Stittsville Appreciation Award winners announced

Namitha Abraham, Robin Derrick, Cathy Skinner, Brown’s Your Independent Grocer were all announced as winners at the Stittsville Appreciation Awards tonight.

Jim Watson and Shad Qadri were on hand to congratulate 25 nominees in four categories.  Nominees and winners are listed below.  (Biographies of the nominees are included below.)

Youth Citizen of the Year
Namitha Abraham (winner)
Jack Fan
Caroline Frost
Tyler Rehman

Senior Citizen of the Year
Robin Derrick (winner)
Don & Fran Cooper
Phil Sweetnam

Business of the Year
Brown’s Your Independent Grocer (winner)
Gaia Java
Shane Foley, Realtor
Spa Olivia

Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year (presented by the Griffiths family)
Cathy Skinner (winner)
Brian Bedard
Jacqueline Curran
Elisa Frost
Glen Gower
Nancy Lalonde
Sonia Larabie
Tim Laroque
Jillian McKim
Craig Pavia
Brad Spriggs
Kevin Timmins

Shad Qadri also presented Mayor Jim Watson with a light-hearted proclamation naming him an honourary Stittsville resident, recognizing his ongoing participation in neighbourhood events.

Namitha Abraham

  • Nami is an active volunteer at school and in the community.
  • She has worked with students and seniors in making sandwiches to aid the Ottawa Mission. When she learned that  the Stittsville Food Bank was running low on supplies Nami approached the largest Canadian Women’s Group, the Catholic Women’s League of Canada  to host a Tea Room to raise monies for the Stittsville Food Bank. Her vision was great, her direction was focused and her determined efforts surpassed $500 for the Food Bank at this particular event.
  • Nami has an incredible work ethic which allows her to work so hard in her various communities, all the while maintaining excellent grades, maintaining  family responsibilities, and participating in dance, soccer, running, and kickboxing.
  • Nami has said that she “aspires to make a difference in this world”.

Jack Fan

  • Member of the Goulbourn Skating Club
  • Special Olympics skater who won a gold medal at the recent Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C.
  • what makes this extra special is how he did it, overcoming adversity including an almost 24 hour travel day to get there and injury to win the gold medal and help Team Ontario win the Canada Winter Games flag.
  • Jack is the Goulbourn Skating Club’s most successful Special Olympics skater to date.
  • He has won three gold medals and a silver medal in four events at this year’s Special Olympics Eastern Ontario Regional Skating Competition.
  • On his second day at the Winter Olympic Games, Jack sprained his ankle and was unable to skate on his first practice day.
  • Despite being in a great deal of discomfort, he managed to persevere and take place second in the elements portion of the competition – going on to win a gold medal in the free-skate portion of the competition.
  • His success has brought much recognition and acknowledgement to the Club, especially its Special Olympics program.

Tyler Rehman

  • 15 year old Tyler left his Stittsville home last fall to play football at Saint James preparatory school in Maryland.
  • He has become one of the top freshman quarterbacks in all of the United States and has a promising career ahead of him in major college football.
  • Tyler is more than just a football What makes Tyler really stand out willingness to help others.
  • Tyler has now taken a local neighbourhood youngster under his wing when he is home visiting with him and encouraging him is all that he does.
  • Tyler has been quoted saying “Stittsville to me is like heaven.”
  • Tyler is an example of the type of outstanding youth that the Stittsville community produces.

Caroline Frost

  • When an opportunity arises where help is needed Caroline is the first to offer a hand.
  • In High School Students are required to conduct 40 hours of community service in order to receive their diploma by grade 12 Caroline is in grade 9 and has well surpassed this.
  • She has organized her own initiatives for local charities, such as a school food drive for the Stittsville Food Bank.
  • She has helped organized and participate in such fundraisers as the Abaca Way Fundraiser, Parade of Lights, Stittsville Food Bank Fill the Bus, and Girl Guides, just to name a few.
  • On Canada Day You can be sure to find Caroline helping out at the seniors day breakfast bright and early followed by the Canada Day celebrations put on by the Village Association.
  • This youth goes above and beyond to help out in her community. She is a true motivator for other youth to make a difference in their community.

Phil Sweetnam

  • Phil Sweetnam has served as a representative on the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority for over 30 continuous years.
  • Phil has been chair of the Conservation Authority Board and over the years has been a vigorous proponent for protection and improvement of Poole Creek in Stittsville.
  • He has served as president of the Stittsville village Association and is currently the vice-chair of the SVA.
  • Phil is a ready volunteer to help out at the special events which the SVA organizes such as the Canada Day celebrations and Art in the Park.
  • Phil is a member of the Board of Directors and is the current treasurer of the Goulbourn Museum.
  • He also serves on the Ottawa West Board of Trade Board of Directors.
  • Phil is also an active member of Stittsville United Church.


Shane Foley

  • An active real estate agent in the community of Stittsville, he  has organized what is now an annual party in the Park in Jackson Trails for family, friends and residents, donating proceeds to the local Stittsville Food Bank.
  • At Thanksgiving he delivers over 500 pumpkins & yard waste bags to local residents.
  • He has formed a proud partnership with the locally owned & operated Stittsville Rona.
  • He is a proud supporter of the Stittsville Lawn Bowling Association

Glen Gower /

  • Glen has been involved in many volunteer activities supporting community goals in Stittsville.
  • Active member on the Fairwinds Community Association and Stittsville Village Association and Facebook groups helping residents network and communicate.
  • Glen started StittsvilleCentral.caca last year, an online community focused site which celebrates, informs and connects people, places, activities related to Stittsville and the immediate area.
  • The site has a range of topics from local current affairs, development, and history of Stittsville.
  • In addition to this site, Glen also runs citywide site called com from his Stittsville home that also covers a wide scope of topics for a broader demographic.


