It’s 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 when the doors of Salon A opened on a room nicely decorated, looking like a summer picnic with red and white checkered tablecloths and wicker baskets.
Slowly but surely, participants in the charity dinner organized by the students of the child and youth care program come to the entrance to discover the venue waiting for them.
“Tonight we are raising funds for the St. John Bosco Achievement Centre, an organization that helps students with difficulties,” explained Julia Dundas, a first-year student at Algonquin. “We are expecting 70 people tonight. Originally we wanted to bring 150 people but it didn’t happen because of the timing and the location.”
In order to raise awareness for the cause, the 15 students in this class organized an all-inclusive vegetarian spaghetti dinner, accompanied by on-stage performances and games.
The event had just started when Katlyn Bonner, a first-year student, announced they had raised $1,154 from tickets sales, early fundraisers and donations.
“Our ultimate goal is to raise $1,500 by the end of the night,” Bonner said.
Throughout the evening, the students of the child and youth care program went on stage to remind people of the importance of their presence and encourage them to participate in the silent auction. As soon as dinner was served, it was time for singers to go on stage and create a warm atmosphere.
Subsequently, two representatives of the St. John Bosco Achievement Centre took the stage to say a few words about the counselling services their offer to youth who are involved in the justice system, as well as counselling in various domains such as drug or family counselling.
“This event represents our ability to helps our students,” said Glenn Greene, a teacher in the St. John Bosco Achievement Program offered through the Ottawa Catholic school board.
By the end of the night, the Algonquin students had raised $1,530 to support the organization.
“I’m extremely proud of the students, they’ve worked very hard as a team,” said Terry Lesvesque, professor in the child and youth care program. “It’s very important to provide the students a learning opportunity to work in a team and advocate for a cause.”