The Stittsville Volunteer Awards highlight and celebrate the dedication of volunteers in our community.  The annual awards ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 31 at Johnny Leroux Arena.  You can watch a video of the presentations and see a list of nominees and recipients below.

The Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year

Awarded to an individual who best exemplifies community involvement and participation.

Capt. Brian Bedard (award recipient)
Captain Brian Bedard has been a volunteer firefighter in Stittsville since 1977. He started with the Goulbourn Fire Department Station 1 (Stittsville) and then, after amalgamation with the Ottawa Fire Services Station 81. He has more than 45 years of service with the fire service and in the community. He rose to the rank of Station Captain where he held the position from 2013 to 2018. He was the parade ambassador for the Stittsville Village Santa Claus parade for more than 15 years. He has lived in Stittsville with his family for four decades on Liard Street, right around the corner from the firehall. When his children were younger, he used to coach his son’s minor hockey team for a number of years back in the 1980s and 1990s. He was also very involved in fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy. He organized (and manned) the fire station’s booth every fall at the Stittsville Flea Market to collect donations. Stittsville was usually the top – or one of the top – fire stations for funds raised.

Penny Horeczy
Penny can often be seen working in our park gardens, trails, and exchanging heartfelt, sound advice on planting protocol. She holds the position of Vice-President of the Stittsville Goulbourn Horticultural Society, and has been instrumental in the planning and volunteer maintenance of the gardens at Lee Boltwood Park. She takes great pride in the floral gardens and can be found there many Saturdays planting and weeding. Penny ensures the planters in Village Square Park are filled with seasonal flowers and plants every year, and visits regularly to water and weed. She has manned the barricades at the Parade of Lights and organizes crews for the Clean the Capital Campaign. She volunteers at the SGHS plant sales and their events. Penny helps ensure that Stittsville residents have beautiful parks to visit, clean trails to walk and ride along, and great garden advice.

Glynn Kneebone
As president of the Kiwanis Club of Kanata-Stittsville since 2019, Glynn has led many community initiatives aimed at helping youth in the community. Some of those have included Movie Nights in Village Square Park, the Annual Youth Talent Showcase, and Trivia Nights at ALE. In addition, he has been a leader in raising funds for Chromebooks that have been donated to local school boards to distribute to underprivileged youth in the community. Most recently, he has been instrumental in creating the Stittsville Youth Homework Club, which operated this Spring, and he is currently working towards a more permanent drop-in centre in the community.  He has always been interested in helping youth in the community and was involved from 1989 to 1995 as a Cub Leader and as Chairman of the Stittsville Scouts Group Committee. 

Adrienne Noble
Adrienne started volunteering with the Goulbourn Skating Club 20 years ago and helped with many of the Club’s special events and went on to become the Treasurer and Registrar. In her roles, she has been responsible for more than 10,000 registrations over the years, registering all members annually with Skate Canada. She has volunteered for the club’s ice shows, and the Special Olympics Competition. She has been on the hiring committee for coaches and helped to upgrade the club’s by-laws. In addition, she has cooked soups, baked desserts and hosted many board meetings. She was the Executive Member on-site for CanSkate sessions and the safety officer throughout the pandemic. Adrienne has volunteered for 20 years – in addition to her responsibilities as a mother of three and now in her 39th year of teaching high school. She works with students who have exceptionalities, including those identified as ASD, Down Syndrome, and students with physical and learning disabilities. She has certainly inspired many skaters and their parents for her dedication to the community.

Chelsea Walton & Scott Muir
With a blended family of five girls, it is difficult to understand how they can accomplish so much outside of family demands. They have organized a local street party, movie nights, and the Halloween Skeleton snowsuit fundraising displays. They also initiated and organized the first annual Crossing Bridge Easter Egg Hunt. Chelsea and Scott have instilled in their children the importance of giving back to the community. During the summer months, the girls have lemonade and cookie stands to support local causes, including supporting a new Ukranian family. Their relentless drive and ambition to make the community a better place is a model for their children and everyone who knows them. The community has benefitted from their kindness, generosity, and passion for volunteerism.

