Shirley Avery has a long commitment to the Registered Nurses Foundation of Ontario.  She served the Foundation in a number of roles over the course of her professional career.  Shirley began her work with RNFOO in 1998 when she volunteered her time and energy to the Gala Planning Committee.  In 1999 she became a member of the RNFOO Board of Directors.  Shirley didn’t have much time to catch her breath when she was asked, and agreed, to assume the role of Chair for the Awards and Scholarships committee.

Shirley chaired this committee between 2000 and 2002 at which point she moved to the position of Vice-President.  In the second year of her term as VP the President unexpectedly needed to step down and Shirley, without a moment’s hesitation, assumed the role as President and served in this role until 2006.  Those who have worked with Shirley across these many and varied RNFOO roles, initiatives, and committees acknowledge her deep and longstanding contribution to the advancement of RNFOO’s vision and mission. 
Shirley's leadership across all realms of her involvement in RNFOO was incredibly supportive, thoughtful and thorough.  She has the ability to attend to essential details of the work of the Foundation and at the same time keep focused on the overall goals the Foundation aims to achieve.  Shirley has a high degree of integrity and models this integrity through her inclusive leadership style.  She is generous, kind and supportive.  These attributes make her an exceptional colleague and mentor. 
Shirley’s commitment to scholarship development is also notable.  During her tenure as President, RNFOO was selected to administer the SARS Memorial Fund for Infection Control Practitioners.  The SARS Memorial Fund is a reimbursement program that covers tuition, certification, and professional development fees.  The funds were donated from the proceeds of the Molson Canada SARS concert (2003) The fund is sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care.  The program initiated under Shirley’s leadership continues to support Infection Prevention and  Control.
Shirley also initiated the piloting of a Fall Fundraising event to help build additional scholarships for nurses working in specialty areas.  As a result of this initiative, the Julie Hall Scholarship was established to support the professional development of nurses working in the area of neuroscience.
Over the years, Shirley worked collaboratively and supportively with the Board members involved in the many RNFOO committees.   In both formal and informal mentorship roles within and external to RNFOO, Shirley generously shared her knowledge and expertise with others and celebrates the achievements and successes of those with whom she works.  Shirley continued to be an RNFOO Ambassador when she moved to Brockville, where she has dedicated time and energy to introducing and engaging Ontario nurses outside the GTA in RNFOO activities and opportunities. 
Additionally, Shirley is one of RNFOO’s longstanding donors.  She offers the Margaret Avery Memorial Scholarship on an annual basis.  This award, named for Shirley’s mother, supports a third year undergraduate baccalaureate program nursing student to complete her or his degree.
For all these reasons, and others too numerous to mention, it is with heartfelt pleasure that the RNFOO Board of Directors acknowledged Shirley’s significant contributions to RNFOO with a Honourary Life Membership.