Volunteer Award Recipients

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2020 CORPORATE SPONSORS

DeVRIES FRUIT FARM

NOMINATED BY THE CITY OF NIAGARA FALLS

DeVries Fruit Farm is a great community supporter. Over the years, they have supported Project SHARE and Niagara Nutrition Partners by donating fresh fruit and pumpkins for their fundraising activities at the Niagara Falls Farmers' Market. With their generous donations, Project SHARE has been creating and selling seasonal baked goods and using the funds raised to buy fresh produce for their food bank. Funds raised from pumpkin sales support Niagara Nutrition Partners' local student nutrition programs. 

ENDURA CONSTRUCTION LTD.

NOMINATED BY HEARTLAND FOREST NATURE EXPERIENCE

In 2018, James and his team at Endura Construction volunteered their time, expertise, and equipment to bring power to Heartland Forest's park side washrooms. Endura tunneled from the road to the washrooms to eliminate the need for overhead wires. It was an incredible gift. In 2020, Endura responded again to an urgent need for parking lot lighting and installed six parking lot lights, each providing 100 feet of coverage, ensuring sufficient lighting for Heartland Forest's evening activities and events.

FIRSTONTARIO CREDIT UNION

NOMINATED BY NIAGARA NUTRITION PARTNERS

For the past six years, FirstOntario has been instrumental in providing on-site support to Niagara Nutrition Partners' (NPP) many programs. FirstOntario employee teams cook, prepare, and serve food in four schools and help coordinate NPP's Farm to School program. FirstOntario has also hosted food and financial literacy events for our at-risk schools and this year, they have granted NNP $47,500 in recognition of the increased need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this challenging time, the true character of FirstOntario was evident-remarkable determination to help the community around them.

LITTLE CAESARS

NOMINATED BY NIAGARA FALLS COMMUNITY OUTREACH SOUP KITCHEN

Every Sunday morning, Little Caesar’s three Niagara Falls restaurants donate all of the Hot and Fresh Pizza not sold Saturday evening to the Soup Kitchen. The generous gift provides the basis for the Soup Kitchen’s Sunday lunch and ranges from 30 to 80 pizzas each and every week.

MERIDIAN CREDIT UNION

NOMINATED BY THE NIAGARA FALLS SPORTS WALL OF FAME COMMITTEE

Meridian Credit Union has been a sponsor of the Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame for the past nine years. Their generous support has helped the committee to recognize and honour outstanding Niagara Falls athletes, teams, and builders who have brought fame to themselves and the City of Niagara Falls. Mick Wolfe, Meridian’s Director, Commercial Services and Team Lead, is a volunteer with the Sports Wall of Fame Committee, and we are truly grateful for both Mick and Meridian’s support.

NIAGARA PENINSULA ENERGY INC. (NPEI)

NOMINATED BY THE MAYOR'S YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE (MYAC) AND BY COMMUNITY CREW

Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. recently sponsored Community Crew’s 100 Challenge coordinated by Niagara Falls Councillors, Mike Strange and Victor Pietrangelo. Not only did NPEI support the run by donating $500, but also encouraged Club Italia to host a take-out dinner which raised an additional $500 for Community Crew. NPEI has also been a long time supporter of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee. Their financial support has been integral to the team implementing many activities and events including the Niagara Student Summit for students across the Niagara Region to learn and grow.

NIAGARA RECYCLING

NOMINATED BY NIAGARA FALLS ART GALLERY

Niagara Recycling donated $35,000 toward the upgrades of the Niagara Falls Art Gallery's newly named Niagara Recycling Digital Learning Lab.

NORTHERN TRIBUTES RADIO.CA

NOMINATED BY WILLOUGHBY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

For the past year, Mark Anthony King has used his considerable ski I ls garnered as an active Lions Club supporter to develop and create online radio station: NorthernTributeRadio.ca. The broadcasts will advance the Arts, Culture, and History of Willoughby Township and Chippawa. The radio station will suport the work of the Willoughby Historical Society by hosting segments dedicated to preserving and sharing local history.

