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Long-time community volunteer, Arnie Vered, loses battle to cancer

Beloved community member and volunteer Arnie Vered lost his battle with cancer Friday.

Vered was diagnosed with the illness in March of 2013. The business man and community leader passed at the age of 57.

He was prominent in Ottawa's Jewish community and served on numerous boards. He volunteered in different capacities with CHEO, The United Way, the NAC Foundation Board, Soloway Jewish Community Centre and the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health Campaign Cabinet.

Among his many accomplishments, Vered led a team of leaders, as chair of the TELUS Ottawa Community Board, in allocating over $2.1 million in support of approximately 140 local, youth-focused organizations.

Speaking to CFRA News, John Ouellette, Vice President of Philanthropy at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation said Arnie Vered changed the way people looked at cancer.

"He didn't like the term 'survivor' and always used champion because survivor implies one outcome, but you can be a champion no matter the outcome (of your battle)."

Ouellette said Vered was a "tremendous family man, he talked constantly about his wife and children. He really helped us in Ottawa redefine what it is to be a cancer champion - he coined that term that we at the Cancer Foundation have adopted because it implies being surrounded by a championship team, and you can be a champion, no matter what the outcome is."

"The highest award that the cancer foundation can offer is called the Rabbi Bulka Award. Just a few days ago, while he was in the hospital, we presented the Rabbi Bulka Award to Arnie as a true cancer champion; someone who's helped many other people and someone who will continue to inspire many in our community."

Vered was very inspired by former CFRA News host Greg Hebert and his personal story and battle with cancer. Ouellette says he took that inspiration to another level with his regular emails and blogs.

In his professional life, Vered heads his companies Arnon Corporation and Ron Engineering & Construction. Vered believed giving back was essential and encouraged many of his 150 employees to also become involved in local charities and organizations.

Vered has been honoured for his dedication to the community with numerous awards. In 2008, he received the Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Services Award, the Freiman Family Young Leadership Award and the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Communications Volunteer Service Award. He received more awards in 2012 and 2014.

He's survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and six children.

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