 employees that includes principals, vice principals, teachers and support staff. Passionate to have her female students follow their dreams and develop their courage to enter male-dominated fields.  She works with the teaching staff and students to promote STEM and participation in Science Fairs. Former Education Officer for Ministry of Education.


Tuesday : Lea Jylha – Currently a teacher with HSCSB and owner /instructor of Sault Hot Yoga.  Her ‘Karma Classes’ raise funds for the Soup Kitchen, Sexual Assault Care Centre and a local farm for fresh produce for those in need as well as Christmas Socks and individual medical travel expenses.  She accepts the challenge of new clients and does the research and training to assist where she can.


Wednesday : Melinda Freer – Currently a Public Health Nurse and horse farmer.  Her passion is kids organizing the Healthy Living Club creating the Thessalon Community Garden at the Thessalon Public School.  A grant from Trillium Foundation for the Intergenerational Project with Algoma Manor Home for the Aged to provide community gardens to Senior Independent Living Home.  She continues organize meetings and events with The North Channel Poverty Network.  She works with the community to provide more stable resources and sources of food, transportation, essential services or housing.


Thursday : Elspeth Belair – Currently Chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Board, member of Cultural Advisor Board, The Arts Council, Deputy Returning Officer    Former Sault Area Hospital volunteer, Manager of Sault Ste. Marie Theatre Box Office, BPW Sault Ste. Marie member. It has been said that her mission is to encourage women to participate and not be afraid to have their voices heard while she commits to improve our community and being an example that women are capable of making a positive impact.


Friday : Domenica Braido – Currently co-owner of George Wellington Esquire Club working through the business to raise funds for Pauline’s Place, Women in Crisis, Habitat for Humanity, Soup Kitchen, Twinkie Foundation, ARCH, Sault Area Hospital, Special Olympics, Algoma Autism Society, Group Health Foundation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and many other youth sports/athletic/dance teams.  Former counsellor with the HSCSB with a degree in psychology and diploma in child and youth worker.


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