The second annual City of Pitt Meadows Community Service Awards may have been celebrated virtually, but the city is just as grateful to its recipients, if not more so this year.
The city recognized its do-gooders during a live-streamed council meeting Tuesday, March 2.
Mayor Bill Dingwall said he is extremely proud to celebrate the role models and leaders who have stepped up in extraordinary ways during a challenging year.
“We have the best community for a reason,” Dingwall said.
“People are the heart of Pitt Meadows and our nominees and recipients deserve special recognition for their outstanding commitment to enhancing the well-being of our community.”
The awards recognize outstanding contributions and achievements by individuals, organizations and businesses that help make Pitt Meadows a better place to live.
The Spirit of Pitt Meadows Award, also known as the Outstanding Resident of the Year Award was presented to Patricia Gordon for her active citizenship and outstanding dedication to the community.
As a long-time community leader and advocate, Gordon has devoted countless hours to supporting and promoting civic engagement, particularly in the arts. She was instrumental in helping to raise funds for the purchase and donation of the Heron Sculpture at City Hall as a public art piece to foster local pride and connectedness.
The Community Service Award, which recognizes exemplary leadership and outstanding community service without regard for personal gain, was awarded to Dave Saddler for his selfless commitment to protecting the safety of this community for over 34 years.
Since joining the Pitt Meadows Fire Department as a volunteer in 1985, Saddler has devoted his life to helping others – responding to emergency calls all hours of the day and night.
He has served in various key positions of leadership helping to mentor and train the next generation as a long-time captain and currently as assistant paid-on-call chief.
Saddler also volunteers countless hours at community events such as Pitt Meadows Day and Christmas in Pitt Meadows and through fundraising initiatives such as Movember, the Muscular Dystrophy Boot Drive, and the Christmas Food & Toy Drive.
The Community Service Youth Award, which recognizes the positive contributions of a young member of the community was awarded to Fatima Oday Al-Jumaili for showing what it means to be a role model for her peers through volunteerism. Since 2016 the Pitt Meadows Secondary School Grade 12 student has contributed many hours volunteering through Grace Community Church with the Friends in Need Food Bank, which serves more than 2500 people a month with food and essentials in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
The Good Neighbour Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions to their neighbourhood community through acts of kindness was awarded to Diane Siemens.
The administrator of the Pitt Meadows Community Facebook group – which has 7,000 members – supports local businesses with free advertising, and regularly helps those in need at Christmas time, after a tragedy such as a house fire or connecting neighbours who need help with things like moving a couch.
Siemens is also generous in volunteering her time to helping those in the community including driving seniors to the polls to vote, organizing Christmas hampers for local families and seniors in need, as a “Friend of the Library,” and at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
She has also fostered 22 dogs for LEASH, a Pitt Meadows rescue association.
The Business of the Year Award was awarded to Envision Fitness for demonstrating community spirit by enhancing the well-being of its members and the community.
In addition to providing physical wellness training, the team at Envision has set up a passport program that encourages its members to give back to the community in many ways such as contributing to our local food bank, donating clothing, giving blood, and volunteering.
This year there were no eligible nominations submitted for the Against All Odds Achievement and Community Service Youth (ages 13-15) categories.
Chief Administrative Officer Mark Roberts said the Community Service Awards are part of the city’s ongoing commitment to promoting community spirit and well-being.
“Although we were unable to come together in-person to celebrate as a community, we wanted to thank all those who took the time to nominate and look forward to celebrating with this year’s recipients when it is safe to do so at next year’s in-person event,” Roberts said.
Nominations were received, reviewed and selected by the citizen-led task force, which included: James Lapierre, Angela Williams, Leslie Bennewith and Carole Kubb.
For more information or to view past award winners, visit pittmeadows.ca/awards.
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