The 2022 Stittsville Volunteer Awards ceremony was held on Monday, June 6 in the hall of the Johnny Leroux Arena. This annual event started in 1990, and highlights and celebrates the dedication of volunteers in our community.

A special thanks to everyone who made last night’s event possible, including Lynn Griffiths, Roxanne Olivier-Fortier (national anthem), Collinda Joseph (guest speaker), Mayor Jim Watson, iSiLIVE, and my team: Isobel, Amélie, Aline, Jordan, Catherine and Tracy.

You can watch a video of the event here, and see the nominees and recipients listed below.


The Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year Award
Le prix commémoratif Roger Griffiths

Roger Griffiths was a leading citizen in our community who served as town councillor, president of the Legion, and a volunteer firefighter. This award is presented to an individual who best exemplifies community involvement and participation.

Scott Phelan (2022 Award Recipient)
Scott has made significant contributions to the Stittsville community, including the large Stittsville hockey community. He is serving his second term as the President of the Stittsville Minor Hockey Association, in addition to several years of volunteering his time as coach and on-ice helper for various teams. That’s no small task in a normal year, but all the more challenging during the ups and downs of the pandemic. Co-ordinating and leading the efforts of a large number of volunteers, Scott has been able to stick-handle through the various challenges for the organization to keep our kids on the ice at the same time as keeping them safe.

Scott is also actively contributing to the Stittsville community at-large, through efforts such as food drives to support the Stittsville Food Bank, and as a key organizer in establishing the outdoor rink at Village Square to allow access to ice for all when indoor ice was inaccessible. He is quick to respond to requests for assistance and need, and routinely goes above and beyond to contribute to causes in the community and is often first to raise his hand when something needs to be done.

Marie-Ange Ahinful
Marie-Ange est une mère de trois enfants passionnée, dévouée et présente. She’s a dedicated volunteer within the Stittsville community and beyond, generously donating her time and energy to a number of organizations and causes. With “Leading Ladies Ottawa”, she organizes events, workshops and activities to ensure that black women and youth are empowered members of their communities by equipping them with the tools and resources required for personal and career expansion. Elle mérite la gratitude pour tout le bien fait, pour sa détermination, pour son engagement infaillible et constant au sein de notre communauté.

Joseph Carbonetto
Joseph has been involved in Stittsville as a volunteer for over 18 years, and is also nominated in the Business of the Year category. Starting with a small Halloween display in 2004 to commemorate his brother’s passing and passion for this holiday, Joseph has built this into an annual event and raised thousands of dollars for the Stittsville Food Bank and other local charities. He has volunteered with the Knights of Columbus Stittsville Chapter since 2007 at charitable events and fundraisers in Stittsville as a volunteer, participant and chair. He has endless energy and a natural instinct for thinking about the welfare and wellbeing of our community.

Trevor Eggleton
Trevor Eggleton is the founder of the Stittsville Pumpkin Parade, and served as a director with the Stittsville Village Association for seven years. He has also participated in, and brought inspiration to, many events hosted by the Association. The Pumpkin Parade was established in 2013 with 200 carved pumpkins and has grown into a much larger event each year on November 1st.  Trevor donates his time generously to bring our community together, with an eye to helping those less fortunate.

Lesley McKay
Lesley is also nominated for Senior Citizen of the Year, for her volunteer work with the Goulbourn Township Historical Society, Stittsville Village Association, Stittsville Lions, and – just to name a few. We should also mention that Lesley was born and raised in Stittsville, and her family has a long history in the village, including as volunteers. She is known to give a kind and caring hand to many community members, checking in regularly and helping in any way that she can. 

Stephen O’Kane
Stephen’s love of soccer goes deep – in fact the “Pat O’Kane soccer field” in Kanata was named after his father. Continuing in his father’s footsteps, he started coaching soccer for various ages of kids in 2015, many of whom live in Stittsville. To him, coaching soccer is not only about the games, but also about giving back to both soccer community and the community he lives and loves. He forges a positive and fun atmosphere, where players feel empowered. He encourages every player to embrace challenges, dedicating countless hours, effort, and sweat to our local soccer community. He also hosts a soccer podcast, and launched a fundraising campaign to establish a scholarship fund, aiming to give to families who wish for their children to play but cannot otherwise afford the registration and/or equipment. Just one of many examples of his community volunteer efforts.

John Curry Memorial Youth of the Year Award
Prix commémoratif John Curry pour le Jeune de l’année

Awarded to a young person who exemplifies leadership, inspires their peers and has made a significant contribution to the community through volunteer service.

This year we’ve re-named the award in honour of John Curry, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 75. John was a long-time newspaper writer and editor, history keeper, school board trustee, author, playwright, and volunteer. He served our community for nearly half a century with unwavering kindness and generosity. His work made a difference in the lives of many people in the community, and he had a particular interest in celebrating the achievements of youth in our community.

Lara Sweidan (2022 Award Recipient)
Lara attends South Carleton High School and has over 165 hours of community service in in our community. While working with OneProsper she connected with girls in India from low income families and helped practice English over a 6 month period. Within her own community Lara volunteered at a Languages Sunday School, she participated in local park clean ups, the Richmond fair, was a volunteer coach with Kanata Gymnosphere and helped with summer camps at Saunders farm. She also participates in numerous school clubs, sports, and other activities.

