Amy Caruso

Amy Caruso

Community Pillar

Amy Caruso has accomplished more for the betterment of the community than many do in a lifetime by putting the needs of others ahead of her own and working tirelessly to make the world a better place. She volunteers and leads multiple committees for organizations such as the United Way and Rethink Breast Cancer to name a few; however, her most recent personal effort has been as Founder and Organizer of Ottawa’s Mental Health Gala that raises funds for The Royal Hospital and Do It For Daron (DIFD).

Ms. Caruso began this Gala as a way of coping with her own personal struggles of seeing friends and family around her dealing with all forms of mental illness. This motivated her to take a genuine step in making a difference in the community by raising much needed funds in support of mental health. While working at her full-time government job and multiple side jobs, she spends her spare time as the volunteer Organizer for this event. Her passion for event planning and love of philanthropy has made this gala a huge success and in three short years, she has raised nearly $100,000 for these foundations.

Not only is Amy Caruso one of the most dedicated and hardest working community fundraisers for the Royal Foundation, she has become a positive-role model in helping to transform the landscape of mental health in our community. She has inspired others to open up about their struggles with mental health. She has also been a spokesperson in educating the guests at her gala and our community about the importance of advocating for those suffering from mental illness and standing up against the stigma associated with the disease. Many have reached out to her directly to tell their stories and thank her for her initiative. In her workplace, she continues to educate her colleagues on this important topic by organizing education sessions where her fellow co-workers listen to Royal patients, clinicians and foundation staff, talk about the important work being done at The Royal.

In what little additional spare time she has, Amy Caruso frequently volunteers her time at other Royal 3rd party events and makes time to share her event organization and fundraising knowledge with others in the community who reach out for help and guidance. She also volunteers at The Royal’s annual Gala by selling raffle tickets and doing whatever is needed to help ensure a successful evening. If one were to count the number of hands and hearts Amy touches each year through her own very successful event, her workplace events, and the Royal Foundation events she volunteers with, it is clear that her advocacy is reaching hundreds of ears and the funds raised is reaching dozens of patients in and around the Ottawa region.

For her initiative and charitable work, Ms. Caruso has been recognized by The Royal as a community leader, has attended their Inspiration Awards and their Leaders in Mental Health Breakfast, and has had the honour of meeting the Richardson’s (Daron’s parents) on many occasions. She has also been honoured with the Woman in Leadership distinction by her employers in 2018; an Ottawa Italian Women’s FILO Award in 2019; Best Black Tie Event at the 2020 Ottawa Awards; and, with The Royal’s own First 40 Award in 2019 as one of the forty most influential people that have helped the organization become what it is today.