ROSE HILL LANE INC.

NOMINATED BY ALZHEIMER SOCIETY OF NIAGARA REGION

Anna Schmoll is the Director of Care and owner of Rose Hill Lane located in Niagara Falls. Anna and her team put on an amazing fundraiser - A Dance to Remember every year, including a virtual one for this year! This event brings people together uniting for persons living with dementia and their care partners while raising money for local Programs and Services at The Alzheimer Society. Rose Hill Lane is also a Silver level sponsor of the IG Wealth Management Walk For Alzheimer's and has been a Hole Sponsor of our annual Alzheimer Golf Classic.

SUBWAY VICTORIA AVENUE

NOMINATED BY THE NIAGARA FALLS SANTA CLAUS PARADE PLANNING TEAM

Subway on Victoria Avenue has been a proud and generous sponsor of the Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration and the Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade for more than 10 years, providing delicious subs and cookies for the Volunteer Appreciation Party each year.

THE ARTISTA DESIGN & PRINT CO.

NOMINATED BY THE NIAGARA FALLS CANADA DAY PLANNING TEAM

The Artista Design & Print Co., has been a proud sponsor of the Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration and the Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade for more than 10 years, providing support for all our printing needs.

YARNSPIRATIONS

NOMINATED BY NIAGARA FALLS MUSEUMS

Yarnspirations has been a huge help to the Niagara Falls Museums Community Art Poppy Project this year. This is a legacy project that will continue to grow over the years and be displayed each Remembrance Day. Yarnspirations has donated a large amount of yarn to the project as well as helped promote it internationally. We now have more than 10,000 poppies from all over the world­some as far away as New Zealand.

ZEHRS

NOMINATED BY TERRY FOX RUN (NIAGARA FALLS)

The Niagara Falls Terry Fox committee would like to recognize Zehrs for supporting Terry Fox over the last 17 years. Our Kick Off BBQ held at City Hall has been an unqualified success over the years due in part to the Zehrs' generous donation of quality product to our event and Steve Hergott and staff for always making it easy for our volunteers to make this event work!


2020 INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEER AWARD RECIPIENTS

CONNIE CURRADO

CLUB ITALIA LADIES AUXILIARY (30 YEARS)

An outstanding volunteer for over 30 years, Connie has assisted during banquet preparations, decorating and event serving. She has helped at the annual Pasta Dinner and Craft Shows, monthly Gnocchi dinners and other dining events. Connie is present at cultural events with an enthusiastic desire to help Club Italia whenever needed.

GARY DELL

NIAGARA SCOUTING MUSEUM (40 YEARS)

Gary has supported the Niagara Scouting Museum since its inception some 30+ years ago, finding and donating artifacts and always being willing to help out on various projects, such as the indexing of the Museum scrapbooks by his 1st Niagara Rover Crew. When it was announced that B-P House, the Niagara District Scout building, home of the Museum, was to be sold, and the contents would have to be moved, put into storage or otherwise disposed of, Gary was one of the foremost volunteers to assist with this huge job, which lasted over much of the summer and fall of 2018. Among other tasks, he arranged for the storage of some of the material in the 1st Niagara Scout Hut.

SYDNEY DiTOMASSO

NIAGARA FALLS MUSEUMS (1 YEAR)

Sydney started volunteering with the Niagara Falls Museums this year. She is part of our transcription team who works diligently to transcribe ledgers from the Barnett Museum dating back to the 1850s. In addition, Sydney has been a wonderful addition to our Farmers' Market team. Her enthusiasm and great people skills have been vital in creating a successful and safe Market environment. Sydney is extremely reliable, outgoing, friendly, and a pleasure to work with.

