Big honour for alumnus Pflug

Former Gryphon football player, current mentor to players and volunteer coach responsible for Community Outreach, Doug Pflug received a huge honour this past week.

Last Thursday night, Mayor Cam Guthrie presented Pflug with one of five Mayor’s Awards given to outstanding local volunteers at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce’s annual Awards of Excellence gala.

“I am thrilled to have the chance to shine a spotlight on these community champions,” said Mayor Guthrie. “They are helping to make Guelph an even better place to live – and they exemplify Guelph’s motto of ‘making a difference.’”

From an article on the Guelph.ca website – Mayor Guthrie recognizes five community champions …

Sergeant Doug Pflug is a 26-year member of the Guelph Police Service who, outside the uniform, has given thousands of volunteer hours to a long list of local organizations.

Over the past 14 years, Doug has served as a coach for the Guelph Buns Master Rollers Special Olympics Floor Hockey team, which capped off its tremendous record by winning the National Championship this winter. Working with the athletes weekly, Doug is a mentor, motivator, and lifelong friend to the team.

Through the Guelph Police Service, Doug has been a leader and champion for many community initiatives and organizations – including Guelph Wellington Crime Stoppers; the Special Olympics Torch Run; and the Police Service’s #nomorebullies campaign. For many years he organized the Cst. Jay Pirie Memorial Hockey Game, where the Guelph Police “No Stars” took on the Guelph Storm to raise funds for Guelph and Wellington Special Olympics.

Doug also served as the community outreach coordinator for the Ontario University Athletics champion Guelph Gryphons football team this past season. He is currently a mentor for eight players who wish to pursue a career in policing, and is leading the football program’s youth outreach and mentoring initiative.

For more than 17 years, Doug was the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Guelph Storm, and served as a mentor for many young hockey players who called Guelph home. He is also the strength coach for the University of West Virginia Men’s Hockey program, part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

*     *     *

Doug’s acceptance speech  …

Mayor Cam and Rachel Guthrie, thank you so very much for this incredible honor.

Congratulations to the other award winners tonight.

Special thanks to photographer and long-time friend Chris Thiessen for his incredible photographic talents and even more amazing editing abilities for photo shopping the ugly out of my picture.

This award is a tribute to my parents Paul Pflug and Joan Joan Kerr-Pflug and John Cater my cherished high school football coach who saw my potential and helped me navigate and overcome some early challenges in my life.

Through the years there have been several other key people in my life that have also provided me with tremendous guidance, support, leadership and inspiration. They are equal owners of this award and I would like to publically recognize them:

• Jim Rooney, Mike Kelly and EJ McGuire of the Guelph Storm. EJ passed away several years ago and I miss him dearly.
• Gryphon Football Coach Stu Lang and my good friend and mentee star tailback Johnny Augustine. Coach and Johnny took time out of their busy schedules to be here tonight to support me.
• S/Sgt Scott Grover, Inspector David Pringle and Chief Jeff DeRuyter- three of my supervisors at the Guelph Police Service. I’m also honored to have Inspector Pringle and Chief DeRuyter here tonight to support me.
• Andrew Van’t Wout who believed in me and nominated me for this prestigious award.
• My brother Don Pflug and wife Laura Steinke-Pflug, who courageously beat breast cancer a year ago
• My amazing, loving daughters Reighan Pflug and Alexis
• And last but not least, my incredible best friend and wife… Michelle Pflug.  Michelle is a CSI officer with the Peel Regional Police and wishes she were here to share this special night but she is on a course at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa.

As I close, I have one request of you tonight. When you leave and carry on your lives, take the opportunity to make a stranger smile or better yet …mentor a young person. Your act of kindness might just be THAT positive influence that unleashes their incredible and amazing human potential.

God bless you all. Thank you.

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