Mayor Jim Watson today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Michael Hanna for his outstanding generosity and community service.

Mr. Hanna is a successful entrepreneur who immigrated to Ottawa from Lebanon in 1968 with little money and no English. He started work as a busboy and then waiter at the Skyline Hotel, learned English and set aside enough money to bring his family to Canada.

In 1974, he was joined in Ottawa by two brothers and, in the next few years, by his parents and three remaining brothers. In 1977, the Hanna family founded the now-famous Gabriel’s Pizza on St. Joseph Blvd. in Orleans. They remain a proud, locally owned and family-operated business and show their thanks by giving back to the community.

Teaming up with CHEZ 106, $13,500 was raised for operating rooms at CHEO over the past two years, with a goal this year of $10,000. Similarly, Gabriel’s under Mr. Hanna’s leadership, has partnered with A&W and Metroland Media Group to support the Ottawa Food Bank. Gabriel’s Pizza locations across Ottawa and Gatineau have raised more than $3,000 for the Food Bank.

Through Mr. Hanna’s direction, Gabriel’s Pizza has provided valuable support to many local sports and charities, fundraising events and education programs either by donating pizza or by donating to fundraising campaigns. This has amounted to more than $40,000 per year over the past 5 years.

September 26, 2012 – Mayor Jim Watson, with Knoxdale-Merivale Ward Councillor Keith Egli, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Gord Jenkins for his dedicated volunteer service in the community.

Gord is Past President of the General Burns Community Association, which currently consists of 20 volunteers, each working to bring the community together. He is regarded as decisive, a great problem-solver and responsible for positively impacting the community by motivating the executive members of the General Burns Community Association to develop community-driven events.

The General Burns Community Centre and its programs and services would not be so well-known and respected in the community without Gord’s efforts and energy. He has attracted volunteers with a diverse background in communications, finance, information technology, real estate and education and was responsible for a rededication ceremony by having a “General Burns Day” and for the creation of the {C} website.

Perhaps Gord’s most important accomplishment is the creation of the Knoxdale-Merivale Council, which brings together all the presidents of community associations in Ward 9 to share their ideas and discuss any concerns in the ward.