The John Curry Memorial Youth of the Year

Awarded to a young person who exemplifies leadership, inspires their peers and has made a significant contribution to the community through volunteer service. Named in honour of the late John Curry, a long-time newspaper writer and editor, history keeper, school board trustee, and volunteer who served our community for nearly half a century with unwavering kindness and generosity.

Kaitlyn LeBoutillier (award recipient)
Kaitlyn is a grade 12 student at Sacred Heart High School, and she gives generously of her time for the benefit of others. Not only is she a sports enthusiast and plays on various teams, but she also volunteers many hours for the associations and leagues for which she played. She volunteers as a coach, a scorekeeper at special sports events, and has performed duties as a camp counselor during summer breaks with Luv2Groove summer camps. Every Thanksgiving she can be found at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School serving hot meals for those less fortunate. At Sacred Heart she coached teams and organized and managed clubs. She is a member of the ReconciliAction Club where she assists in organizing Indigenous initiatives for the school. She is also the editor of the school newspaper, a team lead for the 2023 Relay for Life, a member of the prom committee, part of the wellness team, and a member of Student Council.

Xavier Oteiza
Xavier is a grade 11 student at Sacred Heart High School, and he likes volunteering for the experience of giving back to his community. In the bitter cold and snow, he could often be seen at the Joe Lewis Park Outdoor Rink, helping to clear the way for everyone in the community by shovelling and flooding the rink. It didn’t matter if it was freezing cold, a snowstorm or nighttime. He persisted when others would have easily given up because of the elements. Because of his hard work, rink organizers were able to provide the community with more than 30 days of outdoor skating in a year when many struggled to open at all. He is polite, hard-working, and a quick learner. He takes pride in this work and is a great example of volunteerism in the community.

Rebecca Cocchetto
Rebecca is a grade 12 student at South Carleton High School and plans to study Human Kinetics at Ottawa U this fall. Rebecca has been volunteering with the 11th Stittsville Embers as a Junior Leader for more than five years. She has been instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the unit, despite the pandemic and other challenges. In 2021, the unit was facing closure when it lost all of its adult members. Rebecca stepped up and was instrumental in providing new volunteers with advice and sharing experiences. She has advocated for the importance of keeping youth physically fit and involving them in nature. For Rebecca, the best part of volunteering is watching the Embers develop and grow as people and seeing their excitement when doing something new or interesting.


Senior of the Year

Awarded in recognition of a senior citizen who has made a significant and long-standing contribution to our community.

Dave Rooke (receipient)
Dave is a long-time Rotarian and served as Club President from July 2020 to June 2021. He embodies the Rotary principle of Service Above Self in all aspects of life. Dave is involved in projects with local and nearby indigenous communities. He is a driving force on the Rotary’s Indigenous Working Group. When there was a call for support to transport sewing supplies to remote indigenous schools, Dave answered the call. When there was a call to transport winter boots to indigenous youth participating in Back to the Land activities, Dave answered the call. He coordinates Stittsville’s efforts to deliver flowers to residents at Thanksgiving. He participates in most community outreach projects and is a driving force behind the club’s involvement in women’s shelter assistance, refugee settlement programs, and support for the Stittsville Food Bank. He has provided mentorship and leadership in supporting food banks, at-risk youth, new Canadians, indigenous communities, and environmental challenges. He is once again taking on the Rotary presidency for the next season.

Capt. Brian Bedard
Captain Brian Bedard has been a volunteer firefighter in Stittsville since 1977. He started with the Goulbourn Fire Department Station 1 (Stittsville) and then, after amalgamation with the Ottawa Fire Services Station 81. He has more than 45 years of service with the fire service and in the community. He rose to the rank of Station Captain where he held the position from 2013 to 2018. He was the parade ambassador for the Stittsville Village Santa Claus parade for more than 15 years.


Business of the Year

Awarded to an active Stittsville business that goes above and beyond to support the community and make it a better place in which to live.

