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Gary and Sam Zuber
Gary and Sam are described by their nominator as the backbone of the Willow Road neighbourhood. Since the inception of the Onward Willow Better Beginnings Better Futures Program over 10 years ago, they have been tireless supporters, encouraging their neighbours to get involved in their community.
When a decision was made to focus neighbourhood resources on children younger than four years of age, Gary started selling hot dogs to fund programs for older children. Both Gary and Sam have a tremendous passion for building their neighbourhood, and a deep compassion for the most vulnerable people in our midst – children. They have had a positive impact on many lives, young and old, and show us what it means to be a good neighbour.
As the owner of Palmer Cleaning Centre with her husband George and son Chuck, Vivian saw the chance for the family business to make a difference in the community.
In partnership with the Onward Willow neighbourhood and the Holy Rosary Community consisting of Holy Rosary School, St. Patrick School and Holy Rosary Parish, Vivian founded an annual coat drive for men, women and children. For more than ten years, Palmer Cleaning Centre has been cleaning coats at no cost and distributing them to individuals and families through the Onward Willow Better Beginnings, Better Futures neighbourhood project. The family also collects and distributes snow pants and other winter wear.
In 2002, Vivian’s business cleaned almost 400 coats for distribution to people in need in our community. Vivian’s efforts contribute to making Guelph a caring community.
Pat De Vries
Pat De Vries is described by her church community as a “visionary, social activist, and selfless volunteer and founder of many innovative programs in our community.”
Pat lives with her sister, author Jean Little, and her two grandchildren. Pat and Jean together founded a support group in Guelph to assist grandparents and “special others” who are raising their grandchildren.
She is also a tireless volunteer for Chalmers United Church. Her vision has helped found many programs at Chalmers Church including the Fair Share Food Shelf, Saturday Night Suppers, haircut and flu clinics and life skills training. She inspired Chalmers to be the first church in Guelph (and one of very few churches in the province) to add a social worker to its staff.
Pat is a tremendous role model for others in our community.
Doug has volunteered at the Guelph Correctional Centre (now the Guelph Treatment Centre) for more than 40 years.
He has been involved with the Native Sons Program, participating in talking circles and serving as doorkeeper for the Sweat Lodge ceremonies. When this program was without a Native Liaison, he kept the program running.
He has also volunteered with the Alcoholics Anonymous program and the Literacy Program. With the latter program, he served as Volunteer Co-ordinator matching inmates with tutors including student tutors from the University of Guelph. He was also the liaison with Canada Post Retirees who have donated books and funds to the Literacy Program.
With the downsizing of the facility and program funding over the years, many of these programs would have stopped had it not been for the consistency of Doug’s volunteer commitment.
With the imminent closure of the facility, Doug has turned his zeal for volunteering to the Evergreen Senior’s Centre.