Local volunteer recognized for environmental leadership

City of Vaughan

Ward 1 Civic Hero Award presented to Marcella Di Rocco

Marcella Di Rocco is a community builder, a devoted volunteer and an environmental advocate. Today, at a Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council presented Marcella with the City of Vaughan’s 2019 Ward 1 Civic Hero Award.

For more than 25 years, Marcella has been instrumental to the success of Vaughan CARES — a grassroots organization founded in 1993 when a group of dedicated individuals took a stand against the expansion of the Keele Valley Landfill site in Maple, which was the largest garbage dump in Canada at the time. This site has since been transformed into the 900-acre North Maple Regional Park, one of Vaughan’s signature greenspaces. Under Marcella’s leadership (first as director, now as president), this group of citizens has played an integral role in Vaughan’s green city movement. Vaughan CARES continues to support the City’s vision of creating a sustainable community for generations to come.

Marcella’s environmental stewardship is what inspired her to support the City’s efforts to reduce energy consumption as an Earth Hour Committee Member. In this role, Marcella helps organize Vaughan’s annual Earth Hour event, which brings the community together to combat climate change by turning off the lights for one hour while participating in eco-friendly activities.

Marcella is an active volunteer who dedicates her time to many worthy causes, including Hospice Vaughan, Maple Health Centre and the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. She is also a firm believer that everyone plays a role in upholding the safety of the community. As a result, Marcella organized a Neighbourhood Watch program to help prevent crime in her area.


“Marcella Di Rocco is a dedicated and compassionate individual who embodies the spirit of generosity in everything she does. Her ongoing volunteerism is a testament to her empathy for her neighbours and her unwavering commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our citizens, now and into the future. It is because of people like Marcella and the actions she takes that we can continue to enjoy an exceptional quality of life in Vaughan. As we present her with the 2019 Ward 1 Civic Hero Award, we proudly recognize Marcella’s leadership, tenacity and tireless efforts to make Vaughan a city of choice. On a personal note, it has been a pleasure over the years to work with Marcella to advance the environmental agenda of Vaughan CARES.”

- Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

“As an active and engaged member of our community, Marcella offers her time and talents to support many organizations in Vaughan. She continues to make a positive difference for future generations through her work with Vaughan CARES and her role on the Earth Hour Committee. As a longtime resident of Ward 1, Marcella is a shining example of what can be achieved when hard work, passion and focus are combined. It is an honour to recognize Marcella Di Rocco as the 2019 Ward 1 Civic Hero.” 

- Councillor Marilyn Iafrate, Ward 1


  • Mayor and Members of Council presented Marcella Di Rocco with the 2019 Ward 1 Civic Hero Award during a special ceremonial presentation in Committee of the Whole Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
  • Vaughan’s Civic Hero Awards are presented annually to one resident from each of the City’s five wards.
  • Recipients are nominated by their local Ward Councillor and acknowledged by Vaughan Council.
  • The awards began in 2005 and recognize outstanding achievement and individual contributions to the community.



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