Scratch Box Gastro Truck (award recipient)
Scratch Box Chef Reggie Olson & Family opened their business during the pandemic. Chef Reggie and is family are committed to the community, which was evident during the derecho storm last May. They provided free meals to anyone who didn’t have power, and he did this again during the last ice storm. When there were break-ins at several food trucks, Reggie offered his support – even though his own had been broken into. He offered 160 free meals to volunteers during the Parade of Lights, supports Operation Come Home, and quietly helps to provide meals to families and individuals who are struggling in our community. Scratch Box is the kind of small business that makes a big positive difference in our community.

Amberwood Lounge and Eatery (ALE)
ALE is a family-run business that has operated out of the Amberwood Village clubhouse since 2016. They are more than just a restaurant and have supported the community through fundraising activities and special events. This includes the Trivia Master, which has raised $8,000 towards organizations such as a Breast Cancer support group, the Kiwanis Club, The Military Wives Group, and a special group that raises funds for disabled athletes. They also work with Algonquin College to mentor young adults seeking to enter the Food and Beverage industry.

Foley Peeters Home Team
Foley-Peeters has been a force for positivity, fun, and togetherness in our community, conducting food drives, pumpkin and yard bag handouts in the fall, and Christmas tree donations and letters to Santa during holidays. For the local Halloween event, they helped to collect more than 100 snowsuits for families in Ottawa. They volunteer their time for the community in many ways, including the popular “Party in the Park” that happens in just a few weeks at Jackson Trails and Fernbank Crossing. It includes bouncy castles, pony rides, BBQ, face-painting, and so much more. Most recently, they were valuable contributors to this year’s Easter Egg Hunt in Crossing Bridge. They are true role models that thrive on community engagement and support.



Volunteer Group of the Year

Awarded to a group of citizens who are actively working together to make a difference in the Stittsville community.

Hazeldean Gardens Retirement Residence Volunteers (award recipient)
Hazeldean Gardens is fortunate to have more than 12 regular volunteers who donate their time to enrich the lives of more than 150 seniors living in the retirement residence. They help to ensure that residents are living in a vibrant and caring community. Many of these activities extend to events that are enjoyed by all of Stittsville. The range of volunteer activities include bus excursions and picnics, personal shopping, reading, painting, sing-alongs, fitness, bazaars, bingo, billiards, shuffleboard, fireworks displays, fundraising, celebrations and more.

Chelsea Walton, Scott Muir & Family
This family has done so much for the community, bringing us together in smiles, and laughter. Residents may remember their creative Halloween skeletons on Crantham Crescent last fall. They continued their involvement with the Easter Egg Hunt at Crossing Bridge Park. Or perhaps you’ve dropped by for a cookie or lemonade fundraiser for great causes. Both Chelsea and Scott are busy parents and busy volunteers in the community, and they make community service a fun family adventure. 

Lionhearts Inc.
Under Travis Blackmore’s leadership, Lionhearts has worked in Food Rescue, picking up donations from businesses and farmers who donate their surplus food items for people in need. They are set to rescue more than $5 million worth of food this year. Travis works out of Chapel Ridge Church, coordinating more than 40 volunteers who help to rescue bread seven days a week.


Teacher of the Year

Awarded in recognition of an outstanding teacher who makes a difference in the lives of Stittsville Students. A teacher that goes above and beyond to support students and inspires the next generation of leadership in the community.

Matthew Davey (award recipient)
Matthew is a Grade 8 teacher at Goulbourn Middle School. He infuses his practice (and the school) with humour and a lot of care. After months of isolated, online learning, he turned his overgrown hair into an opportunity for his students to refine their persuasive essay-writing skills. The student who wrote the most effective essay selected his haircut and facial hair style. His homeroom facilitated a school-wide fundraising event to contribute to the school’s goal of creating an outdoor classroom. He teaches the students how to be people of strong character and active in community life.

Sandra Polito
Sandra is a Grade 6 teacher at Guardian Angels School and has been influential in helping new Canadian students become familiar and comfortable with a new culture and school environment. She is responsive, caring, and passionate about education.  She is a leader at the school and is involved in special activities and events that make school life special for her students.