Centennial college student receives first ever Gary Neville Memorial Scholarship

Scholarship awarded in honour of King City man killed along with three grandchildren in 2015

Award recipient poses.
Bianca Mattison, recipient of the Gary Neville scholarship, at the Centennial College awards ceremony Thursday, March 28 . Sean Leca/Toronto Observer

A Centennial College student has become the first recipient of an award from the family of Gary Neville, a Vaughan, Ont. grandfather killed, along with his three grandchildren, by a drunk driver in 2015.

The $1,000 scholarship was presented Thursday night by the Many Hands, Doing Good organization, founded by Jennifer Neville-Lake, Neville’s daughter and the three children’s mother.

Bianca Mattison, the recipient of the award, is a student in the broadcasting program at Centennial’s Story Arts Centre in East York.

“It’s an amazing feeling, of course, I am extremely grateful,” Mattison said after the ceremony Thursday. “It’s very inspiring when in the midst of suffering, in the midst of pain, that people can find ways to honour someone’s memory. It’s an amazing thing to be able to do.”

Neville-Lake and Const. Andy Pattenden, a media relations officer for the York Regional Police, presented the award at the Centennial Events Centre on Progress Avenue.

“What better way of memorializing him [Neville] than with this opportunity here at Centennial College, to give this scholarship in his honour,” Pattenden said.

Pattenden is also a director with the Many Hands, Doing Good organization. He got to know the Neville-Lake family when they were giving interviews outside of the Newmarket courthouse, during the trial of Marco Muzzo. Pattenden decided to lend his marketing and media relations expertise to the organization and help get it off the ground.

“I’m just trying to keeping it growing, keep it going, and help as many people as we can,” Pattenden said in an interview.

Jennifer Neville-Lake and Andy Pattenden pose after the awards ceremony

Jennifer Neville-Lake and Andy Pattenden after the awards ceremony on Thursday, March 28 (Sean Leca/Toronto Observer)

The Many Hands, Doing Good organization, which launched in the summer of 2018, helps families pay for art therapy and music therapy services for children who are suffering from trauma.

On Sept. 27, 2015, just after 4 p.m., Gary Neville, 65, of King City, and his grandchildren Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, Harrison Neville-Lake, 5, and Milagros Neville-Lake, 2, all of Brampton, were killed after their minivan was T-boned north of Kleinberg, Ont. The suspect, Marco Muzzo, also of King City,  pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death. In March, 2016, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

On the night of the crash, Muzzo was returning home from his bachelor party in Miami, and had been drinking on the flight. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. Muzzo was speeding and ran through a stop sign at Kipling Avenue and Kirby Road, and hit the minivan in which six members of the Neville family were driving. Neville’s wife Neriza was seriously injured, as was her own mother.

Neville was formerly an accounting student at Centennial College, but always dreamed of being a radio DJ. He spent nearly a decade working in the accounting department at NEWSTALK 1010, a Toronto radio station formerly known as CFRB.

Neville-Lake politely declined an interview at the Centennial awards night event, but her Many Hands, Doing Good website explains the motivation behind the award in her father’s name.

“The story goes that when my dad was a young man and trying to decide what to do with the rest of his life, he was considering pursuing a career in radio as a DJ,” Neville-Lake is quoted as saying on the Many Hands, Doing Good website.“This bursary is to honour my father’s love of music, his dream of becoming a DJ and his respect for the industry.”

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Posted: Apr 4 2019 6:06 pm
Filed under: Education News