Ken MacAlpine never expected a small bicycling event in Lambton County would receive major recognition beyond the cycling community.
The 12-member committee behind the cycling event that attracts thousands from across North America was named to the 39th annual Mayor’s honour list this year.
“We never ever imagined we’d get this level of recognition,” said MacAlpine, founder of the Bluewater International GranFondo. “This is far beyond what we’ve done, and I think it’s a great feather-in-the-cap for the committee to get this recognition for all the hard work they’ve done over the last five years.”
Twenty individuals and groups made the hand-selected list, which Mayor Mike Bradley decides based on recipients improving the quality of life or making a significant contribution to the City of Sarnia and Lambton County.
“The list, as always, is a highly personal list, based on my own observations throughout the year in the community, nominations from citizens and media stories,” Bradley said in a press release.
Over five years the Granfondo has raised $200,000 for palliative care in Sarnia-Lambton, and delivered 1,000 meals to front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 3,000 riders have participated in the August event since it began.
Plans are underway for the next Granfondo, to be determined based on Public Health guidelines, MacAlpine said.
Other Mayor’s Honour List recipients include:
Carrie Beauchamp – Musical production organizer responsible for the Nightingale Chorus Christmas shows at the Imperial Theatre
Dave Dentinger – News Director at CHOK Radio
Heather Gillis – Food Bank volunteer
Ron Gordon – Chairman of the Sarnia Canada Day Committee
Dr. Michel Haddad – Bluewater Health Chief of Staff
Sami Khan – Academy Award nominated filmmaker and Sarnia native
Lindsay Kirkland – Youth mental health advocate, administrator for 600-member “Stigma Survivors” social media account
Carolyn Leaver-Luciani – Community supporter behind the “Backpacks for Kids” program
Karen Mathewson – Chairperson of the Poverty Reduction Network
Camilla McGill – Sarnia Bluewaterland Rotary Club member, organizer of “Rain of Hope Project” for literacy in Kenya
Eve Morgan Langille – President of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre
Judith Morris – President and CAO of Lambton College
Rick Perdeaux – Ten-year Advocate of the Oversized Load Corridor project
Sarnia Horticultural Society
Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers
Sarnia Quilters’ Guild
Robert Williamson – Local sports organizer and former GM of the Sarnia Legionnaires
Donovan Woods – Acclaimed singer/songwriter and Sarnia native
An official reception for the winners will be held sometime in 2021 when public health guidelines permit, the Mayor said.