MONTREAL, JANUARY 21, 2011 – Secondary V students at Laurier Macdonald High School (7355 Viau) in St. Léonard, under the supervision of Spiritual Community Animator, Vince Lacroce and Community Learning Centre Coordinator Gina Bergantino, will welcome over 60 people on Thursday, February 10 (5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) from three seniors residences: Foyer Dante, Almange Seniors Centre and Residence Navarro for their annual Valentine’s Day dinner.
The goal of this intergenerational program is to increase the cooperation, interaction or exchange between the youth of our east end community and its seniors during the festive Valentine’s Day season. This event also brings together former Canadian veterans, along with their families, to say thank you for their service to our country. Sponsors include Air Canada, Salle De Réception Plaza Antique, Fleuriste Carmine, Salle De Réception Il Colosseo, Boulangerie Del-Sole, Boucherie Charcuterie Benito, JB Laverdure Inc, Distribution Marchica, Salle De Réception Riviera, St. Pius X Culinary Institute, Patisserie Laura, Patisserie St. Martin, Patisserie San Marco, Gruppo Folcloristico Calabrese and Décor En Folie.
Huggies Valentine’s Day Project
Meanwhile, this year marks the eighth annual Huggies Valentine's Day toy basket and card drive for the Montreal Children's Hospital Autism Clinic and the Shriners Hospital. The project, originated at Michelangelo Elementary School in RDP where Mr. Lacroce and Cycle I teacher Sonia Arnoldo came together to bring some cheer to Sabrina Di Giandomenico. She was a brain tumor patient at the Montreal Children's Hospital . The project expanded to four East End EMSB schools, with the goal of creating Valentine's Day gift baskets for all of the children at the hospital. The Huggies baskets contained new non-violent toys, games, books, and personalized Valentine's Day cards made by the students. This year, Laurier Macdonald, Pierre De Coubertin Elementary, Dante Elementary, General Vanier Elementary, John Paul I High School, Edward Murphy Elementary, Gerald McShane Daycare and East Hill Elementary continued this project in memory of Sabrina Di Giandomenico who passed away from a brain tumor in the summer of 2003. The schools' combined efforts were able to raise over 15,000 gifts and over 1,500 personalized baskets for the young patients at the hospital. Over the past eight years, the Huggies Valentine’s Day project has generated over $90,000 worth of gifts and toys for sick children.
Each February 14, school administrators, students, and parent volunteers from these schools gather together and personally greet these patients with their new gifts. "I would like to congratulate all of the school administrators, students, teachers, and parents who made this project a success," said Mr. Lacroce. "An honourable mention must also go to Spiritual Community Animator Rocco Speranza, who spearheaded his cluster of schools in this tradition and helped in the distribution of gifts."