Gaia Java

  • This coffee house run by Paul Jay and Paul Melsness is not only a quiet, relaxing place to spend some time with friends,
  • They also showcase local musical talent every Friday night with no cover charge and the entertainment is great!
  • They are willing supporters of local events by helping promote the efforts of local fundraisers and charities.
  • By the way, the coffee is also great!


Todd and Sandra Brown YIG:

  • Todd Brown not only provides exceptional customer service at his Brown’s Your Independent Grocer store.
  • He and Sandra are also major community supporters, welcoming into the store, local organizations to set up there for fundraising or awareness
  • An annual tradition at Brown’s YIG is the Angel Tree which supports the Stittsville Food Bank.
  • Brown’s YIG also supports the Food Bank with the “Fill The Bus” along with the City of Ottawa and OC Accepting donations for the Food Bank.
  • They welcome student coop work placements in the store making a special effort to have special needs students have the opportunity to experience work placements.

Spa Olivia

  • Spa Olivia is a small business that offers an amazing array of services.
  • The owner Connie makes you feel like you are part of something special every time you go.
  • She is also involved in raising money for community projects.
  • Recently Connie had a group of young boys in making tutus to sell to raise money for a family in need.

Brian Bedard

  • In his role as a firefighter he has done many volunteer events such as fundraising car washes, pancake breakfasts, and tours of the fire station.
  • Brian also donates his time towards the Stittsville Parade of Lights and has acted as the Chief Parade Marshall over the past several years.

Jacqueline Curran

  • Jacqueline currently acts as the Co-chair of the Holy Spirit Parent Council.
  • Jacqueline has been the group coordinator for the U12 girls’ soccer at the West Ottawa Soccer Club for the last 6 years
  • She is also the Convenor of the recreation program for the Goulbourn Basketball Association.
  • Participates in a weekly coffee group where she is always encouraging new people to join.

Elisa Frost

  • Elisa is an active volunteer with the Girl Guides.
  • Has volunteered in the community with Canada Day, Fill the Bus for the Food Bank, and other Food Bank events.
  • Elisa fosters kittens who need a loving home.

Glen Gower

  • Glen is a founding member of the Fairwinds Community Association.
  • He has aided in the preservation of heritage buildings in Stittsville.
  • Glen has launched the website and supports local businesses through his website.
  • His active  social  media  presence  through  Stittsville  Neighbours  has  been  beneficial  to  the community.

Nancy Lalonde

  • Nancy is involved in the Make A Wish Foundation of Eastern Ontario and has fundraised for Tysen’s Mission to a Million.
  • She is a dance mom and spends a lot of time taking her daughter to practices and tournaments.

Sonia Larabie

  • Sonia started the Facebook group ‘Buy Nothing Stittsville’
  • This group has over 1100 Stittsville members
  • The group has brought many residents of the community together and has helped to foster new friendships among the community
  • Volunteers at her children’s school

Tim Larocque

  • Tim has worked to get the Jackson Trails Community Association running.
  • Through the Association, he has planned a pancake breakfast and Easter egg hunt.
  • He volunteers as Co-President of the Stittsville Cooperative Nursery School, and Co-Chair of the St. Stephen’s elementary school.
  • Has helped with fundraising events for the nursery and elementary school.
  • Sits on the board for the Stittsville Village Association.

Jillian McKim

  • Jillian is the Co-Chair of the Westwind School Parent Council
  • Organizes fundraising and community events through her role on the Parent Council.
  • Jillian has fought against the Fernbank development.
  • Chair of the South West Stittsville Community Association.
  • She has participated in events like the Parade of Lights and volunteers with the Food Bank and Snow Suit Fund.

 Craig Pavia

  • Craig is a long time volunteer of the Stittsville Minor Softball Association.
  • Helps to run regular fastball practice sessions.
  • Volunteers within the community bringing attention to personal fitness for youth.

Cathy Skinner

  • Cathy has been an executive committee member of the Crossing Bridge Residents Association for over 18 years.
  • She has also been a parent volunteer for A. Lorne Cassidy elementary school for 9 years, continuing on even after her children moved up to high school.
  • Cathy has been a professional skating coach with the Goulbourn Skating Club for the past 21 years, during which time she has been actively involved with youth in the community.
  • She has also been a head coach of the Goulbourn Skating Club Special Olympics Program for 5 years.
  • Through her involvement in the Special Olympics she has been a coach for the Provincial Winter Games, National Winter Games, World Winter Games, and Canada Winter Games.
  • Cathy has also been involved in annual fundraisers for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Walk for Memories, the Ontario March of Dimes, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Brad Spriggs

  • Brad is an active volunteer in many facets around the community.
  • Helps the 9RunRun committee.
  • Involved in the Rotary Club and does fundraising such as trivia night and a polio eradication campaign.
  • Involved in the planning and development of the Rotary Peace Park.
  • Brad has also volunteered on in international level through his volunteerism in Uganda.

Kevin Timmins

  • Kevin has been the president of the Goulbourn Skating Club for 11 years, even after his children left the program.
  • He is an advocate of the Special Olympics Program, which is offered by the Goulbourn Skating Club.

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