Incredible people supporting Reachout

Mari Rutka

Mari has been a dedicated supporter of Reachout by supporting many events and initiatives. Mari wholeheartedly believes in the advancement and the hope for youth in our community. 


        She has been involved for over 17 years with Willowdale schools –volunteering in schools, serving on school councils, chairing the city-wide TDSB parent group and being a trustee for 7 years. She attended junior high and high school in Willowdale and has a BA in Linguistics from Princeton University and a graduate degree in Communication Studies from Concordia University. “My career work has been in film and journalism, including writing the Ewok language for Lucasfilm”, she says.  She is happily married to Dr. Jim Rutka, a Sick Kids neurosurgeon, her husband of 31 years.

Russ Pooley

Russ Pooley has served as as a Community Development Coordinator role in all of his 36 years of employment with the City of Mississauga Community Services Department.  He has helped many non-profit community organizations grow and be successful in order to serve Mississauga residents such as the Carassauga Festival and the Square One Older Adult Centre.  Russ has a BA in humanities from the University of Toronto, and he and his family live in Etobicoke. Russ is a strong supporter of Reachout and the organization’s mission. He embraces the inclusiveness of the youth and works tirelessly for the community of Mississauga.

Karen Cunningham

Ms. Cunningham holds an Honours Degree in Political Science graduating summa cum laude first class standing from McMaster University. She then pursued a law degree at Osgoode Hall Law School where she obtained her Doctors of Jurisprudence. She was called to the Bar in 1996.

Ms. Cunningham is an accomplished attorney and is senior counsel at CMAA Professional Corporation, a law firm situated in Mississauga, Ontario. She practises primarily in the areas of family law, and wills and estate administration. She is a frequent speaker and guest on issues pertaining to family law and estate planning and has spoken on such topics as child and spousal support, custody and access, restraining orders, division of property, the matrimonial home, and the importance of having a Will. She has also appeared on CHRY Radio and CHSC 1220 AM expressing her legal opinion on current issues of the day.

Ms. Cunningham sincerely believes in our youth and the importance of education. She is a volunteer with the Youth Empowerment Program at Praise Cathedral Worship Centre, is a mentor and coach with the Spelling Bee of Canada, and is an avid supporter of organizations dedicated to enriching the lives of our youths. She has sponsored scholarships to help students further their education and supported other worthy causes.

She has been recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada for academic excellence and by the community for her volunteerism, generosity and achievements in law.

Ms. Cunningham can be contacted at 905-270-8075 ext. 228 or


Garnette Manning


          Mr. Manning has had an exemplary career in the public sector serving as an active City Councillor. His leadership record is also evident in the non-profit sector where, in volunteer and paid capacities. In the summer of 2009, the Garnett Manning Youth and Leadership Foundation was launched and forms part of Mr. Manning's commitment to affect the lives of youth and leaders for a better Brampton.

Mr. Manning has been the recipient of several community recognition awards including:
· Brampton Clean City Award
· African-Canadian Achievement Award 2006 for Excellence in Politics
· Camp Jumoke Appreciation Award

          Garnett Manning attends numerous community events to remain connected to the needs and achievements of Bramptonians. He believes in the strength and potential of Brampton’s diverse communities to achieve their full potential, and to use their skills and talents towards making Brampton an even greater city in which to live, work and play. Garnett Manning is a graduate of George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Theology degree (B.Th). Garnett is married with two children.