Listen to this page

BeNF logo

BeNF. It's something everyone can do. Be proud to be a part of our community and do what you do best. We want to hear your stories. They might be inspiring stories of people in the community helping others. Perhaps they are stories about someone taking a risk and finding success. Most of all, they are your stories. You are the people that make it possible to "BeNF." See some of our exciting NF stories here.  Share your community stories here, too!

Community Stories

Tim Williams

Tim is the Niagara Falls resident who took a photograph of the falls during the "polar vortex" that was shared on social media by more than 3 million viewers. This amazing showcase of the beauty of Niagara Falls that gained popularity the world over is something that highlights Niagara Falls on a major scale. Sharing a photo that gained so much national and international attention is the very thing that makes someone a great Niagara Falls Ambassador.

John MacBain

He has come a long way from A.N. Myer since graduating 36 years ago.

But John MacBain will never forget his high school or his hometown of Niagara Falls.

"I'm very proud to go around the world and say I'm from the most famous small town in the world," said the 55-year-old, who cemented his successful entrepreneurial career with his chain of Auto Trader magazines, which he sold in 2006 for $2 billion.

"I got a good education at A.N. Myer. I was very fortunate to go to some very good institutions."

MacBain graduated from Myer in 1977. Along with being a Rhodes Scholar, he received an honours bachelor of arts degree in economics from McGill University in 1980, a master's degree in law from Oxford University in 1982 and a master of business administration from Harvard Business School in 1984.

MacBain was known as the King of Classifieds. He owned all of the Auto Trader magazines in Canada except in Ontario. After selling the company, he established the McCall MacBain Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, where he now lives.

He is the son of former Niagara Falls MP Al MacBain and his wife Viola. He has a wife, Marcy McCall MacBain, and five children.

This story was taken from the Niagara Falls Review.

Niagara Falls Canucks

Niagara Falls Canucks From April 11-14, the Niagara Falls Minor Hockey Association and the City of Niagara Falls will play host to the Ontario Hockey Federation All-Ontario Bantam A Championship with an opportunity to showcase all that our city has to offer and a chance at success at the highest level. In their role as host, NFMHA's own Niagara Falls Canucks Bantam A team will be participating in the tournament against the champions from the OMHA, Alliance, NOHA and GTHL for All-Ontario supremacy.

The Niagara Falls Canucks Bantam team personify what it means to "BeNF". With a perfect 28-0-0 record in the regular season, the Canucks will hope to continue their winning ways against the best of the best. Already with 3 tournament wins under their belt, the Canucks come in with high hopes to represent their city in the 3-day tournament, all of which is being played at the Gale Centre Arena.

Don Jackson, Fundraising Chair, Lundy's Lane Battlefield Legacy Project

Don Jackson Don's story is a story about bringing people together to see a vision of what could be. When Don started out, he helped tell the story of the museum that could grace the streets of our Main and Ferry district. He knew the great potential of a museum re-build and renovation there and with his team of people, worked tirelessly for years to garner support, to get governments and community groups on board, and to eventually compile the team that would build the new Niagara Falls History Museum. The museum is an eclectic simulation of old and new in a stunning street-scape that showcases the history of the War of 1812 and the beginnings of a nation. In Don's words (sing it with me!): "He's so happy we have a new community museum in Niagara Falls."

George Liu and Connor Bitter, Co-Chairs of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee 2012-13

Connor Bitter and George Liu Our Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee in Niagara Falls is active and vibrant. They have been involved in everything from advising on policy in the City, to establishing and organizing fun events for youth in the community. To their credit, they spearheaded the drive to eliminate the sale of plastic beverage bottles at City facilities and have often advocated for environmental issues that the municipality can engage in. They work with partners in Transit and Recreation and Culture to ensure programs are accessible to youth. They participate in Community Clean Sweep and the Santa Claus Parade; they volunteer to serve meals at Niagara Falls Community Outreach and they organize events that bring culture and art to the forefront for the students of Niagara. This year's "School-A-Palooza" will take place during the exciting "Springlicious" event in downtown Niagara Falls. These youth are amazing!

Dan Bowman

Dan Bouwman Dan is the man behind Heartland Forest. His dreams of providing fully accessible leisure activities for young people have seen him establish a one-of-a-kind nature preserve that is home to an accessible tree-house, mini-putt, nature trails and more. This year, he is taking on his biggest challenge yet at Heartland Forest, with the installation and construction of a $2.3million state of the art accessible building that will feature a living roof, accessible workshop and gathering space for learning, functions and more fun for all of the families that visit Heartland Forest. It is truly a heartwarming place in which everyone is welcome.

