Danielle Spraggs, Thelma Rodriguez, Ali El Massri, Amy Shaw, Tristan Kennedy, John Barnes with Bill Dingwall after the Community Service Awards. (City of Pitt Meadows/Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows honours 2021’s do-gooders with Community Service Awards

Not only were the third annual City of Pitt Meadows Community Service Awards held in person, but the event drew large crowds with grateful residents for the community champions.

During the city’s annual Christmas celebrations, the city recognized individuals who had dedicated their time and lives towards doing good for the society, on Dec. 3.

“Every year, I am extremely impressed with the ways Pitt Meadows residents have gone above and beyond in the face of ongoing challenges and I’m very pleased to recognize them for their efforts,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall adding, “We have some incredible residents nominated by our residents.”

The Spirit of Pitt Meadows Award for the Outstanding Resident of the Year, which recognizes the contributions of an individual for their overall outstanding community service, dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Pitt Meadows, was awarded to Amy Shaw.

Shaw was lauded for her dedication to enhancing the community with the Hearts on the Fence initiative at Pitt Meadows Elementary. Shaw was also recognized for helping beautify Pitt Meadows and spread positivity through community service during a challenging year.

The Community Service Award, which recognizes exemplary leadership and outstanding community service without regard for personal gain, was awarded to John Barnes, “for his selfless commitment to Pitt Meadows through volunteerism and community contributions.” Barnes is involved with the Pitt Meadows Seniors Centre, volunteering his time helping with events, organizing trivia and the pool team, and assisting seniors with computer challenges. He, along with his wife are also recognized for helping to improve local park space after beavers removed several trees, which were replanted by parks staff.

The Community Service Youth Award in the 13 to 18 years age bracket, was awarded to Ali El Massri, for showing what it means to be a role model for his peers through volunteerism and academics.

“A bright 16-year-old student at Pitt Meadows Secondary School, Ali volunteers many hours at the Friends in Need Food Bank during school holidays. Ali is also an excellent student, with plans to go into computer programming after graduation. Ali continues to give back to his community and maintain excellent grades. Pitt Meadows is proud of this young leader making such a positive difference in our community,” said Dingwall.

The Community Service Youth Award for ages 5 to 12, was awarded to Tristan Kennedy for his inspiring desire to help others and promote positivity in the community during a challenging time.

During the lockdown in April 2020, Kennedy and his mom started posting riddles and jokes outside their house in an effort to make their neighbours smile. Over 150 jokes later, they created a book out of them and sold it with the profits benefiting the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society and the Friends in Need Food Bank, raising over $5,000.

The Good Neighbour Award, recognized Thelma Rodriguez for her outstanding dedication to help others in her community. She alone received five nominations for this award. For many years, Rodriguez has volunteered her time and resources to temporary farm workers in Pitt Meadows, providing them with meals, clothing, and bicycles during their stay here. She is also known for stopping her car to give random people an umbrella on rainy days.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge locals lend a helping hand to migrant farm workers

“We have the best community for a reason. 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 and making us all Pitt Meadows Proud,” said Dingwall.

Nominations were received, reviewed and selected by the citizen-led task force comprising of Angela Williams, Leslie Bennewith, Gay Conn, Danielle Spraggs and Carole Kubb.


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