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This article was published 3/6/2010 (3516 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Diminutive, brown-haired, with braces, in a white and pink party dress, Montana Lehmann does not look like your average philanthropist — but appearances can be deceiving.
The 13-year-old received the first annual Children's Museum Great Friend to Kids Award in front of a small crowd Thursday.
"Gordon Sinclair called and told me I won, I was so excited," Lehmann said. "I even thought that maybe they should give the award to someone else."
The museum and its nomination committee, which included the Free Press's own Gordon Sinclair Jr., chose two individuals and one organization that work to benefit the lives of children and youth.
Rossbrook House and Rick Frost, CEO of the Winnipeg Foundation, both received awards.
"I'm thrilled and surprised to get this award," Frost said. "Children are very important to the Winnipeg Foundation, and one-third of our funding goes into programs that directly effect kids."
Lehmann, the youth category winner, has been involved with community work since she was five years old. She saw a commercial where children could donate their hair to kids with cancer. She has been donating her hair ever since.
"I had really long hair at the time so I decided that at my next hair cut I would cut it all off," she said.
Lehmann tends to shrug off a lot of her accomplishments, which include: donating her birthday gifts to the Children's Hospital, being a youth ambassador for the 2009 Mexican pavilion at Folklorama, and a youth representative for an eco-friendly charity event called Run with Porter.
Philanthropy is not Lehmann's only passion. She was also one of the youngest recipients of the Winnipeg Music Festival's 2010 Rainbow Stage Trophy and Scholarship.
"Performing is so much fun," said Lehmann. "It's my greatest dream to become an actress."
At the ceremony, Lehmann performed a funny and animated version of the song Party Dress.
It is Winnipeggers such as Lehmann that make the city such a great place, Frost said.
He's developed a theory as to why Winnipeggers donate in such high numbers.
"I think it's because we're so isolated," Frost said. "Winnipeggers realize we have to build and support our own community."