On Friday, Nov. 8, over 200 people gathered at the West Island Women’s Centre (WIWC) for their 24th annual silent auction. This event, their primary fundraiser, was hosted by Jessica Rusnak of CBC Radio. Attendees had fun offering their bids, enjoyed food and drinks, and had chances to win door prizes.
“As a non-profit organization, we are always looking at different ways to engage our community, and to help fundraise our programming,” says Sarah Ford, Executive Director. “We have been part of this community since 1975, and each year we continue to grow, as we reach 747 members plus.”
A large variety of items were donated by local businesses and individuals to bid on. More than 150 volunteers offered their time to put the event together. The Centre asks all members to give back to the community by volunteering as much as they can. This year was their highest attendance ever, with over 200 guests.
“The West Island Women’s Centre provides programming for women of ages and in different stages of their lives,” continues Ford, who lives in the Valois neighbourhood of Pointe-Claire with her husband and two daughters. “We provide educational, social, and recreational services for women living in the West Island and the community at large.”
This is a place that offers low cost programming and free outreach programs for women. They can make friends, be part of support groups, take courses, exercise classes, seminars, and so much more.
It is an organization that continues to thrive with $22,000 raised this year compared to $16,500 in 2018. During the live auction, guests had fun bidding on everything from massages and dining and entertainment, to toys, snow removal contracts, and to even bigger items like travel and hotel stays. This year, 346 items were donated, compared to 222 in 2018.
“In 2019, we finalized our new Strategic Plan, which focuses on our core strengths as an organization, along with where we would like to go in the future,” adds Ford. “And as we continue to respond to the needs and interests of our members and the community, we are looking into how we can grow even further and how we will mark International Women’s Day in 2020. Each year we bring the community together to mark this occasion and next year we would like to bring this event out of the Centre and into the community. We are currently in the planning stage, and more details will be announced in the new year.”
For more information, visit, www.wiwc.ca