Niagara Health's 2019 holiday greeting card gives everyone the chance to experience the true spirit of the season as seen through the eyes of a talented eight-year-old girl. This year's card cover is an inspirational drawing encouraging everyone to contribute to a caring, compassionate world.
Breanna Gabrielle Perez, the daughter of Registered Practical Nurse Eugene Perez, who is part of Niagara Health’s Staffing Resource Team, is the imaginative artist behind the grand prize-winning entry of the 13th annual Holiday Card Contest for Kids.
Nicknamed Gabbie, Breanna is a Grade 3 student at St. Mary Catholic School in Niagara Falls. She loves art, has a green belt in taekwondo jin and wants to be an architect when she gets older. Breanna's detailed drawing depicts a panda bear giving a present to a patient, as well as a rainbow leading to a heart-centred world.
Breanna was inspired by how much her dad cares for his patients as a nurse. The saying on the drawing, Keep the Spirit of Christmas Beating, means caring takes place throughout the year. “The electrocardiogram tracing depicts life, meaning as long as the heart is beating, we have a chance to be kind to one another," says her mother Irene.
Breanna’s artwork will reach a huge audience, as Niagara Health's 2019 Holiday Card is sent to community partners and children in the hospital during the holidays. There were many outstanding entries to this year's contest, and Niagara Health is proud to recognize winners in the following categories:
Hanna Gibson, 11, granddaughter of Susan Gibson, St. Catharines Site (as voted by Niagara Health staff, physicians, students and volunteers)
Maddox Bellin, 5, grandson of Patti Snider, St. Catharines Site
Sianna Knight, 7, daughter of Shannon Iker, St. Catharines Site
Ava Misener, 9, daughter of Olivia Misener, Greater Niagara General Site
Niagara Health Interim President Angela Zangari, 2019 President's Award of Excellence recipient Dr. Melanie Senechal, and patient partners Sandy McBay and Kat Hazelwood had the tough task of selecting the winners from more than 60 entries.
“It's always difficult selecting winners," says Zangari. “There were so many beautiful pieces of artwork that reflect the holiday spirit and the compassionate culture at Niagara Health."