Mayor Jim Watson, with Barrhaven Ward Councillor Jan Harder, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Jeanine and Dean Otto for their selfless contributions to the community.

The Ottos never expected or wanted to be in the spotlight but tragically, and with no warning, their five-year-old daughter Maddy went from being perfectly healthy on Sunday, July 15, 2007 to passing away two days later after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Maddy spent only one night at Roger’s House and died peacefully on July 17, 2007.

As a tribute to Maddy, and in appreciation of Roger’s House, the Otto family have raised more than $125,000 for the eight-bed palliative care facility on the grounds of CHEO that enriches the lives of children, youth and their families facing progressive life-limiting illnesses. Roger’s House was built in memory of Roger Neilson, Hockey Hall of Fame Coach and Member of the Order of Canada.

Maddy had briefly attended Jockvale Public School in Barrhaven and the Ottos dedicated a beautiful garden in front of the school as “Maddy’s Garden.”

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.