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Jackie Playter

2014 Newmarket

“I love life and people and I love helping people.”

Newmarket resident Jackie Playter’s lifestyle of giving has filtered down to the next generation.

Her mother was an English war bride and her dad was never the same after the war. Life was not easy. Her mother worked hard, but were it not for the assistance of the Lion’s Club and Salvation Army they would not have survived those difficult years and the seven siblings would have been split up.

“Mom always said, that when we grow up and look at what these organizations have done for our family, we have to give back to the community and to the church. My whole family has always given back to the community and now my children are doing the same in their own way. That is what makes it special. I love to give back, because of my mom and I give back in her honour really. She was a wonderful lady.”

Jackie’s portrait was taken on Main Street, Newmarket, the street she has loved and determined to improve for 40 years. She moved to Newmarket in 1967, worked at the flower shop on Main Street and met her husband there. He worked at the Roadhouse and Rose Funeral Home, the oldest business in Newmarket and they were married in 1969.

“My aim and passion, other than my family, is to make Main Street the best it can be and see it thrive. At one time nobody cared about it.”

Jackie talks about Main Street with enthusiasm and pride and cares about the wellbeing of the street and its impact on the community.

“Main Street is the heart of Newmarket. I love the rich history, the old buildings and the feel of Main Street. It is like going back fifty years. It is a community.”

Jackie does everything on Main Street. She works, attends church, banks and shops there, is the Chair of the Business Improvement Area and the Chair of Newmarket Downtown Development Committee. She helps organize events like Canada Day on Main, The Candlelight Parade, The Newmarket Jazz on Main and loves to bring people together. She’s Co­founder and Treasurer of the Newmarket Farmer’s Market. Jackie is the Chair of the Elman Campbell Museum and received her 20 year pin.

When Mayor Van Bynen appealed to community members to support the need for a single women’s shelter in York Region, Jackie responded without hesitation and is committed to the cause. A Community Team was established and pledged to match Belinda Stronach’s million dollar donation in order to make the facility self­sustainable. The Society of Friends (Quakers) generously donated property on the corner of Yonge Street and Sawmill Valley Drive.

As Chairperson of Fundraising for Belinda’s Place, she works alongside fellow Belinda’s Place board members, Belinda Stronach, (Honourary Chairperson), Debora Kelly (President), Jim Alexander (Vice­President), Tony Van Bynen (Mayor of Newmarket), Brenda McLennan (Treasurer), Brian Kressler (Chairperson, Volunteers), Steve Hinder, Pat Noble and Donna Gerrits. Their mission is to help single women in need and to offer hope for women without a home to enable them to get back on their feet and join the workforce.

“It is not often that you see something you really want, happen. We have worked hard to raise the money, but when it comes to fruition, it makes you feel so good! It is going to help so many women”

Jackie loves to give and recognizes that Community partners are important and wants to stay connected with those in need.

“I don’t expect anything in return. I just do it. When I do get recognition I get embarrassed.” Jackie has invested her endless energy in many causes over the years, such as The Newmarket Historical Society, the Doors Open committee for Newmarket, supports Bowl for Big Brothers and Sisters, Teddy Bear’s picnic and Clerk for The Christian Baptist Church. In 1993 Newmarket named her Citizen of the Year. She helped start Victim Services of York Region and the list goes on. Jackie’s motto: “Never give up. Be kind to people.” Her ongoing goal is to see Main Street revitalized and sustainable for future generations to enjoy.


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