Volunteer Appreciation Night

Click here to see the 2016 Volunteer Program Book

Honouring Our Volunteers

Each spring, as part of National Volunteer Recognition Week, the EMSB holds a Volunteer Appreciation Evening. We feel very fortunate to have a devoted corps of parent volunteers working in our schools. La Capitale Financial Services is our title sponsor for this years’ event, which took place on April 12, 2016 at Le Renaissance 7550 Henri Bourassa Est, Montreal. Here is the program book. Click here to see our video of the evening.

List of Volunteers

EMSB holds 15th annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening

By Stuart Nulman

The English Montreal School Board held its 15th annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening on April 12 at the Centre Renaissance in Ville d’Anjou. This year’s event was held to commemorate National Volunteer Week, which ran from April 11 to 15, under the theme of “Leading By Example.”


EMSB Chair Angela Mancini saluted the volunteers on how they always lead by example every year, and this school year in particular, with the board’s fight against Bill 86.


“Through the passing of resolutions, to signing the forms that we sent to the Minister of Education, to giving your voice on this important fight that certainly resonated throughout our board, you showed that by working together towards a common goal, we told the provincial government in Quebec City that the EMSB has and will continue to ensure that we maintain our minority language rights as a community, and that the public school system – and English language education – remains a viable part of the entire Quebec community right now and in the future,” said Ms. Mancini.


Montreal comedian Guido Grasso performed a short set, courtesy of Ralph Buttino of VMG Entertainment. VMG produces the popular Bad Boyz of Comedy series. Buttino is a graduate of Laurier Macdonald High School.


Time and space did not allow the EMSB to honour all of its nearly 1,500 volunteers in person. Therefore, only those individuals who have volunteered for more than five years attended the reception, representing some 500 people. However, several thousand copies of a commemorative program book were distributed to each school. The emcees for the evening were Global News senior anchor Jamie Orchard and EMSB Communications and Marketing Specialist Michael Cohen. 


This year’s Volunteers of Distinction were the husband and wife team of Frank and Tina Saracino who have volunteered at Honoré-Mercier Elementary School in St. Léonard over the past 14 years, and their three children have attended the school; their oldest daughter Julia graduated from Vincent Massey Collegiate and currently studies health sciences at Vanier College; their youngest daughter Elisa  is a student at Vincent Massey Collegiate; and their son David is in grade 6 and will be attending John Paul I next year. Frank and Tina have volunteered in many capacities at Honore Mercier School; Frank is currently the Chairperson of the school’s governing board, while Tina has headed and chaired several committees, including this year’s Grade 6 Graduation Committee.


“I was really surprised when Frank and me found out about it. The first thing that came to my mind was what did we do to deserve such an honour?” said Tina. “This is a clear indication of the beautiful qualities that make up the Honore Mercier community.”
Frank fondly recalled several stand-out moments as a parent volunteer, such as the many governing board meetings, and when he stole the show at the school’s annual Christmas concerts. “However, I will always remember the long lasting relationships that Tina and me built at Honore Mercier and Vincent Massey Collegiate, which was always in the spirit of inclusion and collaboration,” he added.


 For the eighth consecutive year, La Capitale Financial Services is the title sponsor for this event. La Capitale Financial Services (www.lacapitale.com) which is a member of La Capitale Financial Group, offers a wide range of products and services that are designed to simplify financial choices for members working in the public and parapublic sectors in over 900 public and parapublic institutions across the province. These services include: personal financial advice; savings, investments and funds; individual life and health insurance; mortgages and personal loans; insurance for automobiles, recreational vehicles, home, travel and legal access; commercial insurance; and group insurance. 

Event Sponsors

Along with La Capitale, the 2016 EMSB Volunteer Appreciation Evening was proud to have the following companies as its major sponsors: Steve’s Music Store (www.stevesmusic.com), is a major force in the Canadian music industry since 1965, which caters to all kinds of musical needs; Loft Uniforms (www.loftuniforms.com), sells a large selection of school uniforms for public and private schools, at both elementary and secondary levels, across Quebec and Ontario; Green Apple Studio (www.greenaplestudio.ca), is a photography studio that serves schools and daycare centres, and uses award-winning background replacement technology, which gives more flexibility and choices when it comes to student portrait photos. They are also the official photographer for Volunteer Appreciation Night; the Montreal Alouettes (www.montrealalouettes.com) promoted its 3rd annual EMSB Montreal Alouettes Night, which took place on June 30 at McGill Stadium, in which the Alouettes played against the Ottawa Red Blacks; Grevin Museum Montreal (www.grevin-montreal.com) is a museum that features life-like wax figures of 120 local and international celebrities in an original setting that gives the visitor a unique interactive and sensory experience. It is also offering a special group rate for EMSB schools of $9.75 per person (for groups of 15 people or more), with a free ticket for every 15th person. As well, the Grevin offers schools two unique workshops: a discovery workshop dealing with the culture of the Algonquin and Iroquois First Nations, and an awareness dance workshop for elementary and high school students; Global Montreal (www.globalnews.ca) a longtime supporter of the EMSB and Volunteer Appreciation Evening; The Suburban Newspaper (www.thesuburban.com) established in 1963, is Quebec’s largest weekly English newspaper, which recently launched “MList” (www.myMList.com), a membership club that offers discounts, special offers and promotions from a wide range of Montreal retailers and services, and its website offers blogs on food, parenting, fashion and more; KidCon (www.kidconmtl.com) is a two-day annual event for children aged 3 to 12 – and their families – to explore, discover and play in an interactive environment filled with activities, attractions, shows and special surprises. This year’s KidCon will take place on October 22 and 23 at Stade Uniprix; Evangelista Sports (www.evangelistasports.com) has 10 locations across Montreal and the province of Quebec, and is a leading source for all your soccer equipment such as team uniforms, soccer shoes, balls, shorts, warm ups, goalkeeper equipment, coaching supplies, referee equipment, as well as posters, pins, flags, trading cards and videos for soccer fans everywhere; Lamontagne (www.lamontagne.ca), which offers a large assortment of chocolates (including nut-free), as well as popcorn, snacks, gourmet food products, and organic and fair trade products for all kinds of school fundraising projects; The Big Blue Hug (www.thebigbluehug.com). Gorgeous recognition gifts and custom awards for your school. 
The evening concluded with the drawings of a wide assortment of door prizes that were graciously donated by some of the event sponsors, including a guitar from Steve’s Music Store, a mink blanket and a dinner for two courtesy of Mega Design International, a chocolate gift basket from Lamontagne, tickets to a Montreal Alouettes game, a Fossil watch, and several hand-crafted pictures from the Big Blue Hug.