Wes Prankard

Wes Prankard This young man has done more in the last few years than many of us might do to help others in our lifetime. Wes has spearheaded fundraising events since 2010 to send money and supplies to the Attiwapiskat community on the James Bay Coast. He was floored to learn about the conditions the First Nations people of Attiwapiskat live in and has dedicated years of his life to helping raise money for a better life there. He has not only helped build a playground for the children there, but helped bring them hope. Wes is truly one in a million and his mantra: "You are never too young to make a difference."

Lelsey Sampson

Leslie Sampson Lesley, along with Jim Brown is the Co-Founder of Coyote Watch Canada. Coyote Watch has engaged volunteers and members of the community in their efforts to share information about living in harmony with coyotes. Through programs in education, at city halls and online, they are spreading the word to help people understand coyote habitat and behavior. Their goal is simple: to preserve the balance of wildlife and nature in a safe environment within communities. Lesley's great passion for the coyote and for wildlife in general has helped forge amazing partnerships that have made a positive difference. In Niagara Falls, Coyote Watch Canada helps to investigate all coyote sightings and to preserve natural habitat. In partnership with City Council and to the credit of Coyote Watch Canada, there is now an anti-feeding by-law established in Niagara Falls. In addition, important signage is being installed in key areas to teach residents about coyote awareness in our community. For more information:

Dr. David Dec

Dr. David Dec Dr. Dec has been instrumental in working with the Doctor Recruitment Team in Niagara Falls. Dr. Dec knows the importance of attracting and retaining physicians and general practitioners to help care for the residents of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Region. As we are still a largely underserviced area, the work of the Doctor Recruitment Task Force is ever important and continues to be a priority for Niagara Falls.

John Roma

John ROma Mr. Roma has said he has been overwhelmed by the generosity in the community and the outpouring of support for his son, Nick Roma. Nick's story pulls at the heart strings and is one of great courage and determination. Nick is a young person who has endured so much in his battle with cancer and still has a winning attitude, and great support of family and friends. Support for Nick has really been a coming together of our entire community. For more about Nick Roma and opportunities to donate,

Adrianna Morocco

Adrianna Morocco Adrianna is the driving force and owner/ operator behind Audrey & Co Aesthetics. Her brand new business is a labour of love for her, highlighting the talents and skills of beauty practitioners and aestheticians in Niagara Falls. For a taste of what Adrianna and her team can offer, check her out at 2895 St. Paul Avenue.

Helen Lee

Helen Lee Helen is a tireless volunteer at the 50+ Coronation Centre in Niagara Falls. She spends her time helping with the library, the thrift shop and volunteering for various programs that assist her peers around the centre. The Coronation Centre is just one line on Helen's jam-packed resume. She also volunteers with the Winter Festival of Lights team, as well as with the Santa Claus Parade, Canada Day Parade and her great love is helping out at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Niagara Falls. With all of this volunteering, we're not sure that Helen has time for much else!

Keith Simmonds and the Great Wolf Lodge

Keith Simmonds Keith leads the Wolf Pack at the Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. They are just one of the major partners to the City's "Sleep Cheap" program that gives local hoteliers the opportunity to make donations of hotel rooms in the off-season to book to local residents in and to donate profits to charity. Our partners at Great Wolf Lodge are always willing to assist with charity drives, and are one of the valued friends of "Sleep Cheap, Charities Reap" which has garnered nearly $1.2million for community charities.

Zahir Ismail

Zahir Ismail Zahir knew that besides atop a frozen Rideau Canal, the next best place to sell "Beaver Tails" was our own Clifton Hill! He brought this national brand to Clifton Hill when he opened his business in 2011. Any day is a great day to taste a beaver tail and try out this delicacy that is inextricably linked to our national pride.. now available on Clifton Hill! Awesome!

