Six “exceptional local volunteers” were chosen to receive Mayor’s Awards on Thursday night as part of the Guelph Awards of Excellence Gala, including volunteer patrollers, a real estate agent and a 14-year-old goalie, among others.
“It is a privilege for me to shine a spotlight on these citizens’ contributions through the Mayor’s Awards,” said Mayor Guthrie.
“They are truly making Guelph a better place, and they are an inspiration to us all. On behalf of the City, I thank them for their volunteer service.”
Dale Gauley and Sean Magee were the driving force behind the Guelph Community Volunteer Patrol, founded in 1996. The patrol supported the Guelph Police by assisting in missing persons searches, picking up stolen bicycles and helping out with information campaigns.
The group disbanded this due to a lack of volunteers, but it was recognized for “significant contributions over the years” and valued as a “another set of eyes and ears for the police service and the community, a press release from the city said.
Hope and the City is an annual fundraiser for women’s cancers that has raised nearly $200,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society over its first decade of operations.
Its chair, real estate agent Stephanie Riley, was honoured for all of her volunteer work, which also included raising funds for Wellington’ Women in Crisis, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Guelph and the Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington.
A 14-year-old goalie inspired his team to raise funds for life-changing surgery for a young Ugandan boy with clubbed feet. The youth, Jagger Sheridan, has also led fundraising campaigns for women’s cancers and organizing fundraising bake sales, food drives, bottle drives and leaf raking.
His hockey team’s coach calls him “a quiet leader who inspires others both on and off the ice”. Sheridan plays guitar in a band, serves as a peer coach to Special Olympics athletics and maintains a rigorous training schedule with his hockey team.
Adrian Harding has served on the Hillside Festival board of directors for 18 years and, as a volunteer IT architect, built the network that provides reception and powers the debit terminals at Guelph Lake, where the local music festival is held annually.
Harding also has devised many of Hillside’s green initiatives, including pedal-powered batteries and solar cell-charging stations, and has served as treasurer, chair of the sustainability committee, and as a member of the human resources, finance, volunteer, vending, and artistic committees.
He is a co-founder of Diyode, a not-for-profit workshop for DIY enthusiasts and inventors that gives young people hands-on training in tools and mechanical equipment. He is also a volunteer for Trees for Tots, a float-maker for the Santa Claus parade, and a member of the City’s Downtown Advisory Committee.
John Valeriote has been a fixture of local boards of directors and fundraising committees for the past 50 years.
He was instrumental in establishing the Guelph Community Foundation and is a highly prized volunteer, fundraiser, and committee member at Hospice Wellington, the Basilica of Our Lady, and the Art Gallery of Guelph.
His fundraising efforts were key to the creation of the Family statute in St. George’s Square, the refurbishment of the carousel at Riverside Park, and the new Guelph Civic Museum. He has been a Rotarian for 44 years and a member of the boards of directors of the United Way and the Homewood for decades.
Working behind the scenes with generosity and integrity, John has helped ensure the success of many of Guelph’s cultural icons and community organizations.
Every sitting mayor since 1997 has presented the Mayor’s Awards.