Ginny Dennehy, who transformed the tragic loss of her 17-year-old son Kelty to suicide in 2001 into The Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation, has been nominated for the YWCA's Metro Vancouver Women of Distinction Awards.
The foundation, which Dennehy co-founded with her husband Kerry, has raised over $4.1 million since its founding in 2001 to support programs for young people with depression and their families.
The charity raises and bestows monies on projects and institutions that fulfill this mandate, including the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre at the BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver.
"We want young people to know that it's ok to come and ask for help. It's not a character flaw," she said. "There is so much pressure on kids these days in so many different areas. I feel we've got the help them along."
The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honours women whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the wellbeing and future of the community.
Dennehy is one of 79 nominees in 11 categories; her nomination comes in the Community Building category.
"I was quite honoured and quite surprised. When you look at all those different people who were nominated, I was 'Wow!' They're amazing people who have done amazing things," Dennehy said.
Her husband nominated her, telling her she deserved the recognition.
"I said to him after I found out, 'you can't do that!' I never knew he was going to do this at all and it was funny, when I went to do the photo shoot for the award, all the women said 'I can't believe your husband! He should get the husband of the year award!" she said.
It is also the YWCA Metro Vancouver's premier fundraising event, the organization said in a release. Winners will be announced on May 24, 2012 at an awards dinner at the Westin Bayshore. Tickets are available from YWCA Metro Vancouver.
For more on this story, read Pique on Thursday and go to www.piquenewsmagazine.com