John Ciarallo honoured through ‘Portraits of Giving’

December 13, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons


The efforts of a very special King resident and entrepreneur is being showcased through the annual Portraits of Giving.
The display, currently at the King Heritage and Cultural Centre, includes John Ciarallo, community cornerstone and owner of John’s No Frills in Nobleton.
Tour organizers and local dignitaries gathered last week to pay tribute to Ciarallo.
His work to improve the lives of local residents through the King Township Food Bank, as well as the King Chamber of Commerce.
This is the final stop of the Portraits tour, which began this past spring.
Portraits of Giving, now in its eighth year, is the brainchild of Richmond Hill photographer Karen Merk, who wanted to shine a light on York Region’s unsung heroes through her evocative black and white portraits and stories written by local writers. This year’s exhibition honours 12 outstanding individuals from all corners of York Region.
Merk hopes the program will inspire others to give back.
“I always believe that we can’t say thank you enough times to people who help their community,” she said.
The tour has also raised $14,000 for York hospitals.
Ciarallo was nominated by the King Township Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal and Plan B Promotions.
Ciarallo said he’s humbled to be among an amazing group of Portraits recipients, which include the late Dalt Hicks and Elsa-Ann Pickard.
Being in the food business, the King Food Bank has a special place in his heart. He feels for families who have to stretch their grocery dollars to put food on the table.
Helping out the Food Bank “makes me smile.”
And that, he has said, is the biggest reward.
To stress his point, Ciarallo presented a cheque to Carol Ann Trabert, head of the Food Bank, for $3,759.64. The funds were raised at the store through various methods, including customer donations. No Frills also supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
King Mayor Steve Pellegrini said he vividly recalls welcoming Ciarallo and the store to the community in November 2012. Right off the mark, Ciarallo showed his interest in the community and he’s been continually engaged ever since.
“These people take the time out of their busy lives to give back to their community,” said Ms. Merk. “We really hope that exploring the stories behind the portraits will inspire you to continue giving back. We are definitely inspired.”
Each portrait was taken in a location near and dear to the subject’s heart and, in Ciarallo’s case, that was just inside the door of his Nobleton No Frills location with a custom-built bin accepting food bank donations.
“He has travelled throughout Ontario and Canada and has yet to see anything more important to families than providing food for their children,” reads his citation. “His most memorable moments giving back happen daily as he observes his customers and staff donating to the King Township Food Bank in a bin he had custom designed and built to assist the volunteers in collecting those food donations.
“John is also an active member of the King Chamber of Commerce, which allows him to interact with many local business owners who share the same passion for community. He supports causes not for the recognition but for the personal goodwill that comes from it. It is John’s hope that his example will inspire others to contribute their time, services or dollars for the betterment of the community.”
“The work I do within the community is to benefit the community and I don’t really do it for the recognition,” he said when the Portraits were first launched this past May. “I was a little taken aback that there was so much interest in what we were doing in King Township, but I am very glad because I hope that through this exposure other people will be motivated to help out in the community as well.”
Portraits of Giving will be on display through Dec. 16.
Merk also extended her thanks to King Township Chamber of Commerce presidents for our special Canada 150 year:
Tom Allen, Lucy Belperio, Jennifer Coxworthy, Ron Ivany, Gerry Duffy.
“These are people who keep giving back to their community to help ensure that businesses thrive in King Township,” she said.



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