Last fall, Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services, presented The Schilly Award to one very special volunteer at the national Honouring our Lifeblood recognition event in Ottawa. To qualify for this award, an individual, group or organization must have contributed significantly to recruitment or awareness of the need for blood, stem cells or organs and tissues.

Amalia Pempengco has provided extraordinary contributions to the Canadian blood system through her volunteer efforts and role as a community leader. For more than nine years, she has become synonymous with the blood system in Winnipeg and within the Filipino community.

She has been a key member of the Prairies’ Regional Liaison Committee* since 2003 and the regional representative for the National Liaison Committee** since 2006. She is known for promoting diversity in the blood system and works tirelessly to build bridges within her community.

Her voice over the ethnic radio, her articles in the community newspaper and her smiles at mobile clinics have brought inspiration to many. Even while in the midst of her own cancer journey, she was unstoppable, speaking at several churches and coordinating Canadian Blood Services’ presence at a variety of ethnic events.

Whether it is through her work at the National Research Council, as writer for Pilipino Express News Magazine, or her roles in the Canadian Blood Services regional and national liaison committees, Amalia has made it her personal mission to educate people about the constant need for blood and stem cell donation. Her children have caught her relentless passion for recruiting and volunteering for Canadian Blood Services and this she considers her lasting legacy.

*Regional Liaison Committees (RLCs) are advisory committees that report to the Director, Donor and Clinic Services and the office of Public Involvement. There are seven RLCs across Canada that are made up of donors, recipients, volunteers, hospital partners, clinic organizers, patient groups and sponsors.

**The National Liaison Committee (NLC) is an advisory committee that reports to the Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors. NLC members identify issues, and offer ideas, opinions and concerns from across Canada.

More information about these committees can be found on our website at blood.ca under “Public Involvement.”