Martin C. Barry
The Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation’s 202 Gala fundraiser raised $26,270 for educational equipment, programs and resources at schools and training centres across the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board’s territory in the Laval, Laurentian and Lanaudière regions in the coming year.
An evening of winners
Held at the Embassy Plaza in Laval on Jan. 23, the popular event featured a silent auction segment showcasing, among other things, a Montreal Canadiens jersey signed by Habs great Guy Lafleur, sports and rock and roll memorabilia, and many other items of art and jewelry.
The evening’s Grand Prize (awarded to the winning “balloon” holder) was a $1,500 gift certificate for an all-inclusive trip, cruise or guided tour of the winner’s choice. The top raffle prizes included a $300 Apple Watch Series 3 and a Fitbit Versa worth $200. The evening’s musical entertainment was provided by the Boogie Wonder Band.
Laval’s mayor attended
There was a good turnout by elected officials from all over Laval and the North Shore areas. Among them were Laval mayor Marc Demers. The mayor was accompanied by city councillors Virginie Dufour, Éric Morasse, Sandra El-Hélou, Aline Dib, Jocelyne–Frédérique Gauthier, Vasilios Karidogiannis and Sandra Desmeules.
Laval city councillors Michel Trottier and Claude Larochelle of the Parti Laval were also guests, as were Action Laval city councillors David De Cotis, Michel Poissant, Aglaia Revelakis, Isabella Tassoni and Daniel Hébert. From the North Shore, Rosemère mayor Eric Westram and Rosemère town councillor Philip Panet-Raymond were also present.
High graduation rate
According to SWLSB chairman Paolo Galati who delivered one of the evening’s addresses, the board’s schools are maintaining an 84.5 per cent graduation rate, which is among the 10 highest scores for school commissions across Quebec.
“We have achieved this success thanks to our 2,000 outstanding employees who ensure all our students have all they need to reach their full potential,” said Galati, thanking the board’s teachers, staff and administrators, many of whom attended the gala as a gesture of additional support.
Christian Fréchette, chairman of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation, noted that the foundation has raised $900,000 since it was founded. “All this would not have been possible without you,” he said, adding that $900,000 is a remarkable sum to be raised by a small foundation.
“I’ve said it before, but today’s students are tomorrow’s future,” Fréchette added. “The better education they receive, the better equipped they will be in life.”