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Niagara Falls
Saturday, July 13, 2024
Steffanie Bjorgan honoured with Meritorious Service Award by Governor General
Steffanie Bjorgan with her son, Garrett, who has cerebral palsy. SUPPLIED

Initially, Red Roof Retreat founder Steffanie Bjorgan ignored the email advising her the Governor General was bestowing on her one of Canada’s highest honours.

She couldn’t believe it was real.

“I got the call when I was in the hardware store, after ignoring my email because I thought it was a scam,” Bjorgan said in an email to friends. 

“After the shock, I am really honoured,” she said.

On July 4, Bjorgan was awarded the Meritorious Service Award (civil division). 

She will receive a certificate and medal in the mail in August and then, about three months later, she will go to Rideau Hall to accept her award from Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, Bjorgan told The Lake Report.

Otherwise, she doesn’t have much info yet and doesn’t know who nominated her.

“I have my suspicions of who is behind it, but nobody is going to fess up,” Bjorgan said. 

Asked about why she may have been chosen for such a high honour, she said it has a lot to do with the community of Niagara-on-the-Lake itself. 

“I feel like you couldn’t have done this in any other community,” she said.

Bjorgan will continue to do her work whether she receives awards or not, she said.

But she hopes to use the high honour as a platform to thank the community and raise awareness around the families and clients that Red Roof Retreat serves. 

Along with outlining the details about her award, a letter from director of honours Ian Burgess stated that Bjorgan is now welcome to use the initials M.S.M. after her name.

She may use the initials for formal occasions, she said, but when it comes to hanging out at the Legion, her first and last name will suffice.


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