Chamber names top Delhi citizens

Years of quiet caring at the Sharing Pantry food bank and elsewhere will be recognized in Delhi next month.For the past 15 years, Ruth Brown has been a driving force behind the Delhi food bank. With Brown’s help, the food bank has expanded its mandate to include the distribution of clothing and essential household items.“The Pantry is working on providing more nutritional food to make sure recipients receive a more balanced diet,” the chamber said last week in a news release. “Although the operation of the Sharing Pantry requires a number of volunteers, Ruth is the catalyst that continues to make the Sharing Pantry such a successful community resource.”Brown has lived in Delhi for 30 years. She also sits on the Delhi United Church’s board of directors and is involved with the church’s Outreach committee.Brown helps with the church’s annual coat drive and is involved with Delhi United’s monthly Messy Church crafts and activities program for young people.“We all need to help each other,” Brown says. “Why would we choose not to help if you can help?”The 59-year-old Delhi woman said she is “still a little overwhelmed” with the award.“I think the most important thing is, I may be getting recognition and thank you [for it],” Brown said. “But this is a whole group of people, not just me.”Brown and Andy Fitch manage the food bank as a team. She says Fitch has always supported her ideas or changes she wants to make.“I’m amazed what comes in and goes out, and what we can accomplish in a broom closet,” Brown said. “It’s my happy place.” This sense of community spirit also comes naturally to the chamber’s 2019 Junior Citizen of the Year. Isabella Spinella, 13, is a familiar face in Delhi wherever the call goes out for volunteers.“Isabella is a truly amazing young lady,” the chamber says in a news release.“She is the type of individual that spotted a lady in a wheelchair across the parking lot at the grocery store and ran across to help her open the trunk and put her groceries inside.”Spinella volunteers with local youth groups. She also volunteers with Delhi’s Christmas campaign, working at the breakfast with Santa, Christmas crafts and with the Santa Parade itself.Spinella shovels snow for seniors. She also visits senior homes at Christmas to play her ukulele and sing songs with her friends and hand out gift bags.Spinella is part of the Buddy program at school, helping her “little buddies” read or complete other assigned work.She is an active volunteer with wheelchair basketball and offers “date night” at her local church. There, she babysits so members can enjoy a night out without the children.This past summer, Spinella had an opportunity to give back to a peace camp offered for kids that are being bullied. She had attended the camp herself but went back this past summer as a volunteer. The program is sponsored by Haldimand-Norfolk REACH.“It feels good knowing people see what I do,” Spinella said, adding she enjoys volunteering because “It’s nice to see the smiles on people’s faces when they get help.”Spinella also volunteers on Thursday nights at the Old Town Hall in Waterford. There, she helps set up for the entertainment, selling food at the concession stand and occasionally taking the stage to play ukulele.Spinella said the Old Town Hall sponsored her for a drama program, so helping them is a way of giving back.Spinella’s grandmother Gloria MacFarlane says Isabella “is blessed to have strong Christian women in her life as good role models. She’s got a big heart.”MacFarlane said it’s good to see positive influences and notes “there are a lot of kids out there doing good things and it’s nice to see the recognition.”“She is a true example of the positive attitude of the youth in Delhi,” the chamber added.The Delhi chamber will recognize Brown and Spinella at its 2019 Gala May 8 at the Hungarian Hall.The event includes a business trade show as well as awards to area businesses.Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with supper served at 6 p.m. Tickets at $35 apiece include a full-course meal. Tickets are available at Dave’s Variety, Delhi Pharmasave, The Second Mouse Cheesetique and at The Wine Shop.More information is available at delhichamber.ca.– with files from  Brian ThompsonMSonnenberg@postmedia.com Brian Thompson / Brantford Expositor Isabella Spinella, age 13, has been named 2019 junior citizen of the year by the Delhi & District Chamber of Commerce.


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