The long list of volunteer roles that Dillon March has played in our community would make one think he is well past retirement age. Not even close!
March has been active and engaged since high school, where he co-ordinated a project that led to his school receiving a $60,000 grant from Landscape Ontario to build an outdoor classroom. He continued his legacy of service through his years as a Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholar at the University of Guelph, where he completed a BA in French and Italian Studies. During this time, he was Chair of the Guelph Pride committee, and appointed to the Board of Directors of Out On The Shelf (until 2014). As Guelph Pride Chair, he guest-curated an exhibit to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Guelph Pride events at the Guelph Civic Museum.
As a student, he worked with the Bounce Back program, a program that helps first year students facing academic and personal challenges get back on track, as well as volunteering with OUTline, a support service that assists individuals who are questioning their sexual and gender identity.
In his current role at the West End Community Centre, March has worked with the City of Guelph Improvement Network on projects such as the Innovation Fund (formerly Dragon’s Den). This project led to the installation of client-facing monitors. March is currently a member of the Citizen First Customer Service Roundtable.
Dillon`s legacy of community-focused advocacy is why he has been selected as this week`s Ward 5 Hero!
Like any new family, when the Muslim Society of Guelph (MSOG) moved into their new home on Water Street a few years ago, one of the first things they did (and continue to do) was to introduce themselves to neighbours and help build community.
Recently, Guelph was named the best city in Canada to be a new Canadian. We at City Hall would love to take all the credit, but truthfully, it is organizations like MSOG who do all the work to welcome and demonstrate the true meaning of inclusivity. One example of this is the MSOG Community BBQ and EID Mela celebration on Saturday, July 9 from 2 -7 pm, welcoming Muslims and non-Muslims to join together at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The MSOG is a key player in helping to facilitate the settlement of Syrian refugee families arriving to make Guelph their new home.
Muhammed Sayed, President of the MSOG, is a gracious host to all who visit and is highly respected beyond the Muslim community for building strong relationships with other faith leaders in Guelph. For their community actions and generosity of spirit, this week’s Ward 5 Heroes are the members of the Muslim Society of Guelph!
One of the many distinctive qualities of Ward 5 is our diversity. Our community is a balanced mix of families, seniors, and students. When students lack the necessary skills to be good neighbours, enter Kathryn Hofer.
Hofer is the Manager, Off-Campus Living at the University of Guelph. Her role often involves home visits to help students better understand the community impact of their behaviour. She also coordinates various programs designed to improve community relations such as Right Foot Forward (info packages for new residents) and Move-out Madness (disposal of large furniture). Hofer works closely with city officials, landlords and Guelph Police Service. She is the co-chair of the local chapter of Town and Gown Ontario and recently co-ordinated the provincial conference here in Guelph.
Kathryn is our hero for her work building positive and constructive relationships between students, neighbours and local community associations. It’s a tough job, and Kathryn does it all with a smile.