Community Shares launches annual fundraising campaign and celebrates 20 years in the community
More than 450 people came to the Community Breakfast to launch West Island Community Shares’ annual fundraising campaign and celebrate its 20th anniversary today. The breakfast was held at Les 3 Brasseurs in Pointe-Claire and special guests included campaign co-chairs, Mr. John Helou, President of Pfizer Canada Inc., and Mr. Martin Thibodeau, President, Quebec Headquarters of RBC Royal Bank. They are the first campaign co-chairs in
Community Shares’ 20-year history.
“We’re honoured that these business leaders, who are so passionate about giving back to the community, are our campaign co-chairs this year,” said Leanne Bayer, Executive Director, West Island Community Shares. “We look forward to working with them to achieve our goal of raising $1.3 million this year.”
“We are proud to be active in the communities where we work and live,” explains John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc., one of the founding partners of West Island Community Shares. “In all corners of the country, and especially here in the West Island of Montreal, many of our employees are making a difference by volunteering their time to causes important to them, including West Island Community Shares. I am very proud of these individual contributions as well as our long-standing corporate partnership with an organization making a true difference in the lives of people in our community.”
“Community engagement is part of RBC Royal Bank’s DNA. It’s important to me to give back to help the vulnerable members of our community and to assure a cohesive community. Together, we can make a difference,” said Mr. Thibodeau.
Also in attendance were Mr. Martin Coiteux, Member for Nelligan, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region and representatives of Mr. Carlos Leitão, Member for Robert-Baldwin and Minister of Finance. Mayors and councilors from Baie d’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Kirkland Pierrefonds, Pointe-Claire, Sainte-Anne-deBellevue and Senneville were also there to show their support.
20 YEARS IN THE COMMUNITY
In its first annual campaign, West Island Community Shares raised $102,000 for 8 local community groups. Last year, it raised more than $1.2 Million for 41 community groups. The groups offer frontline services to 60,000 West Island residents struggling with poverty, cancer, mental illness, substance abuse and more each year. Six groups (AMCAL Family Services, AWISH, the Ecomuseum, Community Perspective in Mental Health, WIAIH and the West Island Youth Symphony Orchestra) have been supported by Community Shares for the 20 years of its existence.
Many individual and corporate donors, partners and sponsors attended the breakfast. Ms. Nada Nasreddine, President of Community Shares, also welcomed four past presidents of the Board, all of whom are still involved with Community Shares in some capacity. “We’re very grateful for supporters who have been with us for 20 years, as well as new supporters who live here and want to give here,” said Ms. Nasreddine.
One such new supporter is CAN/AM Hockey, the 20th Anniversary Sponsor of the breakfast. Gold-level sponsor, Aqua Spa Lyne Giroux, has generously supported Community Shares for almost 20 years. Pharmaprix (Beaconsfield/Kirkland) and Rideau Funeral Home were the Silver sponsors. Other sponsors included Giordano Paccione of RE/MAX, Dorfin and Harmony Juvenile Products.
“My heartfelt thanks goes out to all the sponsors, guests and volunteers of the breakfast, with special thanks to West Island IGA grocers who provided all the food and Les 3 Brasseurs for hosting the event,” said Ms. Bayer. Also contributing to the successful event were in-kind donors: Infografilm, The Beat 92.5, Tazza di Mattina and Via Rail.
Donations to West Island Community Shares can be made on its secure webserver at www.communityshares.ca 100% of donations will go directly to the community groups because corporate partners cover operational costs. The West Island is the only community in Canada to sustain this model for more than 20 years.
From the left: Nada Nasreddine, President of West Island Community Shares, Martin Thibodeau, President, Quebec Headquarters, RBC Royal Bank John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada Inc. and Leanne Bayer, Executive Director, West Island Community Shares