It was a very ordinary day in 2004. Louise Russo walked into a shop to get a sandwich for her daughter and it was the last time she would ever walk again. The mother of three was the innocent victim of a violent crime, when a single bullet shattered her spine and left her paralyzed forever.
Ms. Russo was determined that this senseless act of violence would have a positive outcome and she created a grass roots not-for-profit organization, Louise Russo W.A.V.E. (Working Against Violence Everyday), that received its charitable status in 2009.
Ms. Russo works diligently at inspiring youth and members of the community to take action, make positive choices and initiate projects that will make their schools and communities a safer place to live, learn and play.
Her contributions were acknowledged in 2008 with the YMCA Peace Medallion Award and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto Secondary Unit Award of Recognition.
Additionally in 2008, Ms. Russo received the Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction for her courage, determination and commitment to encouraging youth to be respectful, responsible and to take leadership roles in keeping their schools and communities safe.
Ms. Russo was a Proud Olympic Flame Torch Bearer for the Vancouver 2012 Olympics, and was asked to represent the citizens of Ontario at the swearing in ceremony of Canada’s Lieutenant Governor, David Johnston, in Ottawa
In 2013, Ms. Russo was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.