|FIFTEEN EMSB SCHOOLS COLLECT OVER 2,500 TOYS FOR ANNUAL TOY TEA|
MONTREAL, DECEMBER 4, 2014 – Fifteen participating schools managed to collect over 2,500 new toys for the 23rd annual Christmas and Chanukah Toy Tea, which was held on December 3 at Tudor Hall, which is located on the fifth floor of Ogilvy’s Department Store.
In total, a record number of nearly 8,000 toys were collected this year. These non-violent toys will benefit more than 5,000 children who are being sheltered and protected from abuse, or violence, as well as other children’s charities. This is the 12th year that the English Montreal School Board has been involved in the Toy Tea Campaign, which is now being organized under the direction of EMSB Guidance and Spiritual Community Animation Education Consultant Frank Lofeodo.
“The Toy Tea is a wonderful way for our schools to contribute towards helping children who are very needy, in order to make their Christmas holiday a little bit happier,” said Mr. Lofeodo.
The participating EMSB schools were: Willingdon and Royal Vale in N.D.G.; Gardenview and Parkdale in St. Laurent; Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount; Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North; Our Lady of Pompei in Ahuntsic; Dunrae Gardens and Carlyle in T.M.R.; Honore Mercier in St. Leonard; John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel; St. Gabriel in Pointe Ste. Charles; Elizabeth Ballantyne in Montreal West; Sinclair Laird in Park Extension and Rosemount Technology Centre, which donated seven rocking horses that were 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 unwrapped donated toys and receive special certificates of participation from Claire Kruyt, the Toy Tea’s chairperson, along with Santa Claus.
The event also featured the singing of Christmas carols by several private school choirs. Attendees were also treated to performances by the Willingdon and Our Lady of Pompei school choirs, as well as a group of students from Dunrae Gardens, 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.”
Michael J. Cohen