By Jim Morrison
The Centennial Centre at MacDonald campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue will be in full swing as The West Island Crusade Against Cancer will hold its annual gala benefit on Oct. 26, with doors opening at 6 p.m.
The electricity will be magical from the opening bell, as the evening will be armed with a performance from Craig Morrison and Vintage Wine, an accomplished local retro party band performing hits from the 1950’s-80’s. Gemini award nominated writer and comedian David Acer as well as guitarist Paul Belley, will offer the crowd great laughter and much dancing.
The people will be made up of both the corporate and community sectors, which will be treated to a scrumptious meal, a silent auction, a raffle, as well as a half and half draw.
The evening will mark the culmination of a series of events for the organization based in the West Island.
WICAC was founded by myself in 1997, as a one person, taking part in an eight-hour squash marathon. Its intent was to give back to the community which provided essential services to end of life patients.
Entirely volunteer driven; the West Island Crusade Against Cancer’s mission is to organize and run sporting, entertainment and cultural activities and performances through the year. The intent is to involve all ages, all capabilities, all interests, and all sections of society so these events become not only a pleasure, but also a learning, working and development experience engendering community involvement.
Additional fundraising successes came from dart tournaments in Dorval, a fun run and walk in Baie d’Urfe, a weekend mixed softball event in Pierrefonds, a bike rally in Ile-Perrot, trivia night in Pointe Claire, as well as a 12 hour squash marathon in Beaconsfield
The efforts made from these events allow supporting three distinct programs. In addition to supporting the Canadian Cancer Society, their hard work is instrumental in maintaining the following initiatives.
NOVA West Island’s Camp Carousel
Lead by Ms. Carol Jonas, the Weekend Bereavement Camp for youths ages 6-17 is held bi-yearly at Parc Nature du Cap St. Jacques, Pierrefonds. Youth and children participate in recreational activities, arts and crafts, campfires, small group sessions on grief work and a remembrance ceremony under the guidance of a skilled counsellor and specially trained volunteers. This program allows kids to reach out in helping them come to terms with the loss of a family member or loved one.
West Island Palliative Care Centre
A wonderfully run non-profit which serves the com- munity in its most trying times, the work of WICAC has provided a portion of the annual food budget for the centre where over 20,000 meals are served there on an yearly basis. The meals provided contribute to improving the quality of life and easing the suffering of patients who reside at the centre.
WICAC is always looking to expand by involving new people and new ideas and initiatives.
Tickets for gala show are $55, which includes dinner and show. Contact Lorraine Sims at  244-5918
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