Pan Am Games

Image of the Pan Am Games logo.

TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay

Oakville’s community spirit shined bright when the Pan Am flame arrived in Centennial Square on Tuesday, June 23 as part of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG.

A special thanks to:

  • Burloak Canoe Club
  • Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton
  • CharterAbility
  • Downtown Oakville BIA
  • Kerr BIA
  • Sport Oakville
  • The YMCA of Oakville
  • TOWARF Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit
  • Oakville Basketball Club
  • Oakville’s Community Youth in Action Network
  • Oakville Soccer Club

The town received $5,000 to help fund the community celebration event through the Government of Ontario's Torch Relay Community Grant program.

Meet Lynn Petruskavich – Oakville’s Pan Am Games Torchbearer

Photo of Lynn Petruskavich, Oakville’s Pan Am Games Torch Bearer.Look out Oakville. Lynn Petruskavich is on a mission.

It all started when the Oakville mother of two daughters became fed up with school events that only offered pizza, chips, candy and sugary drinks but not vegetables, fruit or other healthy options.

Inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s famous advice to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” Lynn took action. She persuaded the school to let her start a Healthy Schools initiative that, among other things, would see fruits and vegetables become regular options at events. Armed with a small budget and a lot of passion, Lynn began showcasing vegetables and fruits to kids, often with a tiki hut concession stand built by her husband, to reinforce the idea that healthy eating can be fun and delicious!

“I dream of a day where kids are exposed to vegetables and fruit as often as they are exposed to highly processed junk foods,” says Lynn.

Healthy snacks aren’t her only contribution to the school. She also organized several “Walk & Wheel Wednesday” campaigns designed to encourage students and families to walk or ride their bikes to school.

“I had professional signage created and we do chalk art on all the sidewalks leading to the school. It helps make it fun and inspires people to make walking to school a priority, which is good for everyone and the environment,” she says.

When Lynn’s not busy inspiring students get active and make healthy food choices, she teaches fitness classes at the Oakville YMCA where she has volunteered since 2000. “It’s the participants in those classes who inspire me to get up early and make my health a top priority,” she says. “They are a big part of what makes me feel connected to my community.”

Lynn will bring her infectious community spirit and passion for active, healthy living to the Pan Am Games Torch Relay on June 23.

“It’s such an honour to represent a town that I love so much,” says Lynn. “As a full time mom and enthusiastic volunteer, it’s incredibly validating to be recognized in a way that reinforces what I teach my kids – that some of the most rewarding and meaningful contributions you can make in the world don’t always come with a pay cheque.”