Larry Vaughan

Larry Vaughn Larry and his brother now run the business they helped their father build: GAMS. They have more than 20 trucks in their fleet and specialize in Ground Aerial Maintenance in Niagara Falls and area. They have a strong history of work in the electric industry in Niagara Falls and continue to expand their business. They have worked to establish a presence of LED bulbs in the community and have been a valued partner on many projects. For more about the GAMS team:

Bob Gale

Bob Gale It's about more than just a name. Bob Gale and the Gale Family may have named many recent developments in Niagara Falls and the Niagara Region, but to Bob, it's more than about making a contribution to make a difference. He has built a strong reputation for doing what's right and for asking the tough questions. For Bob and his family, giving back to the community is part of what makes doing business rewarding.

Paul Tappay

Paul Tappay Growing his event to more than 4x the size it was only 1 short year ago… we know, it sounds like the stuff of superheroes, but it's really just a day in the life of Paul Tappy, owner of Pulp Comics. Not only does his Queen Street business feature the very heroes of childhood legend, but Paul has spearheaded a Comic Con movement in Niagara Falls that has outdone itself! With 4x the space and 4x the vendors as last year's event, this year's amazing convention is expected to attract thousands to our city. Up, up and away!

Mike Strange

Mike Strange Mike has so many amazing accomplishments to his credit that it is hard to list just a few. Let's start with, oh, I don't know, the fact that Mike took it upon himself to run across Canada last year to raise awareness and raise funds to fight childhood cancers. He's spearheaded an unprecedented 1-man fundraising movement to help children suffering from the disease and continues to organize annual events that support the cause. All this is just the icing on top of his storied boxing history, which includes the Olympics and a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. He also boasts a current bid to join the Amazing Race Canada. So, I guess we might ask, what HASN'T Mike done to make us proud lately?

Officer Craig LaBaune

Craig LaBaune After winning his "Officer of the Year" award in 2012 at the "Journey to Freedom Gala," Craig is still humble about what he does and why he does it. The program he heads up at the Niagara Regional Police Headquarters is innovative and helps ensure victims in Niagara are heard and their stories are taken seriously. With his work to help victims within human trafficking circles, Craig keeps it simple, saying to this day, he's still driven by what first motivated him to get in to policing: "Helping victims and putting away the bad guys."

Les Jarvis

Les Jarvis A recent recipient of the prestigious Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, Les certainly knows a little bit about giving back. Not only is he a veteran of the Cold War, he is also the President of the Canadian Core Association, and the President of Unit 104 in Niagara Falls. Les' time spent volunteering is just second nature to him. Though his time spent fighting for our freedom was many years ago, he continues to promote volunteerism and service and exemplify it in his life. Enough said.

Ruth- Ann Nieuwesteeg

Ruth-Ann Nieuwesteeg Ruth-Ann and her family have made record investments at Patterson Funeral Home in the Main & Ferry area of our City. Once an area with many challenges, the residents and business owners are invigorated by the recent museum expansion there, new businesses that have been attracted and solid investments in the area, including the major Patterson Funeral Home renovation. With road infrastructure updates complete, area proprietors are gaining back pride of place and working hard to continually better the Main & Ferry area. Ruth-Ann is leading the way and leading by example.

Rene Lemay and Cytec

Rene Lemay Cytec, like many companies in the world of industry, has endured ever-changing challenges in the marketplace and worked to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Currently one of only two companies in the world producing phosphene, which is used in every LED lightbulb, Cytec has maintained status on the world market by remaining current in their research and development and staying ahead of the curve. They have a $155 million expansion to their credit in 2012 and with that, have added another 30 jobs. They are truly world-leaders and they are operating right here in Niagara Falls.

MPP Kim Craitor

Kim Craitor MPP Craitor has spent nearly 10 years in the Ontario Legislature serving the residents of Niagara Falls and area. He has made it a priority to always put the people of his riding fist. It is clear that it is part of Kim's very nature to want to help people. It is his passion to lead the way and to work with others to solve problems. Kim takes great pride in bringing the concerns of local residents to light and working for Niagara at Queen's Park.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Rob Nicholson, MP

Rob Nicholson MP Rob Nicholson is proud of his roots in Niagara Falls and has said he feels "he won the lottery of life" being from Canada and loving his home town of Niagara Falls. He continues to work hard to get tough on crime by enacting legislation to support stronger sentencing and greater action.

Monseigneur Ferrando

Monseigneur Ferrando For more than 60 years, Monseigneur Ferrando has been providing prayerful inspiration at his church as well as giving back in the community. He takes great pride in leading prayer at our community Remembrance Day Services year after year and so many look forward to his prayers and blessings over the community.