Agape off to a fresh start, following three-year fundraising drought

Faithful patron Brendt Schonfelder donates $1,000 during Valentine’s Love Walk

Following a three-year hiatus when the Agape Youth and Parents Association couldn’t hold fundraisers because of Covid pandemic restrictions, a faithful supporter made up for the shortfall recently with a generous donation to the Chomedey-based social services provider.

$1,000 donation

Brendt Schonfelder generously donated $1,000 towards funds gathered during Agape’s annual Denise Williams Valentine’s Day Love Walk. The event is named after Agape co-founder and secretary/treasurer Betty McLeod’s late mother.

Agape holds up to four fundraisers per year to help in their work to support the vulnerable people they serve. Until recently, Agape’s in-person fundraisers had been suspended until further notice. The Valentine’s Day Love Walk always takes place on a Friday which falls closest to Valentine’s Day.

Seen here with Agape co-founder and secretary/treasurer Betty McLeod, Brendt Schonfelder generously donated $1,000 towards Agape’s annual Denise Williams Valentine’s Day Love Walk.

A longstanding tradition following each walk – breakfast at the Nickels restaurant – had to be suspended during the Covid hiatus, although it has resumed with the pandemic mostly over.

Fundraising decline

“We really went down in the donations when we were online,” McLeod said in an interview with the Laval News, explaining that the association had to depend on online fundraising for the past three years while in-person fundraisers were suspended. “Now we’ve re-opened,” she said.

Denise Williams started the first Valentine’s Day Love Walk around 30 years ago while her daughter was in hospital “and kept it up until the day she died,” said McLeod. Denise Williams passed away in July 2008 at the age of 91.

How it started

“Because I was in hospital, my mother got a bunch of people, a bunch of seniors, and they all got together and started walking for Agape and they’ve kept it up for years now,” added McLeod. “All the receipts from the donations go to Agape, of course.”

Although 40 people registered to take part in this year’s Valentine’s Day Walk, a snow storm the day of the event resulted in only 20 taking part. Still, those who did turn up were treated afterwards to a meal at the Nickels restaurant, paid for as always by Betty McLeod’s husband Rod.

A big Agape supporter

Because of the snow outside, the walkers made their way around the interior of the Centre Laval mall at the corner of Souvenir and Le Corbusier boulevards.

Brendt Schonfelder generously donated $1,000

As for Brendt Schonfelder’s $1,000 donation, McLeod said, “He’s a big donor to Agape. He’s a fantastic man. He’s known hardship, but he’s always been there to help us out and we have appreciated it.”

Among Agape’s other fundraising events are the Annual Lois Hashimoto Memorial Walk, in memory of another longtime supporter. Every September, participants are sponsored for a walk from Agape‘s location to the edge of Autoroute 13 and back.

Annual fundraisers

And then there is also the annual Christmas Dance. Every year, on the last Saturday of November or first of December, they hold a fundraising dinner and dance at the Royal Canadian Legion (Chomedey Branch) to help raise funds for Agape’s Christmas baskets, which feed over a thousand people during the holiday season.

Agape also accepts monetary donations throughout the year, with an income-tax receipt issued for donations of $20 or more. Agape address: 3950 Notre-Dame Blvd., Laval, Qc H7W 1S7. Phone: 450-686-4333. Email: Web: