Warden Peter McLaren with Matthew Mould

A special congratulations from Mississippi Mills to Matthew Mould - the local business owner received some well-deserved accolades at last evening's 2023 Awards of Excellence presented at Lanark County Council. 

Lanark County Media Release

Two citizens were celebrated for their achievements in the community by Lanark County Council as part of the 2023 Awards of Excellence presentation on Wednesday evening.

The Awards of Excellence recognize and honour citizens or organizations that have made a significant and/or extraordinary contribution to Lanark County.

This year, council recognized Matthew Mould of Mississippi Mills in the categories of Business/Agriculture/Industry/Tourism and Sue Doran of Perth for Volunteerism/Community Service/Youth.

“The Lanark County Awards of Excellence were created in 2005 as a way for council to recognize local residents and organizations for the contributions they make to our community,” said Warden Peter McLaren (Lanark Highlands Reeve). “It is an opportunity for us to express our thanks for the many ways our citizens improve quality of life in Lanark County. These volunteers are generous with their time and inspire others to make a difference as well.”

The awards program recognizes recipients for contributions to the county at large or in at least two municipalities. It was developed to say thank you to citizens of Lanark County, to provide community recognition and visibility, to support citizens for their contributions and to inspire further community service.

Matthew Mould is president and founder of Sports Systems Canada in Mississippi Mills and was nominated by Shawn Donaldson. The company began in his parents’ basement in Pakenham in 1998 and focused originally on installing basketball systems due to the influence of local basketball icon Dr. James Naismith, who invented the game. The business has since become an international company that designs, manufactures and installs a range of different sports systems.

“Matthew has been able to honour his Lanark County roots because his priority is to do the bulk of the work (design and manufacturing) locally at his company address in Almonte,” Donaldson said. “This translates into significant benefits for Lanark County, including employment, training for people, career development and benefits for other businesses by purchasing material, supplies and other related activities.”

In particular, Donaldson describes Mould’s leadership, vision and kindness during the pandemic as “exemplary.” In addition to ensuring the safety of his more than 30 employees, he used his business resources to help others. He loaned his company trucks to help deliver hand sanitizer to hospitals in partnership with the Dairy Distillery, boosted morale by purchasing food to thank workers helping in  the pandemic, supported community artists by lending material and tools, and provided stable and reliable employment.

A letter of support from local resident Kent Keuninckx applauds Sports Systems Canada’s support for many local initiatives and artists. “People like Matthew are important to the community because not only is he a business owner, but he is also an active member of the community and willing to support (it) in any way he can.”

Letters of support from Dean Bowes (President and Owner of Mississippi Mills Malting Co.) and Jeff Lyons (Re/Max Real Estate Group Business Owner) echoed acknowledgment of Mould’s generosity, community support and commitment to his employees, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sue Doran of Perth was nominated by Shellee Fournier, Perth Legion Branch 244 member, for spearheading the “Perth Honours Our Veterans” banner program, which is dedicated to veterans who served from Perth, Drummond/North Elmsley Township, Tay Valley Township and beyond.

 Warden Peter McLaren with Sue Doran

In addition to organizing the research, production, printing and hanging of 307 banners, Doran coordinated Veterans Weekend, which consisted of a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, pipe band, barbecue and dance, with proceeds going to Homes for Heroes, a new 20-unit complex being built in Kingston for homeless veterans transitioning to civilian life.

Fournier explained the program has been well received by veterans, their families and visitors. “The banners hang in remembrance of our veterans and teach of their contributions to Canada and locally at home….The banners show an appreciation for our local history and a legacy to our Lanark County forefathers.”

The program began in 2020 and continues to grow. It involves many volunteers, families, the Town of Perth and Hydro One workers. “To see the pride that the veterans have for their banners and the connectivity this has had on families, young and old, is a blessing,” said Pat Loftus in a letter of support. “To watch school classes go out with their teachers and learn about the history of our veterans, and possibly their own heritage, is a great blessing.” He noted that throughout the year, Doran also places flags on the lawns of veterans or at their senior homes to celebrate their birthdays.

In a letter of support on behalf of her family, Joy (Harper) Sullivan described the impact of the program, which includes a banner of her father, Del. “Recognizing Dad’s contribution has meant so much to our family, especially for his great grandchildren who didn’t know him or his war efforts,” she said. “It brings us together, for a moment in time, to reflect and recognize how important Dad was to all of us. It really is about families joining together, to remember and teach our children and others….Sue made this happen for all of the veterans in Perth and area….Through Sue’s efforts she has given many people, young and old, the chance to remember and to never forget.” 

McLaren congratulated the recipients for their contributions. “Through their generosity and dedication, these citizens have left a great legacy and have touched countless lives. On behalf of Lanark County Council and our communities, thank you for your outstanding contributions and for being role models of community service for so many.”

Awards of Excellence recipients are recognized on a plaque in the county administration building, as well as on the county website at www.lanarkcounty.ca and in notices in local newspapers.

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For more information, please contact: Megan Beson, Deputy Clerk Lanark County 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1102