West Island Community Shares Surpasses Its Fundraising Goal of 1.3M



Excitement was in the air at the Auditorium Serge Nolet in Dorval last Thursday evening. That’s when West Island Community Shares distributed the funds raised during its recent campaign to 40 local community groups during its “Live Here, Give Here Celebration”. The fundraising group surpassed its goal of $1.3 million to raise a total of $1,345,500.

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Close to 300 people were in attendance at the Celebration, including donors, partners, elected officials, volunteers and community group representatives. Highlights of the evening included touching testimonials from Sarah Bi of Venturing Out Beyond Our Cancer (VOBOC), Sonia Guarascio from WIAIH, Tiffany Williamson from On Rock Community Services, Gina Juste from Cloverdale, and two young gentlemen, Brandon Riddoch and Mark Kuchiran from Light A Dream. These groups are among the 40 community groups to receive funding from West Island Community Shares.

“We asked our community to step up this year during the flooding, and they responded.” said Leanne Bayer, Executive Director of West Island Community Shares. “The West Island community mobilizes to come to the aid of those in need.”

“Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this year’s campaign,” said Ms. Nada Nasreddine, President of West Island Community Shares.

John Helou, President, Pfizer Canada and co-chair of the campaign stated: “At Pfizer, we are committed to giving back to the communities where colleagues live and work. Twenty years ago, we were asked to help in the start-up of West-Island Community Shares and they have since then distributed more than $13 million dollars to West-Island community groups, which is truly a phenomenal achievement.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the organization and founding member Russell Williams was on hand to mark the occasion. He was joined on stage by past presidents Pierre Arvisais, Claude Papasian, Vincent Lamoureux, and Roger Morin.

The announcement was made by current Board President, Nada Nasreddine, that the incoming President for the next campaign year will be Mr. Michel Beland, Regional Vice-President with RBC Bank.

1 in 5 West Islanders turns to a community group for help every year. More than 60% are children or youth. They are struggling with hunger, cancer, autism, bullying, substance abuse and more.

About West Island Community Shares
West Island Community Shares is a fundraising organization that currently supports 41 local community groups. These groups provide frontline services to thousands of residents whose needs range from support in coping with poverty and food insecurity to cancer, troubled youth, substance abuse, mental illness and more. Since 1998, it has raised and distributed more than $13 million to local community groups. West Island Community Shares’ model is unique because it distributes 100% of donations received to the groups it supports. It is the only not-for-profit in Canada to implement and sustain this model for more than 19 years. This is made possible by the corporate partners that cover its operational costs: Pfizer Canada, Merck, Tenaquip Ltd., Telus, Pharmaprix, Avon Canada, Groupe Jean Coutu, West Island Ford Lincoln, Roxboro Excavation, the Spinelli Employee Fund, BDO, Bromelin People Practices, Construction Jean Houde, Groom and Associates, the Montreal Marriott Airport In-Terminal Hotel, NAS, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical.