U of G Volunteers Receive 2015 Winegard Awards

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Three outstanding volunteers from the University of Guelph received 2015 William Winegard Exemplary Volunteer Involvement Awards today from the United Way of Guelph Wellington Dufferin and the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington.

Awards were presented to Prof. Rich Moccia, associate vice-president (strategic partnerships); Linda Wing, a clerk in the School of Environmental Sciences; and undergraduate student Carly Labord.

Now in their ninth year, the awards highlight volunteerism and outstanding service by U of G faculty, staff and students.

The awards are named for William Winegard, who served as U of G president and vice-chancellor from 1967 to 1975 and as Guelph MP from 1984 to 1993.

This year’s recipients were selected from nominees by Winegard and representatives of the University, the United Way and the Volunteer Centre.

“Rich, Linda and Carly have shown how volunteers can turn their passions into lasting contributions benefiting people and organizations in our community,” said Christine Oldfield, executive director of the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington.

Ken Dardano, executive director of United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, added: “Rich, Linda and Carly are three dedicated volunteers, recognized today for their tremendous community spirit. United Way is pleased to partner with the Volunteer Centre and the University of Guelph to present these outstanding volunteers with this year’s Winegard Awards.”

Moccia, a U of G professor for 27 years, was recognized for his wide-ranging volunteer work. As a trail captain and sawyer for the Bruce Trail, he helps maintain a 240-kilometre stretch from Wiarton to Tobermory year-round.  He has been a sports administrator for regional community associations and coached more than 30 hockey and baseball teams during the past three decades.

He facilitates scuba diving for children with cancer, co-chairs U of G’s United Way campaign and organizes charity hockey tournaments.

Wing has worked at U of G for 26 years. She was honoured for her commitment to mentoring and assisting youth through various organizations, including making her own home a safe haven for teenagers.

She is a volunteer with 4H Wellington County and 4H Ontario, as well as with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington, the Fergus Agricultural Society and the Fergus Fair Board Youth Committee.

Fourth-year student Labord, a child, youth and family major, was recognized for her efforts to help make Guelph more accessible for students and community members with visual or mobility disabilities.

She volunteers with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, U of G’s Accessibility Services and Peer Helper programs, and the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington. As a vision mate, she helps clients at home and in the community, and helps guide U of G students with mobility and visual difficulties.