MoveUP’s Ardell Brophy Honoured at United Way Awards
Community activist, labour advocate, women’s rights champion, stand-up comedian, and long time MoveUP union representative Ardell Brophy was awarded the United Way’s New Westminster and District Labour Council Community Service Award last night. The annual award was presented at the gala Labour Appreciation Night held by the United Way of the Lower Mainland.
Brophy received the award from NWDLC President and MoveUP Secretary-Treasurer Lori Mayhew and was also honoured by Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers, who was the night’s keynote speaker.
Ardell’s record and resume is nothing short of outstanding and inspirational. The founder of Laff Riot Girls, which was established to provide opportunities to women comedians, Ardell has also been an active volunteer and fundraiser for the United Way, the NDP, and is a vice president of Local 2009 of the United Steelworkers.
Ardell also recently won a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her community service and long record of achievements.
Ardell is a role model that has always led by example, donating her time as a comic to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for dozens of organizations, including Charlford House, St. James Women and Children’s Shelter, various Greater Vancouver Foodbanks, The Cinderella Project, Breast Cancer, Big Sisters, and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Virtually every female comic in BC has been influenced and encouraged by Ardell.
In the past two years Ardell was diagnosed with a pulmonary fibrosis which has meant that she is on full-time oxygen and has been unable to continue her work as a Union Representative. Ardell has still managed to raise thousands of dollars for charity, and support young up and coming comics with encouragement, and managed to perform with her oxygen tank!
MoveUP also recently created the Ardell Brophy Award in her honour. The award is to be presented to MoveUP members who have demonstrated exemplary service to their union and their community. The inaugural award will be presented in 2011. Please see the nomination form and terms of reference in the next issue of Local Voice if you know someone who you would like to nominate.
Ardell is an inspiration to many at MoveUP, to her sisters and brothers throughout the labour movement and in her community. We salute her, congratulate her, and thank her. We all also look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with her in the future.