T. Roy Adams Humanitarian of the Year Award

T. Roy Adams was an eminent Niagaran, well known throughout the region, Canada, and abroad for serving his community, his country and his fellow citizens.

In memory of the late Councillor T. Roy Adams, Niagara Region initiated a memorial award in 2003 in his name to honour a resident of Niagara who best exemplifies Roy's values and dedication to community service; a person who sees volunteerism as an integral part of their life.

2024 Winner: Colin Strickland

Colin Strickland of St. Catharines was named the 2024 recipient of the T. Roy Adams Humanitarian Award in recognition of his decades-long commitment to volunteerism and community service.

Colin has impacted hundreds in Niagara and globally. He serves as a teacher, ambassador, coach, advocate, fundraiser and proud supporter of small businesses. He has also taken multiple opportunities to work with marginalized and at-risk youth here in Niagara, empathically supporting them through unique barriers and opportunities.

Over the past 16 years, Colin has personally raised over $22,000 for Movember Canada, expressing and convening support for men's mental health concerns and prostate cancer.

In 2019, Colin founded "The Corners Run Crew" in St. Catharines with the goal of creating a non-competitive running crew that was open to everyone regardless of ability. The group places a priority on making personal connections over pace, helping them grow and thrive.\

The result of Colin's vision has seen this small group of eight neighbours and friends grow into a consistent crew of 85+ members who gather three times a week along with an online following of nearly 5,000 individuals.

With a motto of "Moderate Pace, Positive Space", the Corners Run Crew continues to evolve into a powerful social space that welcomes individuals from all walks of life by providing a safe, inclusive environment for sharing, learning and friendship. The club also starts each run at a local business, ensuring Niagara's economy also realizes some benefits.

"The Corners" has become a local fundraising and advocacy powerhouse, ensuring that many marginalized individuals in Niagara are supported.

Colin's life-long contributions to community have been recognized by many, and his journey is far from over. He embodies the spirit of T. Roy Adams and the commitment to community service and volunteerism.

2024 Winner: Colin Strickland

Colin Strickland

Photo credit: Chris Kufske, Click Photography

Previous winners

  • 2023: Carey Benvenuti
  • 2021: Susan Venditti
  • 2020: Douglas Rapelje
  • 2019: Dan Bouwman
  • 2018: James Rennie
  • 2017: Tom Rankin
  • 2016: Paul Turner
  • 2015: Sheila Frank
  • 2014: Mary Ann Edwards
  • 2013: Robert Mahoney
  • 2012: Jack McKiernan
  • 2011: Robbie Craine Davidson
  • 2010: Ken and Denise Taylor
  • 2009: William Craine
  • 2008: Jill and Gary Taylor
  • 2007: Catherine Mindorff
  • 2006: Dorothea Hayslip
  • 2005: Linda Crabtree
  • 2004: Margaret and Bob Ferguson
  • 2003: Jack O'Neil

Award information

  • Eligibility
    • Current resident of Niagara
    • Evidence that the spirit of volunteerism and community service plays an integral part of the individual's life
    • A person whose community service has involved the citizens of Niagara

    Elected officials (currently in office) and employees of Niagara Region are not eligible.

  • Nomination process

    A nominee for the T. Roy Adams Humanitarian Award:

    • May be sponsored by either an organization or individual (co-sponsors, not related to the nominee)
    • Is eligible for the year in which they are nominated
    • Cannot be considered posthumously
  • Selection process

    The Niagara Impact Awards review panel will assess the nominations and select the recipient.

    The award will be presented at the Regional Chair's State of the Region event in April. The recipient's name will also be engraved on the commemorative plaque which is displayed in the lobby of Regional Headquarters.

  • Evaluation criteria
    Evaluation Criteria Explanation Weight (%)
    Quality of the 'humanitarian' service Is it truly humanitarian? 20
    Scope of Humanitarian Impact Who does it affect? 16
    Personal commitment/ sacrifice (time, cost) What is the degree of sacrifice/commitment
    (e.g. time commitment)?
    Need for the community service What is the community demand? 14
    New, unique initiative/idea Is it a common/ubiquitous community service? 12
    Niagara benefit Is it region-wide or strictly local? 10
    Extent of volunteer/professional capacity Is it an extension of the nominee's current job (remuneration)? 8
    References What is the relative quality and content of submission through additional support information? 4
    Total 100
  • T. Roy Adams biography
    T. Roy Adams

    Thomas 'Roy' Adams was born and raised in St. Catharines, the second eldest of 10 children (seven boys and three girls). Born to parents who encouraged their children to serve the Lord, Roy committed his life to service through the Salvation Army. He served as a leader of the youth (Sunday School Teacher, Young People's Sergeant Major, Young People's Band Leader, and Chairman of the Group Committee of the Boy Scouts) and through adult ministries (Songster Leader and Deputy Bandmaster). When not in active leadership, his steady participation in the music ministries exemplified the faithfulness of his purpose.

    Roy enlisted in the Lincoln and Welland Regiment in June 1940, served overseas and was honourably discharged in 1945. He remained a member of the Regimental Association, and was director for three years, and president until his death. He also was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and enjoyed planning, organizing and arranging charter flights to Holland, as well as annual reunions for many years.

    Roy was employed by Foster Wheeler for more than 20 years in various capacities, including personnel supervisor. In 1972 he joined ARC Industries as workshop director and was then appointed executive director of the St. Catharines Association for the Mentally Retarded. He was elected mayor of the City of St. Catharines in 1976 and served in that capacity for nine years, and served on Regional Council from 1988 until 2002. During Roy's terms on Regional Council, he was a member of several standing committees, served as Chair of the Community and Health Services Committee for many years, and Chair of the Police Services Board.

    Roy was actively involved in many organizations including: the Association of Municipalities of Ontario; the St. Catharines General Hospital Board of Governors; the Niagara District Health Council, Executive Committee; the Niagara Rehabilitation Centre; the St. Catharines Hydro Electric Commission; the St. Catharines South Rotary Club; the Christian Business Men, St. Catharines; President, Canadian Bible Society, St. Catharines; President, Probus Club, St. Catharines and District; Christian Connections; the Lincoln and Welland Regiment Band; the Thorold Reed Band; the Niagara Falls Concert Band; the Port Colborne Band; the Clown Band/Hungry Seven; and the Bandmaster/Director of Holland's Glorie Band.

    Roy believed that "every person matters", and had a sincere interest in people, particularly those less fortunate, whether because of disability or misfortune. He was a man respected for his service and dedication to the people of St. Catharines, Niagara region, and the country.

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