WICS Group

Sam Pergantis , Sophie McCan, Enrico Lalonde from IGA Extra, Anne Lajoie from WICS and Yannick Pelletier.

I was pleased to be in attendance last Friday morning at Les Trois Brasseurs Pointe Claire for a real “feel good” story as West Island Community Shares (WICS) confirmed a five year, $500,000 commitment from National Bank.

Yannick Pelletier, Associate Vice-President of Commercial Banking for Western Montreal and Vaudreuil-Soulanges, made the announcement at the 2019-20 Annual WICS campaign kickoff breakfast. Sam Pergantis and his team from Les Trois Brasseurs provided the venue and the kitchen and the IGA grocery stores in Kirkland, Dollard des Ormeaux and Pointe Claire donated the food. Volunteers from various West Island businesses waited on tables and served the buffet.

Some 500 people, including members of 41 community groups and other special guests, were in attendance. I had a chance to chat with the likes of Kirkland Mayor Michel Gibson, Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis and Nelligan Liberal MNA Monsef Derraji. But the man of the hour was Campaign Chair Pelletier. “We know that an organization like this does not have donors who will commit for several years in a row, so we stepped up,” Pelletier told me. “I am on the board now and I am hoping other businesses might follow our example.

“A few months ago, my colleagues and I witnessed first-hand the very real needs that exist in the community when we met with several local organizations during the Share the Love campaign. Thanks to this experience, I decided to extend my personal commitment to the organization.”

WICS Executive Director Sophie McCann was naturally elated with the donation. “Our objective is to support 65,000 West Islanders who ask for help every year, by giving back $1.3 million to at least 41 community organizations,” she said. “All donations will be invested in developing strong, resilient children, creating bridges and supporting vulnerable populations, fostering healthy bodies and minds, empowering women, and lastly, fulfilling our neighbours’ basic needs. We can’t do any of this or reach our goal without the generosity of residents, business owners, as well as our corporate and fundraising partners.”

BLADDER CANCER AWARENESS: Dollard des Ormeaux’s Herb Zurkowsky, the outstanding football and features writer for The Gazette, has been back on the job for a few months now after spending considerable time fighting his biggest battle – bladder cancer. I am happy to report that Herb was the winner and he looks and feels great. This Sunday, Sept. 22, he will be participating in the annual Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk at Danyluk Park in Town of Mount Royal (90 Roosevelt). Registration starts at 10 am and the event begins at 11:30 am. During the entire event, there will be delicious food available, energetic music playing (DJ Dylan Cherry), and a photographer to capture all the great moments. Other activities will include a Zumba warm-up, men’s haircuts, a raffle and RIOT (Research Information Outreach Team) offering Q & A Session from 10 am to 1 pm. For the past 10 years, those committed to fighting bladder cancer have united each September to walk together to make a powerful impact on bladder cancer awareness, research and patient support across Canada. Info: 1-866-674-8889

HOCKEY 911: A lot of fundraising endeavors come across my desk each week, but the Montreal General Hospital Foundation’s new benefit event, Hockey 911, might just be one of the most cleverly conceived yet. It will take place on Oct. 2 at Taverne Moderne 1909 at the Bell Centre and feature hockey legends such as Bob Gainey, Guy Lafleur, Chris Nilan, Trent McCleary and Serge Savard, alongside Montreal General Hospital doctors who work with Canadiens hockey players. Info: www.codelife.ca/hockey911

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