By Robin Della Corte
Option Rive-Nord celebrated its seventh year with its annual beneficial dinner, April 6, which raised $37,000.
Each $150 ticket to the full course dinner at Chateau Royal in Laval saw $75 going directly as a donation to the charity.
This year, National Assembly politicians Léo Bureau-Blouin and Suzanne Proulx made appearances at the dinner.
Option Rive-Nord is a charity that was set up in 2006 by president Hélène Bégin Rhéaume. She founded the charity after she traveled to different parts of the world where she witnessed poverty and children living on the streets.
The charity’s mission is to minimize poverty among children from families with financial difficulties in Laval and on the entire North Shore of Montreal.
“I was really touched from what I saw,” Bégin Rhéaume said. “I thought ‘I’m not living here but I can do something about poverty from where I live in Laval’, which was when I visited a Laval preschool and gave everyone Christmas toys.”
Bégin Rhéaume then decided to speak to directors of school boards to find out the schools in need in Laval. Bégin Rhéaume was shocked to hear of the amount of students who would go to school with no lunch, or a lunch with just bread or crackers.
Each year afterward, Bégin Rhéaume and a group of volunteers have helped feed children who were in need of food. Every year the amounts have grown. In their first year, they fed 50 students in different schools and it currently feeds 120 children daily.
The charity now offers various other programs:
• Lunch boxes help feed children in need, where volunteers and sponsors prepare lunches for the children;
• Bags of success is given at the beginning of every school year where children receive school bags filled with necessary school supplies; and
• Mega party stocking is an annual festival for Christmas where there are games, Santa Claus and treats.
Option Rive-Nord provides for nine elementary schools in Laval: Saint-Gilles, Arc-en-Ciel, Monseigneur-de-Laval, Les Quatre-Vents, Saint. Norbert, Simon-Vanier, L’Harmonie, Saint. Paul and Sainte Marguerite school.
Sponsor can contribute online by visiting www.optionrivenord.org
“I feel that I do what I have to do,” Bégin Rhéaume said. “If we all wait until someone else does it, nothing will get done.”
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