MARK FEDERINKO

NIAGARA FALLS RED RAIDERS (11 YEARS)

Mark has been an integral part of the Red Raiders organization for the past 11 years. He started as a coach in our Novice program and went on to be the convenor for the girls house league program giving his entire Saturdays to attend all the games. Soon, Mark was on the executive and most recently completed a four year term as President. He continues to coach and stays on the board as Past President. Mark's dedication and commitment to basketball in Niagara has been extraordinary.

DALE FLECKNEY

NIAGARA FALLS SANTA CLAUS PARADE PLANNING TEAM (9 YEARS)

Dale Fleckney has been a dedicated volunteer for both the Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration and the Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parades. Dale can always be counted on to assist in the Parade line ups to ensure everyone is safely in place before the Parade begins.

ED FORTIER

ALZHEIMER SOCIETY OF NIAGARA REGION

Ed Fortier has been a Board Member of the Alzheimer Society Niagara Foundation since June of 2018. Ed is a true ambassador for the organization and has taken part in various fundraisers, as well as contributing his time and talents on our golf committee. He has been instrumental in making thank you calls to donors as part of our stewardship program.

KEN HUNTER

STAMFORD CENTRE VOLUNTEER FIREMEN'S ASSOCIATION (44 YEARS)

Ken Hunter joined our association in 1978 and for 44 years has continued to contribute his time toward our club and its goal of community service for our city and surrounding area. Ken has served on a multitude of committees, including the activities and special events committees, and also volunteers in the coffee booth at our annual carnival. We are indebted to members like Ken for all they do for the SCVFA.

STEVEN INGRAM

HEARTLAND FOREST NATURE EXPERIENCE (6 YEARS)

There are no words to express our appreciation for all Steven does at Heartland Forest. He is our "tech guy" and someone is always calling out, "Steven I need your help!" He takes wonderful care of the audio-visual needs for corporate clients as well as special requests for weddings and events. Keeping us up-to-date on cyber security protocols, backing up data, and ensuring our email works properly, Steven is absolutely the best!

BOBBIE JOHNSTON

NIAGARA HEALTH FOUNDATION (3 YEARS)

Bobbie Johnston has singled-handedly raised close to $20,000 for cancer care at Niagara Health as a gesture of gratitude for the care she received as a patient at the Walker Family Cancer Centre and as tribute to the city she loves. The longtime photographer designs and prints scenic calendars featuring stunning photos of Niagara, and this year she has added photo image puzzles, canvas prints and note cards to her beautiful fundraising gift items.

DR. BILL LESKIW

NIAGARA FALLS SPORTS WALL OF FAME COMMITTEE (2 YEARS)

Dr. Bill Leskiw has been a member of the Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame Committee for two years. He Leskiw brings a wealth of knowledge to the Committee, and offers valuable feedback during discussions that help to propel the Sports Wall of Fame Committee forward.

KARLA MACHELL

HOSPICE NIAGARA (7 YEARS)

Karla Machel! has been a devoted Hospice Niagara volunteer for 7 years, volunteering over 600 hundred hours. Karla works on the Welcome Desk, warmly greeting visitors and in the Hospice Residence providing client centered care to those at the end of life. Each holiday season Karla makes an intricate gingerbread house for residents. Her creativity is inspiring and her compassionate and generous heart is apparent to anyone she encounters.

D'ARCY McHAYLE

NIAGARA FALLS ART GALLERY (10 YEARS)

Mr. McHayle has taught ballroom dance at the art Gallery and since 2011 has been a member of the Board of Directors and President of the Board since 2016.

DIANNE MUNRO

WILLOUGH BY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (10 YEARS)

For the past 10 years, Dianne Munro has worked tirelessly to continue the work of the Willoughby Historical Society. Serving on the executive for 10 years, the last 5 as President she has engaged interesting speakers and furthered the knowledge of the rich history of Willoughby and Chippawa as well as the Niagara region. In addition, she has considered the over 50 year tradition, of providing awards to graduating grade 8 students in Willoughby and Chippawa.

