Wow – 489,101 lbs, News (Burlington City Rep Hockey Club)

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Wow – 489,101 lbs
Submitted By Admin on Saturday, November 12, 2016
11th Annual “Gift of Giving Back” Community Food Drive Nets Incredible Total to Feed the Hungry!!

The Gift of Giving Back Community Food Drive makes our City better in so many ways.  Our generous kids and their families ARE the power behind the Gift of Giving Back  -- we are truly helping our neighbours improve their lives and in return, our lives are made better every day.

Thanks to all of you, our beneficiaries - the Salvation Army, the Burlington Food Bank (Partnership West), Food for Life, the Carpenter Hospice, Halton Women’s Shelters and the Compassion Society - will have enough food to last them until deep into next spring.  The non-perishable food remains in Burlington with some distributed throughout the region.  (By Food For Life, who supports the food banks and more than 70 outreach programs in low income neighbourhoods linked through schools, churches, shelters, mosques, seniors’ and kids’ programs, etc.) The Salvation Army will also distribute about 1100 hampers in December to help make Christmas a little brighter for those in need. 

This tremendous gift to our beneficiaries and our community comes as a result of our kids working diligently with various creative initiatives beginning in the summer months.  With compassionate and willing hearts, they and their families dedicate their time, efforts and talents to ensuring this campaign is successful by collecting the food, item by item, week after week.  To accomplish this, they host lemonade stands, road hockey competitions, garage sales, and car washes.  They tag at grocery stores, coffee shop locations, GO Transit terminals.  They rake leaves, help seniors, and carry groceries.  All done with the thought of giving back to their community – such amazing caring kids!!

Our goal was accomplished again as a result of the amazing achievements by all of our Eagles, Barracudas, and M. M. Robinson students.  No one expected that we could possibly top last year’ phenomenal totals but as always, “put out the challenge” and our dedicated young people respond.  Not only did we surpass last year’s total, we increased it by well over 1.5 times!! -- and as a result, were able to expand our ability to give.  This is such a monumental gift to our community that we cannot possibly underestimate the benevolent impact.  Nowhere in Canada does a single food drive involving so few families achieve such magnificent results.

Our annual contribution has become an annual Fall tradition here in Burlington and, because of its success, has become essential to the health and welfare of our community.    We all couldn't be more dedicated to a cause than we are to the “Gift of Giving Back”.

You, members of our generous and caring Eagle, Barracuda and M. M. Robinson family accomplished this.  What we can do together is just remarkable.  We are teaching our kids that truly great things are possible!

As you all know, the real contribution to our community lies in the many examples of leadership, integrity and compassion you have demonstrated to our children.  How many significant conversations took place in our homes over the past two months concerning poverty, hunger, and the gift of giving back to one’s fellow man? 

To all volunteers who worked so hard to collect, sort, carry, weigh the thousands and thousands pounds of food – all with a big smile – thank you, thank you, thank you for your incredible efforts.   You have made us all proud – you really showed your heart.  Words simply cannot express our immense gratitude and appreciation -- we just can’t do this without you and your continual demonstrations of love !  

Huge thanks to our team of dedicated Food Drive Team Captains, without whom, this drive would not flourish – your dedication amazes us all.  A list of winners and your team’s ranking will soon be emailed.

To Kim LaRonde, Heidi McGaw, Paul Carvalho, and Ian Lawson and the all the folks at the Burlington Mall – We are so thankful for your sponsorship, support and help in all aspects of “The Gift”.  Your involvement is so special to us and we appreciate your partnership so much. 

To the M. M. Robinson High School Staff, Students and Community – what can we say, except many, many thanks to all especially Principal Andrea Taylor and Krista Reid, and all the staff and students who organized the pep rally and who embraced the challenge.   You carried the day, taking us almost to the .5 million lb mark -- a huge surprise at the very end.  We will never forget your hospitality and friendship.  Just wait til next year!! GO RAMS!!

Special thanks to our hardworking Eagle Families who are always so supportive – John Tait, Melanie Kirkpatrick, Cori Claus, Tania Lee, Adam Nicholson, Angela Mahoney, Tracy Pecyna, Jack Schwietz, Rick Dale, Darlene Monteith, Ryan Stewart, Kris Maslanyk, Judie Kavanagh, Lisa Williams Billy Boucher, Dave Guluche, Brian Sharpe, Aaron Brooks, Beric Sykes, Paul Hatanaka, Bob Jurk, Greg Howard, Scott Robinson.  Your efforts, as always, were nothing short of magnificent!! We are so fortunate to have a Club like ours.

To our fantastic partners, the Burlington Barracudas Girls’ Hockey -- a giant salute and thanks for your wonderful efforts this year.  Kudos to the Cuda’s and their Executive team, Coordinator Maria Thornton, President Barb Rockx, Communications Director Jen Buchalter and Vice-President Jason Crawford   Really great working with you this year — you made it happen!  

And a huge thanks to members of our Steering Committee Angelo Bentivegna, John Crick, Matt Petri, Janyce Robinson, Justin Baker, Gift of Giving Back Brampton; David Langille, Gift of Giving Back Oakville; Robin Bailey, Margaret and Dean Locke, Salvation Army; Cass Quinn, John Love, and Alyson McQueen-Hickerson, Partnership West; Meaghan Richardson, Brenda Hajdu, Food For Life; Gloria Vidovich, Carpenter Hospice; Kaitlin Gordon, Carmela Bozzo, Halton Women’s Place; and Aliya Khawari, Compassion Society.

To the Burlington Cougars - We so much appreciate your helpful presence, kindness and leadership to our young athletes — the young men who attended were simply outstanding!! Thanks to Anthony Miele, Leanne More and Mark Jooris for supporting our cause.  Please pass on our gratitude to all who attended.

And a big shout out to our Honorary Chair Fire Chief Tony Bavota, Ryan Stewart and the Burlington Firefighters who as always, help collect our food at the fire stations and who encourage our kids all throughout the campaign.  Thanks, Matt Poliziani, for providing the First Aid Station!

And finally, of course, a huge thanks to the caring and compassionate citizens of Burlington who supported us in such a magnanimous way – words cannot express the gratitude we all feel for your generous and resounding affirmation of what we do every year.  

Thanks to Matrix Scales for the use of their electronic scales.  Also to Steve Cooper, Tim Wilson and The Ippolito Group, who provided transportation of the food to the food banks.   A big thank you to Leon and Connor Denbok and the staff of Denbok Landscaping for helping with the handling of the mountain of food. Thanks also to the whole team at A1 Security Group for all your help setting up and moving out – you all were awesome!!

Once again, thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.

Jean Longfield

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