Our 2019 Youth Appreciation Winner
Thank you for joining us this evening for an award ceremony in honour of a very hard-working, motivated, and dedicated young lady within our community-Ms. Allison Vello.
Our Optimist club, along with more than 2,000 others come together once a year to recognize local youth for their efforts in the arts, athletics, academics and community service work
Youth Appreciation is the most popular program sponsored by clubs throughout Optimist International. Other programs and service projects the Optimist Club of Port Colborne participates in include Canada Day in the park, Canal Days Craft Show, A Girls Night Out, Murder Mystery Dinner, Raffles, and other various fundraisers in support of children in our community.
As part of a Youth Appreciation project, the Optimist Club of Port Colborne is honouring 12 yr old Allison Vello who is in grade 6 at Oakwood School. I also have had the privilege of getting to know this awesome young girl over the last 4 years working with her very proud mom Tara.
Allison was nominated by the Grade 8 teacher Mr. Wilson who expressed in great detail how Allison continues to go above and beyond to dedicate her time to community service, local groups and activities, as well as her academics.
Allison has been a member of the local Operatic Society for the past two years. She has been a cast member of both the “Wizard of Oz and “Once Upon A mattress”. Her roles included playing a munchkin, one of the flying monkeys and was part of the chorus in Once upon a mattress. She is also a member of the Drama camp held by the city of Port Colborne. She loves to sing and this environment allows her to express her passion and appreciation for arts.
Allison has volunteered the past 4 years assisting the Port Colborne Lions Food Drive where she helps with sorting food at the Christian Life Assembly church.
Allison is also a member of the Port Colborne Rocks Group. She paints rocks with positive messages on them and places them around the community. The goal is to inspire and provide a positive message for someone. With this, Allison has also supported the Gardening club in port Colborne. This is a club operated by the City, who donated 2 plots of land at Lakeshore Catholic, where young kids can learn the skills of gardening, planting, watering and growing healthy vegetables. In the end, they were able to bring home fresh tomatoes, peas, and beans.
Her concern and passion for our environment strives as she takes time out of her personal schedule each spring to venture down to HH Knoll park and Nickel Beach to gather up any loose garbage and help with keeping these areas fresh and clean for tourists and locals to enjoy.
Over the last 6 years, Allison has also been an active member of the Sparks, Brownies and Girl Guides Organization.
In her spare time, she loves to cook. She has taken part in Roselawn’s Little Chefs cooking class to learn more about her passion.
Allison is a YTV (world-wide member) of a very well known club “Earth Rangers”. she assists with fundraising ideas to aid and protect animals.
Her biggest accomplishment to date, and my personal favourite is her shining accomplishments with the DSBN annual Heritage fair. Allison has contributed a project to the fair for the past 3 years. In year one, she did an amazing project on Girl Guides. Year two Allison decided to venture into the Inuit Culture and researched the Ojibwe. Her project and knowledge on the topic won her a medal from the Inuit Heritage Society for recognizing their culture. This past April, Allison did her project on Crystal Beach Amusement Park. Her amazing approach to the topic earned her the first ever “ Turner Clarke Historical Enthusiast Award”. The Turner Clarke Historical Enthusiast Aware is in honour of Turner Clarke who exemplifies outstanding passion and commitment to the exploration of Canadian History through the Ontario Heritage Fair Program. Along with this award, she earned a spot amongst only 69 other kids (out of 1000 nominations) at the Regional Heritage fair at Scotiabank Centre in Niagara Falls. From there she was 1 of 6 children (remember out of that original 1000) chosen to attend provincials this weekend in Toronto at York University. Now, because of these accomplishments she is now a Young Citizens nominee through Ontario Heritage Association. In order to be nominated, Allison had to make a 3-4 minute video on her heritage fair topic- Crystal Beach amusement park. If Allison were to win enough votes, she would go to Ottawa where she would visit the governor generals house. Voting beings online starting June 11th.
I think it goes without saying that Allison is a shining definition of our Youth Appreciation award, your motivation and dedication are inspiring and we hope you will continue to strive with confidence in your years to come. It is young girls like you that will make a difference in our community, our education programs and our youth. With that, we are very proud to present you with this award.
On behalf of the Port Colborne optimist club we would like to present Allison Vello with our youth appreciation award