Bob Mullen, Adrienne Wan and the owners of Ancaster’s Coach and Lantern Pub were honoured with the Ancaster Citizen of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year and Business of the Year, respectively.
The annual award ceremony, presented by the Ancaster Division of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, was held on April 6 at the Ancaster Mill.
Bob Mullen has more than five decades of volunteer service to his credit. He contributes more than 1,400 volunteer hours annually.
Mullen is a 53-year member of the Knights of Columbus, past treasurer and financial co-ordinator of the Knights’ Lobsterfest and a member of the Ancaster Community Food Drive committee. Along with his wife, Audrey, Mullen volunteers twice weekly at McMaster University Medical Centre.
“I really thank Ancaster for giving me the opportunity to do what I love best and that’s to help people out and make our surrounding community a better place to live,” said Mullen.
Mullen was selected among three candidates for the award.
Citizen of the Year nominee Mary Ann Leach chairs the Ancaster Heritage Days advisory board, as well as the Ancaster tree-lighting ceremonies.
Barbara Gowitzke Waddell, a retired McMaster University professor, worked with all six municipalities of the former Hamilton-Wentworth to develop municipal antismoking by-laws.
She was president of the Hamilton Council on Smoking and Health for eight years and president of the Ancaster Horticultural Society for five years. For four years, she served as director of District Six of the Ontario Horticultural Association.
Youth Volunteer of the Year award winner Adrienne Wan has compiled more than 800 volunteer hours, including participation on the Ancaster Youth Activity Council, the Ancaster Community Food Drive, Students Taking Action Against Nicotine Deception, the student transition education program, Leadership in Action, Ancaster High’s 50th anniversary celebrations, World Vision’s Fill a Stable fundraiser, and several other events and charitable causes.
She is the second member of her family to win the youth volunteer award, following in the footsteps of her older brother, Justin, the 2007 award winner.
Adrienne is also a member of her school’s badminton, tennis and touch football teams.
In her acceptance speech, Adrienne credited her parents and grandparents, who continue to volunteer well into their eighties.
“When I think of volunteering I think it’s an opportunity to really serve the community and give back to others. So I think we should all challenge ourselves to do that extra stuff, to go out and help one another and change the world that we live in,” said Adrienne. At the awards evening, Adrienne received a bursary towards her post-secondary education presented by Ancaster’s two Rotary Clubs.
Three other candidates were nominated for Youth Volunteer of the Year.
Meghan Debicki is involved in several charitable initiatives at her school, Tapply Binet College in Ancaster. Last December, she organized the school’s participation in the Adopt a Family program, an initiative which pairs schools with financially disadvantaged families in Hamilton’s north end.
Alex Fensham, an Ancaster High School student, is the current president of the school’s video club. He helped to organize a REEL Canada film festival at his school and worked on Ancaster High’s award-winning video for the Hamilton Police Safe Schools contest.
Victoria Sullivan is an honour student and student council member at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School. She has been involved in several charitable fundraisers such as the Halloween for Hunger food drive at her school, and served as co-organizer of the Out of the Cold fundraiser and Style by Sole, a campaign that provides shoes for children in third world countries.
Business owners Mark Hodge and Andrea Cassis accepted the Business of the Year award for the Coach and Lantern Pub on Wilson Street East in the Ancaster Village.
The award-winning eatery patronizes local suppliers and offers a unique dining experience in a 175- year-old heritage building. The establishment supports many local causes, such as the Rotary Club of Ancaster, Ancaster Little League, Ancaster Community Food Drive, Ancaster Heritage Days and others.
Other business of the Year nominees included Fothergill Planning and Development, which has played a key role in the development of the new Ancaster Fairgrounds, and National Institute of Esthetics (NIE Spa), which provides no-cost esthetic services to clients undergoing cancer treatment.