A nice way to say ‘Thank You’!

By P.A. Sévigny on April 21, 2011

While some may think it was nothing more than an evening full of music, a bit of wine and a plate full of spaghetti Bolognese, others would recognize the supper party as the kind of event which pulls a community together.

​“Without all of your efforts,” said Michelle Bourget, “…none of this would be possible.”

​After spending almost 30 years with friends and colleagues fighting the endemic poverty in Montreal’s Sud-Ouest, Bourget’s efforts are beginning to pay handsome dividends because hundreds of people who used to come to their doorlooking for something to eat are now honorably employed, working professionals or even own their own business.

​“Over the years,” she said, “ I have learned what it takes to manage an operation such as ours and each year, it takes more work, a big effort and more than a few good ideas to raise the kind of money we need to finance this operation.”

maison_partage.jpg​Two years ago, after massive budget cuts almost forced the food bank to close its doors, a massive re-organization is beginning to show its results. Apart from all the usual work required to run the food bank, its managers reached out to the community and it wasn’t long before community leaders began to answer their call, including Metropolitain editor Beryl Wajsman's social action network from his Institute for Public Affairs and the Garceau Foundation's Brigitte Garceau a well known Montreal lawyer and activist. 

​As the president of the district’s new Dompark Complex, Nathalie Voland was happy to offer up her new reception center for the food bank’s benefit supper. As an active member of the food bank’s board, she said she’s proud to be a part of the food bank’s organization.

​“Sometimes it takes just a moment to offer someone a bit of sympathy and a kind word,” she said. “Sometimes that’s just enough to give someone the hope they need to build a better life.”

​During her short speech, Voland said she continues to believe how the district’s business community can pull together in order to help make a difference in the lives of the district’s poor and their families. Apart from ticket sales,Voland’s silent auction helped raise at least $2000 for the food bank over the evening. If you had the money, you could bid for a pair of tickets for the opera, a top-of-the-line cookbook, a gourmet dinner for two at the Casino or bits and pieces of custom-made jewelery. 

​While there’s never much you can say about a plate full of spaghetti, there was a lot to say about Marc Antoine D’Aragon and Isabelle Nicolas who performed opera duets between the main meal and dessert. Apart from their charm and their talent, the couple once again reminded their audience how the nice thing about opera is that for a few moments, it’s always easy for an opera’saudience to believe in the music and the magic of love.

​As far as La Maison du Partage is concerned, that kind of magic is a daily feature of life inside the Center Street food bank.



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