SWLF’s first annual ‘Valentine’s Gala’ raises $15,000 for SWLSB schools

More than 130 guests partied the night away at the Château Royal in Chomedey

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation’s first annual Valentine’s Gala, which drew 135 guests to the Château Royal congress centre in Chomedey on Feb. 9, raised $15,000 for additional educational resources at schools operated by the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board.

The Masters of Ceremonies for the evening were SWLSB chairman Paolo Galati and SWLF president Archie Cifelli. The evening’s featured musical guest performers were the Soul Station Orchestra.

Great prizes!

There were also some great door prizes, and members of the SWLF board of directors and volunteers went around from table to table to sell tickets at three for $20 or an arm’s length for $50.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation president Archie Cifelli (left) and Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board chairman Paolo Galati were Masters of Ceremonies for the SWLF’s first annual Valentine’s Gala held at the Château Royal congress centre on the evening of Feb. 9.

The list of prizes included a gift certificate from Polar Bear’s SPA, an air fryer machine, restaurant gift certificates, jewelry, a DeWalt wet/dry vacuum, a portable car vacuum, solar walkway lights, a Cuisinart mixer, and a loge for six for the Laval Rocket courtesy of Groupe Montoni.

$1,000 shopping spree

In addition to these prizes, the grand prize was a $1,000 shopping spree at any of the Montreal-area Cadillac-Fairview (CF) malls. This was available only by buying “pink envelopes” for sale at $20 each. In other words, when they were sold out you were out of luck.

Among the guests was Laval city councillor for Laval-Les Îles Nicolas Borne who was representing Mayor Stéphane Boyer, along with several other members of Laval city council. Also supporting the cause were Fabre MNA Alice Abou-Khalil, and school centre colleagues from the Centre de service scolaire de Laval.

$1 million since 2004

Since its creation in 2004, over $1 million dollars has been raised for the SWLSB, of which more than $950,000 has been given to the schools, educational centres and students. This year, the monies raised will help SWLSB schools purchase sensory equipment for classrooms and for sensory rooms.

Sensory equipment is useful for students of all ages. This highly in-demand equipment enhances students’ learning experience by engaging multiple senses, providing alternative ways to access and engage with information, and supporting students’ strengths and needs. The use of sensory equipment in classrooms has been shown to improve student engagement, motivation, and their feelings of personal accomplishment.

Partners in success

“The Foundation could not be what it is without its important partners and without you,” said Galati. “Each and every one of you in this room contributes to the success of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation. The foundation is all about kids. Plain and simple. Students are our raison d’être.”

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation’s first annual Valentine’s Gala featured musical guest performers the Soul Station Orchestra.

Among the businesses which partnered with the SWLF to contribute to the fundraiser’s success were the Caisse Thérèse-de-Blainville, several federal MPs and provincial MNAs, as well as the foundation’s media partners: the Laval News and North Shore News. The SWLF paid homage to past president Christian Fréchette. “Christian, thank you for your vision and for steering the foundation towards that goal of $1 million dollars,” said Cifelli. “Christian has always been a strong advocate for the quality services offered in public English schools.”