Martin C. Barry
For a tenth consecutive year, members of the Laval Police Department unveiled their canine squad calendar at police headquarters on Chomedey Blvd. recently, with all profits from sales going towards the Fondation Martin-Matte.
While the calendar has become a tradition with the people of Laval after a decade, this was the fifth year that Laval Police Department chief Pierre Brochet took part in the launch. All the same, the calendar has proven to be a great success, he admitted, noting that he receives calls from people from as far as Quebec’s Gaspésie region, asking if they can purchase a copy.
Homage to ex-officer
For this anniversary edition, those attending the release event also paid homage to Cst. Éric Lavoie, a former Laval Police officer and master dog handler who died from head injuries in the line of duty more than a decade ago following an auto accident. Several members of Lavoie’s family were on hand for the 2018 calendar launch, including his father, his wife and son.
Thanks to funds from the sales of the popular calendar, the foundation has been able to build several residences for persons living with traumatic brain injuries. Since 2008, sales have brought in $450,000 for the foundation.
The Fondation Martin-Matte, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary, raises funds to help persons suffering from head injuries that often cause serious neurological disturbances. The foundation finances the construction of specially-equipped houses, in addition to helping provide respite, rehabilitation and activity centres for the victims and their families.
The involvement in the cause of well-known Quebec standup comic Martin Matte began as a result of an accident his brother, Christian, had in 1986. Subsequent to that, Christian lived in nearly 20 group residences over two decades as the system shuffled him about.
Dealing with head trauma
The foundation now supports a growing network of residences in communities all over Quebec, including Blainville and Sherbrooke, as well as Trois-Rivières and Quebec City. Ten people in Quebec suffer a head trauma each day that will leave them seriously incapacitated.
The calendars are now available at the Valérie-Gignac building in Duvernay (3225 Saint-Martin Blvd. East), as well as at neighbourhood police stations and at Laval Police headquarters (2911 Chomedey Blvd.). As of Nov. 8, they are also on sale at eight Maxi supermarkets in Laval. The police dog calendar can also be ordered on the web site of the Fondation Martin-Matte here: www.fondationmartinmatte.com