MICHAEL NATALE

CLUB ITALIA (OVER 25 YEARS)

Mike has been the Chef at Club Italia for over 25 years. During these years, Club Italia has hosted many fundraiser events for various charities and Mike has donated his time to cook for many of these events throughout the years. Also, during the Christmas season, Mike donates his time to cook the turkeys for the annual Niagara Worship Centre Christmas Eve dinner and gift giveaway. In 2019, for the first time in its 27-year history, the event was held at Club Italia instead of the church. And, as a member of the Club, Mike donates his time in the kitchen to make his famous pizza for members during the lounge hours which they greatly appreciate.

KERRIE PALUMBI

NIAGARA FALLS COMMUNITY OUTREACH SOUP KITCHEN (8 YEARS)

Kerri has been a key member of the Soup Kitchen's Board of Directors for the past 12 years taking on the extremely important and sometimes challenging role of Treasurer. Kerri's knowledge and understanding of the financial in's and out's of running a non­profit charity were outstanding which required her to spend many hours a week to ensure our organizations books were in order. Her busy family and work life has had her step down from her role this year but she continues to be a valuable resource to the Board.

VICTOR PIETRANGELO & MIKE STRANGE

COMMUNITY CREW

City Councillors Victor Pietrangelo and Mike Strange approached Community Crew to initiate the 100 Challenge. A combined run of 100 kms in one day to raise awareness and funds for Community Crew and also acknowledge 100 days of lock down. Not only did they engage the community and complete the run, but they helped to raise over $3000 which will provide 1,500 lunches to children in need throughout Niagara this school year.

HARRY & KATHY PLAS

NIAGARA FALLS CANADA DAY PLANNING TEAM (20+ YEARS)

Harry and Kathy Plas have been volunteering for the Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration for more than 20 years. They began helping out when the Celebration was held at Optimist Park. You could always find Kathy and Harry handing out the boodle bags with a big smile. After the event moved to Queen Street, they continued to assist with the Canda Day Raffle and have both helped out at the City's Santa Claus Parade.

MELANIE POTAPCZYK

TERRY FOX RUN (17 YEARS)

Since our 2020 Terry Fox Run was virtual, this was the first time in 17 years that Melanie Potapczyk was not counting and tallying the cash monies raised at the Niagara Falls Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research. Since 2003, Melanie has unselfishly given her time to the Terry Fox Run. She was always one of the first to arrive and definitely the last to leave after every penny was accounted for and the paperwork necessary for a successful run was filed. We value and appreciate Melanie's efforts over the years and look forward to her contributions in the years to come!

PAOLO SIRIANNI

NIAGARA NUTRITION PARTNERS (2 YEARS)

Above and beyond his important role as leader of Father Hennepin elementary school, Paolo led the school's daily breakfast program. He led a team of 12 parents in serving 50 hot meals to hungry students EVERY DAY! He helped coordinate fundraisers and food drives for the program and would pack his own vehicle with groceries as needed. During school closures, he worked with Niagara Nutrition Partners to help ensure students had continued access to healthy foods, donating over 600 boxes of grains collected during our January Cereal Drive.

TARA THORNE

SCOUTS CANADA NIAGARA AREA (19 YEARS)

Tara is an adult volunteer for Scouts Canada's 6th Niagara Group, and works with our youngest co-ed section called Beaver-Scouts, out of St. Andrew's United Church. Tara's first job with the group was at the age of fourteen, as a one on one helper for a visual­ly challenged youth. She volunteers to help with area scouting events, and has used her knowledge to assist and train other adult volunteers for the role.

PERRY WONG

PROJECT SHARE (7 YEARS)

Perry Wong has been giving freely of his time as a volunteer since 2013, taking on a variety of roles: assisting families who come for emergency food services, sorting food donations, and participating in events such as our Annual Food Drives. He is a member of our fund raising committee and volunteers daily during our Christmas Basket season to match families with community sponsors. Perry is compassionate, patient, kind and just a phone call away to help whenever we are in a jam. Most recently, he has joined our Board of Directors. Volunteers like Perry are the backbone of our agency and we certainly couldn't manage without him!