Le Pilier’s third annual Urban BBQ draws 100 guests

‘An organization with a truly extraordinary mission,’ says Councillor Sandra El-Helou

On May 30 at the Château Taillefer Lafon vineyard in Laval-Ouest, Le Pilier Foundation was pleased to welcome more than 100 guests to the third edition of its Urban BBQ.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the foundation and will be invested in the services offered at the Centre Marcelle et Jean Coutu in Laval.

From the right, Pierre Bélanger, who recently retired as executive-director of Le Pilier after 30 years, is seen here with the new executive-director, Nassim Belaïd, during the Urban BBQ at the Château Taillefer Lafon vineyard. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

Nearly four decades

For the past 39 years, Le Pilier Foundation has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for disabled individuals, both young and adult, living with intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, other physical disabilities, or autism spectrum disorders, while also helping their families.

The Centre Marcelle and Jean Coutu offers a range of adapted services to more than 250 disabled people, youths and adults, while also providing valuable respite for family members. The centre features a Snoezelen room for relaxation and sensory stimulation.

Outside the centre, a safe adapted courtyard offers a play structure, urban gardens and a summer farm. The dedicated team of caregivers deploys a program of adapted activities throughout the week, meeting the needs of people with disabilities, whether they are autonomous, semi-autonomous or not intellectually and/or physically autonomous.

‘A very important cause’

Among the guests at this year’s Urban BBQ was Laval city councillor for Souvenir-Labelle Sandra El-Helou. “Every year, Le Pilier brings us all back together to this very important cause which supports hundreds of families and parents who are living with disabled children as well as others,” she said in an interview with The Laval News.

Laval city councillor for Souvenir-Labelle Sandra El-Helou plays an interactive electronic tabletop game with Gabriel Lourenco, who receives services from Le Pilier, during the foundation’s Urban BBQ event. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

“I think this is an organization with a truly extraordinary mission,” El-Helou added, noting that she has visited their facilities and attended events on several occasions as an associate member of the city’s executive-committee with responsibility for social services.

The Urban BBQ fundraising event was held under the honorary co-presidency of Dominique Raîche, general manager of Caisse Desjardins de Mercier-Est–Anjou and a mutual fund representative for Desjardins Financial Services.

Raîche’s 2nd year as co-president

“I am pleased to be the honorary co-chairwoman of this event for a second consecutive year,” she said. “The Centre Marcelle et Jean Coutu is a warm and safe place. Parents are happy and confident to entrust their children to the lovely caregivers, knowing they are in good hands. Thank you for supporting Le Pilier Foundation which makes a huge difference in their lives.”

Le Pilier has been dedicated for 39 years to improving life for the disabled

The evening brought together members of the Laval and greater Montreal metropolitan area’s business community, as well as many of Le Pilier Foundation’s partners. Guests were able to enjoy the Andy DaCoulis Quartet’s live music. They played a repertoire of classic jazz, while guests sampled hors-d’oeuvres from a delectable menu created by Robert Alexis Traiteur.

Pursuing a mission

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of our generous donors who mobilized to support our mission and help to pursue our goals,” said Johanne Desjardins, executive-director for philanthropy, development and communications at Le Pilier Foundation.

Supporters of the Le Pilier Foundation raised their glasses to the non-profit’s success providing services to the disabled during the third annual Urban BBQ held at the Château Taillefer Lafon vineyard in Laval-Ouest on May 30. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

“I would also like to extend my warmest thanks to Dominique Raîche and her involvement,” she continued. “Thanks to her precious commitment, we are turning dreams into reality, offering residents and users a better quality of life and a brighter outlook for the future.”