Mayor Jim Watson, with Orléans Ward Councillor Bob Monette, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Madat Kara for his tireless volunteer work and outstanding contributions to the community as a Meals on Wheels volunteer and fundraiser.

In January 1998, during the Eastern Ontario ice storm, when Madat heard that some elderly and convalescing people would not be receiving their daily meals due to the weather, he contacted Meals on Wheels and offered to help and he has a regular route delivering meals every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ever since.

Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization, serving meals at minimal cost to the elderly or those who are disabled or convalescing. Each meal is nutritionally complete and the service helps them to remain independent and healthy in their own homes. The Meals on Wheels delivery also provides a daily visit by a volunteer to each client giving them an opportunity for social interaction with a caring visitor.

Madat soon realized that there weren’t enough government subsidies to fund Meals on Wheels so he took on a fundraising role, organizing several large-scale functions which have contributed greatly to the program. His first event was a silent auction and a dinner dance, raising $13,000.

Over the past few years, Madat and his team have hosted many events, including a golf tournament, boat cruises, hockey games, Elvis Gala night dinners and dances and other fundraising activities. In 2010, the team raised $5,000 and Madat contributed more than 500 volunteer hours, completing a lifetime total of 4,000 volunteer hours. The team was recognized by Meals on Wheels for being the first to organize large-scale events contributing to the success of the program.

Madat is a model to others and inspires many with his perseverance, creativity and graciousness. He has received many awards and recognitions and, as a result of his fundraising, Meals on Wheels has been able to maintain its fees at a reasonable level and keep the meals highly accessible to all. This is important because a large percentage of clients are living on a fixed income.

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.