Lori Root Honored For Long Record Of Community Involvement

Guest post by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

Tributes were paid to “a vibrant and engaged citizen” during Welland city council’s meeting Tuesday.

Lori Hayes Root, patron of the arts, volunteer, philanthropist, community activist, community booster and more, received certificates on behalf of the city and federal government and warm words of praise from two of their representatives.

Root, a long-time Welland resident, moved recently to a senior citizens’ residence in Dundas so she could live midway to her three sons.

Mayor Frank Campion said it was fitting for Root to be honored for her “great work” in the community.

Campion said it had always been a pleasure to work with Root, a former public elementary school teacher.

About 20 close friends of Root showed up in council chambers in support of her, which Campion viewed as a manifestation of the esteem in which she is held.

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey described Root’s involvement in and commitment to the community as “absolutely spectacular”.

“It’s very important for us,” said Badawey, “to say those two words we don’t say enough: Thank you! You’ve been involved in so much.”

For her part, Root said the recognition given her was “over the top, because I don’t deserve it.” She was “shocked” that so many friends attended.

Always one to recognize work done by others, Root said she wanted to congratulate the mayor and city councillors "because they do a wonderful job."

Root spoke about one of her proudest accomplishments, the Wall of Art in city hall, opposite the entrance to the library. It was founded with Dianna Kit Mete and Carol Kitchen in 2007. Artists have already been lined up to display their work for 2020 so the venture is still going strong.

In a letter to council, wall of art chair Kit Mete wrote: “I truly believe that Lori should be honored by the city in some way for decades of love, commitment and effort to participate in and advocate for our city and surrounding areas. She can truly be called an all-rounded citizen of the Niagara region.”

PHOTO: Distinguished Wellander Lori Hayes Root received certificates from the city and federal government Tuesday evening at city hall. She is pictured with Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey, left and Mayor Frank Campion, right. (Photo/Courtesy Aldo Parrotta.)

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.  You can follow Joe's 'fromareportersnotebook - reflections on life in my hometown' BLOG here: