Your browser is not supported

Your browser is too old. To use this website, please use Chrome or Firefox.

Award Information

The Board of Directors Community Inclusion Award

The Board of Directors, recognizing the importance of inclusion, developed the first ‘Community Inclusion Award’. This award is in recognition of excellence in the practice and commitment to inclusion. 

Individuals and Organizations

It is presented to an individual or organization who:

  • Recognizes that individuals can contribute to and fully participate in their community motivates and inspires others to embrace the inclusion of all people in the community 
  • Is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people 
  • Serves as a role model in fostering the values of equity, integrity, dignity and respect.


Zac Spinosa
Forge Fitness

Zac Spinosa of Forge Fitness is all about inclusion. Having to overcome his own struggle, this motivated him to ensure his downtown business is welcoming to everyone. Adam and Zac have forged a strong bond that has developed into a friendship. Watch Zac and Adam’s video for more information.

Zac and Adam

Scott Bullett
BP Sports Park

Scott’s belief that everyone can play and belong is at the heart of what he does. His enthusiasm is truly infectious. We are proud to partner with BP Sports Park and Scott in many ways including our Summer YES program and The Welland Trotters. See Scotts Video for more information….and some great dancing.

Scott and his family

Cyril Warren

Most days, you will find Cyril at the YMCA playing pickle ball. He makes sure all members feel welcome. Through his dedication to volunteering, he has developed some true friendships with many of the members who are a part of the YMCA community. He is a true ambassadors for inclusion.

Cyril Warren and his Wife

Mark Melloni
Urge to Purge

Recognizing that having an inclusive work force is good for business, Mark Melloni and his team have embraced inclusive hiring practices. Thank you Mark and team for all you do in our Community.

Mark Malloni, David Middleton (Board President) Urge to Purge Employee

We:Act/Re:Action for Inclusion
Kyla McMahon
Jacob Campbell
Sharon Phillips

Inclusive School Communities are a place where kids grow and learn together. When Kyla and Jacob returned from Community Living Ontario Re:Action for Inclusion Conference, they wanted to do more. Kyla and Jacob started We:Act, a local initiative that supports relationship building both in and out of school.

Sharon Phillips, a long time advocate for Inclusive Education brought this passion to Blessed Trinity High School. She ensured that students belonged and had access to classes, was at the forefront of her approach.

Pelham Fire Station Number 2
Tim Vander Weider

Tim O’Sullivan comes from a long line of fire fighters. Tim Vander Weider of Pelham Fire Station Number 2 recognized Tim’s passion. Tim honored the tradition of the O’Sullivan’s in the Fire Department and presented Mr. O’Sullivan with a honorary membership. Tim joins the brigade during drills, practices and gatherings.

Jacob and Kyla
Sharon Phillips
Tim Vander Weider, Tim O’Sullivan, and Pelham Fire Crew

Michael Jacques

Michael is a young adult and lives and works in the Niagara region. He is an author, public speaker as well as a board member of Community Living Welland Pelham and Community Living Ontario. He was also the Co-Chair of the A Million Possibilities: Solo Ocean Row 2017 campaign for Community Living Ontario.

Michael Jacques

Rotary at Work Champions

Cheryl McKillop – Ye Olde Squire Welland
Mike Knapp – Mike Knapp Ford
Deb Zahra – Boston Pizza

Rotary at Work encourages Rotarians across the world to look at inclusive hiring practices. The Rotary Club of Welland has supported this initiative and three of the local Rotarians share their stories in the video below.

Cheryl McKillop
Michael Knapp
Devin, Deb and Clem

Dr. Dorothy Griffiths

Dr. Griffiths, professor at Brock University supported a partnership between Community Living Welland Pelham and Brock to explore human rights and self advocacy for health. This partnership paved the way for the 3’Rs project – Rights, Respect and Responsibility. This has changed the way human services provides supports for people who have an intellectual disability. Dorothy’s voice and teaching was instrumental in building a strong understanding of self-advocacy.

Dr. Dorothy Griffiths

Wendy Perry – McDonald’s Restaurants

Wendy Perry formally of McDonalds restaurants in Welland was a big supporter of talent acquisition. Not only did she recognize talent and opportunities to include people in the restaurant, she is also was a strong voice in telling other businesses of the benefits of inclusive hiring. This included video/ radio spots, media campaigns that included billboards.

Doug Miller – Silverdale Gun Club

John’s passion for hunting led him to the Silverdale Gun Club. It was Doug Miller who saw the possibilities. From building ramps, modifying equipment and finding creative ways so John could get into the bush. Doug and John together never saw the barriers just ways around them.

Silverdale Gun Club

Melissa Purdie – Wendy’s Restaurants

Melissa Purdie of Wendy’s Restaurants in Welland opened their doors to three young men looking for work. Melissa’s leadership not only provided strong and stable income but built an inclusive work place for all. Not only was this a first job for one of the employees he was also able to buy his first car.

Melissa Purdie

Dr. Barbara Vyrostko

The first recipient of this award is Community Living Welland Pelham’s Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Vyrostko who is a champion and a leader in ensuring that the rights and values of people are respected. She is an example of someone who believes in and lives the vision statement – “An Inclusive Caring Community Where All People Belong and Have Equal Opportunity to Participate Effectively”.

Dr. Barbara Vyrostko

Skip to content