Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School student earns Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce’s Junior Citizen of the Year
By Laura Lennie
Stoney Creek News (May 11, 2018)
Lucia Marchionda has dedicated more than 3,000 hours to assisting others over the last four years and the inspiration behind it is pretty simple.
“It just feels right,” the 17-year-old Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School Grade 12 student says. “I always say that when you help somebody, even in a small way, and put a smile on their face, it can significantly impact their life.”
Marchionda devotes her hands five days a week in the afternoons to St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School, where she assists Grade 5 and 6 students academically in different subjects.
She said helping kids on a one-on-one basis and supporting them through their academic journey is very rewarding.
“Some students just need a little bit more help,” Marchionda said. “What I love most is seeing a student work at something and then understand it. Seeing them smile with a sense of accomplishment means everything.”
When she’s not lending her time to St. Gabriel, Marchionda is busy organizing different events for a number of causes at Cardinal Newman.
Her Smiles for Kids fundraiser in support of McMaster Children’s Hospital’s oncology and hematology 3F clinic has generated $8,500 for kids undergoing chemotherapy and radiation over the past four years, with the money going toward purchasing gift cards and other things to help put a smile on patients’ faces.
Marchionda also volunteers with Federazione Abruzzese di Hamilton e Distretto, where she’s a junior committee member, photographer, videographer, movie producer and website designer.
One of the event fundraisers raised money to fix up a waiting room at Juravinski Cancer Centre, Marchionda said.
“I also personally donated a brand new 55-inch TV for the refurbished waiting room, so that all of the patients and their families would have some type of entertainment while there,” she said, adding it was an emotional affair. “My uncle passed away from cancer at age 45 a few years ago, having also undergone treatment there. I wanted to do something for others and in remembrance of my uncle as well.”
Marchionda, who’s also dedicated time to being a March break and summer Bible camp leader at St. Francis Xavier Parish and coach for Saltfleet Stoney Creek Soccer Club, has already earned recognition for her contributions, garnering the Optimist Club of Stoney Creek Community Service Award and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Hamilton Spectator Youth Volunteer of the Year for 2017.
She’s also been named Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce’s Junior Citizen of the Year for 2017.
Marchionda will receive her award during the 51st annual Community Achievement Awards on May 17 at Winona Vine Estates.
“I feel very honoured,” she said. “I’m speechless. It means the world.”