WINCHESTER — Linking Hands Dundas County presented its final 2016 Good Neighbour Award to Mike Barkley during the Township of North Dundas’ Council meeting Tues., Feb. 14. The Linking Hands Community Connectivity Working Group started the Dundas County Good Neighbour Award in 2013.

Four separate individuals nominated or seconded his nomination, including last year’s North Dundas adult winner Elva Patterson Rutters, Sarah Stevens, Michelle Jackson, and Mary Garris. Stevens said she was nominating Barkley for “everything he’s done for our community with his campaign, Paying It Forward for the Working Family. He helps hard- working families who just don’t make enough.”

In addition to the many things he does for low-income working families, Barkley also spearheaded a group to ensure a palliative single mom with two sons had the “best Easter ever,” Rutters said. He also raises money through an annual auction to purchase school supplies for local school children. He organized a snowsuit fund in late 2016 and, according to Rutters, he built a deck so a child could go outside.

Both Jackson and Garris agreed that Barkley is an amazing person. “(He) truly gives of himself in any way possible,” Jackson said. “He has done so much for the community,” added Garris.

The South Dundas winner, Chad De Jong, was presented with his plaque during the previous week’s council meeting in Morrisburg. This year’s nominees included: Inez Bilmer, Chad De Jong, Jim Girard, and Lietta Tousaw for South Dundas; and, Mike Barkley, Wayne Burns and Ron Derraugh for North Dundas. There were no nominees for the youth awards.

North Dundas’ past winners were Betty Hall (2013/2014) and Elva Patterson-Rutters (2015), while South Dundas’ past winners included Ross Bennett (2013/2014) and David Lapier (2015).

For more information on this or other Linking Hands projects, phone 613-989-3830 or email at Information can also be found on the website ( or by following Linking Hands Dundas County on Facebook.