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Anti-bullying advocate, businessman named recipients of Red Cross humanitarian awards for Newfoundland and Labrador

Lynelle Cantwell
Lynelle Cantwell is the recipient of the Canadian Red Cross 2018 Young Humanitarian Award for this province. - The Canadian Press

The Canadian Red Cross has announced business leader John Steele of St. John’s will be the 2018 recipient of its Humanitarian Award for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Anti-bullying advocate Lynelle Cantwell, also of St. John’s, will receive the 2018 Young Humanitarian Award for her contributions to youth empowerment.

Steele and Cantwell will receive their awards at the Power of Humanity dinner, a fundraising event Oct. 25 at the Delta St. John’s Hotel, with proceeds supporting Canadian Red Cross services throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, according to a news release.

Steele, a director of Newfoundland Capital Corp. (NCC) and president of Steele Communications and Steele Hotels, has supported numerous charities in Newfoundland and Labrador for decades, the Red Cross said. He chaired the Canadian Cancer Society's capital campaign for Daffodil Place, a $7-million, 24-room residence and support centre for cancer patients and caregivers who must travel to St. John’s for treatment. Steele serves as president of VOCM Cares and the K-Rock Children's Foundations.

“John Steele personifies what we seek to highlight with these awards. His passion for community, volunteering and leadership inspires others to pursue humanitarian goals,” Rhonda Kenney, provincial director of the Canadian Red Cross, said in a news release. “His contributions to our health, education, arts and safety sectors will benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for years to come.”

Cantwell was 17 when she and a group of peers became a target of online bullying, the Red Cross noted. She made headlines around the world when she reached out to her bully on social media and replied with compassion. Cantwell has since spoken to tens of thousands of youth about bullying and body shaming across the country and was recently featured in the documentary Rising Above: Stories of Courage and Hope.

“Lynelle Cantwell has set an example for all of us on how to respond to harassment of any kind. She spoke out but in a way that inspired youth across the globe, which she continues to do to this day,” Kenney said.

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