Debora Kelly is a long-time editor and communications professional, and currently the editor for NewmarketToday.ca. Debora is proud to receive this Portraits of Giving honour in recognition of all local journalists. She is passionate about her community of Newmarket, and York Region, and fondly calls it home with her husband and two adult children.
Debora sits on the board of directors for the Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign in York Region, the Portraits of Giving committee, and CHATS (Community and Home Assistance to Seniors) fund development advisory committee, and is a member of 100 Women Who Care – Central York Region.
One of the most impactful projects in which Debora has been involved was being one of the community leaders who came together at the urging of then MP Belinda Stronach to spearhead the initiative to build York Region’s first emergency and transitional housing facility for women. As a local newspaper editor in chief, Debora wrote about poverty and homelessness at a time when most of us had no idea that existed in our affluent communities. The Society of Friends stepped up to donate land in Newmarket, York Region agreed to build the shelter, and Belinda’s Place Foundation raised more than $1 million. The uniquely designed facility opened in 2015, and it remains an enduring symbol of true partnership between community and government.
“Character is everything,” says Debora, a York Region Character Champion Award recipient.
“The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become.” – Heraclitus
Debora strives to take the opportunity daily to choose what’s right, to better herself, and positively impact others through her choices.
As a journalist, she thrives on the adrenaline of a breaking news story and approaching deadline. The demands of her career make it a challenge to achieve work-life balance in the sense that work must be separate or parcelled in time blocks. She chooses instead to integrate the two and establish priorities, though admittedly, during the pandemic, the news cycle became relentless. Debora’s focus on self-care and spending quality time with family and friends has helped to keep her spirits high.
In celebration of a special hug-a-thon event in October 2019, Debora chose Trinity Unity Church as her portrait location. The Hugs4Hope team and organizing committee, of which she was a part, raised funds and awareness to support youth, and they crushed a Guinness World Record with 501 hugs each for eight team members for a total of 4,008 hugs. It was euphoric to see the community come together to share hugs.