|ANNUAL TOY TEA TO BENEFIT MORE THAN 5,000 CHILDREN|
MONTREAL, DECEMBER 6, 2013 – Twenty-one participating schools from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) managed to collect more than 2,000 new toys for the 22nd annual Christmas and Chanukah Toy Tea, which was held on December 4 at Tudor Hall on the fifth floor of Ogilvy’s Department Store.
The toys will benefit over 5,000 children who are being sheltered and protected from abuse, or violence, as well as other children’s charities. This is the eleventh year of the EMSB’s involvement in the Toy Tea Campaign, which is an initiative of Spiritual, Religious and Moral Education Consultant Irene Miller.
Participating EMSB schools were: Willingdon and Royal Vale in N.D.G.; Roslyn in Westmount; Gardenview, Parkdale and LaurenHill Academy (Junior and Senior Campus) in St. Laurent; Vincent Massey Collegiate and Nesbitt in Rosemount; Lester B. Pearson High School and Our Lady of Pompei in Montreal North; Dunrae Gardens and Carlyle in T.M.R.; Honore Mercier l in St. Leonard; Bancroft in the Plateau; John F. Kennedy High School and St. Dorothy in St. Michel; Merton in Côte St. Luc; St. Gabriel in Pointe St. Charles; Elizabeth Ballantyne in Montreal West; Bancroft in the Plateau; Sinclair Laird in Park Extension and Rosemount Technology Centre, which donated a rocking horse that was handcrafted by its students. Student representatives from each school, along with their respective spiritual community animators, teachers, administrators and parent volunteers, attended the event to drop off their donated toys and receive special certificates of participation from Claire Kruyt, the Toy Tea’s chairperson, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The event also featured the singing of Christmas carols by several private school choirs. Attendees were ttreated to performances by the Willingdon and Our Lady of Pompei choirs, and their performances were big hits with the guests.
“The Toy Tea is a good fundraiser and a good cause, because everyone understands where the toys go to,” said Dora Cesta, the EMSB’s Assistant Director of Student Services. “What’s so beautiful about it is that no matter how many students participate in it, the commitment is always there, and the schools mobilize themselves to help out with the drive.”
Marco Gagliardi, principal of Sinclair Laird, said that every class in the school collected toys for the Toy Tea and realizes the importance of sharing, so that everyone in the school community and the community at large has a happy Christmas holiday. “I realize that some of our students may receive some of the toys that were collected for the Toy Tea,” he said. “But our students learned that what we can do for others comes back to us; it’s like paying it forward.”
Sinclair Laird students Marimar Cuevas (grade 4) and Evan Dimos (grade 5), along with Bancroft students Thangeena Miah (grade 6) and Xavier Bogardis (grade 5) were four students who attended the Toy Tea event at Tudor Hall as school representatives, and helped gather the more than 2,000 toys the EMSB gathered by collecting from each classroom, or buying and donating the toys outright. They all believed that it was important for children, no matter what their situation was, to receive a new toy this Christmas. “I like the happiness and joyful feeling you get when a child can get a toy for Christmas like other children do,” added Ms. Miah.
Michael J. Cohen