Jason Birmingham
In 2021, Jason participated in over 200 volunteer hours for his community including Cleaning the Capital at Village Square Park, FUNdraisers in the Park, and book sales to benefit the Stittsville Food Bank. Jason also led student groups in fundraising activities for the community as a mentor and group leader. He has accumulated close to 300 volunteer hours so far.

Senior of the Year / Aîné de l’année

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

Lesley McKay (2022 Award Recipient)
As a volunteer with the Goulbourn Township Historical Society, Lesley was editor of the group’s newsletter and later became a board member. She is a Director on the Board of the Stittsville Village Association, and was part of the coordinating committee for Stittsville’s Blossom Fest. She recently joined The Stittsville Lions.  And as the Managing Editor of, Lesley has made it her mission to keep the community engaged and informed on current news and events.

John Edkins
John is a photographer who has been a member of the Ottawa West Arts Association for many years. He has served as Acting Director and Co-Chair of the group to ensure that it continued to bring art into the community, at the OWAA Gallery at CARDELREC. John established and maintained the association’s web site, produced slide shows for every gallery changeover, acquired and produced content for the gallery’s video display, and encouraged new artists to join the association through advertising and word of mouth.

Marion Gullock
Marion’s contributions to the community go back decades. She was Secretary and Treasurer when the Stittsville Horticultural Society was formed in 1962. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Stittsville Friendship Club in 1982, and helps to organize luncheons and excursions for the group.

She has also been a part of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Stittsville Legion, a member of the Goulbourn Museum and Goulbourn Township Historical Society, the Stittsville Village Association, the Stittsville Lions, the Stittsville Minor Hockey Association, and many other groups and activities that have shaped our community. She is a previous winner of this award, in 2012, and was the Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year in 2000. 

Teacher of the Year / Enseignant de l’année

Awarded in recognition of an outstanding teacher in our community who goes above and beyond to support students and inspire the next generation of leadership in the community.

Andrew Arcello (2022 Award Recipient)
Andrew is a Grade 5 teacher at Guardian Angels school and is committed to making education fun and fascinating for his students. He is passionate about inclusion and acceptance of all students and their way of learning. Almost daily, he leads his students to WJ Bell Rotary Peace Park to learn about the outdoors, using the labyrinth within the park to teach about math and other studies. He also contributes his musical talent by playing piano as part of the school musicals.

Matthew Davey
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 recently 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 to be 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 involved in special activities and events that make school life special for her students.

Business of the Year / Entreprise de l’année

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

Stittsville Home Hardware – Bob Bent, owner (2022 Award Recipient)
Under the ownership of Bob Bent since 2014, there has been a great deal of community involvement from Home Hardware. They play an important role in supporting events in the community. They are a proud sponsor of three charitable organizations which help people in all parts of the country, focused on children and the environment. Their national charities are the SickKids Foundation, the Special Olympics and Tree Canada Foundation. Bob’s team volunteers to help set up the holiday lights in the trees at Village Square Park. They provide sponsorship and volunteer in the Kids Come First golf. They are an important supporter of the local business association, as well as local charities such as churches and schools.

Intenseffex – Joseph Carbonetto
Intenseffex, operated by Joseph Carbonetto, has been a fundraiser for the Knights of Columbus, raised and donated funds to the Stittsville Food Bank, Chrysalis House, the Stittsville United Church, Special Olympics, etc., as well as organizing the Stittsville Haunted Heritage Tours and book sales for the Stittsville Foodbank.

He lends his professional skills as a volunteer at Holy Spirit Parish. During the pandemic, Joseph came up with the idea of FUNdraisers in the Park, which promotes local artists and crafters with 100% of net rental proceeds going to charity. His company supplied the equipment and offered high school students volunteer hours that they needed for graduation. 

Ivan’s Meat & Deli – Operated by Ivan and Natalija Saric
In 1987, Ivan’s parents opened the Stittsville Meat Market on Main Street, taking over from long-time owner Garnet Shields. After his parents’ retirement in 2011, Ivan has continued his family’s legacy of providing top-quality meat and deli products to Stittsville residents – a staple of our community. Over 35 years this family business has generously donated to community events and activities, and demonstrated service and commitment to Stittsville.

Shane Foley and Josh Peeters of 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 at holiday time. They volunteer their time for the community in many ways, including the popular “Party in the Park” that happens in just a few weeks in Jackson Trails including bouncy castles, pony rides, BBQ, face-painting, and so much more. 

Volunteer Group of the Year / Groupe de bénévoles de l’année

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

Stittsville Muslim Association (2022 Award Recipient)
The Stittsville Muslim Association was established just a couple of years ago but they have quickly become an important community group in our community, working to connect with Stittsville’s Muslims and the community at large. They are raising money to establish a physical space in the community for their programs. In 2021, they were able to open a musalla on Stittsville Main Street, providing a space for prayer and for community meetings. They have since expanded, and are currently planning for their longer-term vision of establishing a mosque to serve the growing Muslim community in Stittsville.

Chelsea Walton, Scott Muir and 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 kept the community smiling through COVID. 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.