By Wendy Singer
Lions and hockey players share smiles at bowling tournament
Every bowling alley at Quilles Moderne was occupied on the evening of October 21 by over 250 special needs kids, adults and their families, representatives from resource organizations, sponsors and Lions Club members. They all came out to play at the Montreal Autism Community Lions Club (MACLC) and Avalanche Kidz Hockey Development Program’s “Special Smiles Bowling Tournament.”
The Montreal Autism Community Lions Club (MACLC) strikes a pose during their bowling fundraiser on October 21. Founder of MACLC Lori-Ann Zemanovich is seen kneeling in the front row. Photo: Kevin J Raftery, PCJ Sport Photography
Organized jointly by MACLC, founded by Lori-Ann Zemanovich, and Avalanche Kidz, founded by Vinnie Matteo and his daughter Linda Matteo, the goal was to organize an inclusive event that would bring Montreal’s special needs community together. In the process, they raised over $6,000.
"This funding will help us to continue to provide our inclusive programs, our partnership support of various special needs organizations in the Greater Montreal and surrounding areas and our annual school supplies donation drive for students in need throughout the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), Summit and Giant Steps schools," said Zemanovich.
Avalanche Kidz will use the funding to continue their developmental hockey program.
This year, EMSB schools East Hill, Willingdon and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as Summit School, will participate in the Lions Club’s International Peace Poster contest.
Avalanche Kidz have a blast at the Special Smiles Bowling Tournament on October 21. Photo: Kevin J Rafferty, PCJ Sport Photography
“Our community enjoyed a wonderful, inclusive event, supported one another, had fun and won amazing prizes. Together, we will continue to advocate and embrace autism and celebrate neurodiversity,” said Zemanovich.
The Miriam Foundation holds Art Auction for Autism
On October 19, the Miriam Foundation welcomed over 120 guests to the Maison-Alcan in Montreal for its 11th annual Art Auction for Autism. Radio personality Lee Haberkorn hosted the live auction of 27 works of art created by accomplished artists, as well as a dozen paintings by the participants of Miriam’s Recreational and Therapeutic Arts program.
The event raised $165,000 under the leadership of Art Auction Committee co- chairs Jeannette Hoffman-Zaffir, Carol Tryansky, Franki Yanofsky and Judy Wolfe. Funds raised will support the development of subsidized clinical services, innovative intervention programs and adapted activities for people of all ages with a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as autism or intellectual disability.
Art Auction for Autism committee co-chairs, from left: Jeannette Hoffman-Zaffir, Carol Tryansky, Franki Yanofsky and Judy Wolfe.
Photo: Ryan Blau, PBL Photography.
Celebrating 65 years of WIAIH
On October 1, a portion of Donegani Ave. in Pointe-Claire’s Valois village was closed for a block party in celebration of the West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped's (WIAIH) 65th anniversary.
WIAIH offers services for persons with intellectual disabilities or autism throughout the lifespan. It began in 1958 out of the will of parents and the Lakeshore Civitan Club, which financially supported the first small school-age class. Ten years later, the Club bought the building located at 111 Donegani and donated it to WIAIH. It remains their home to this day.
Celebrating WIAIH’s 25th on October 1. Back row, left to right : Jean Lafleur, WIAIH Board Treasurer, Bruno Tremblay, Pointe-Claire City Councillor, Marc Doret, Dorval Mayor, Jacky Key, Active-Action Seniors' programs Manager, Christopher von Roretz, Dorval Councillor, Guy Perron, Caisse Desjardins de l'Ouest de l'Île, Paul Bissonnette and Brent Cowan, Pointe-Claire City Councillors; Center row: Sarah Gauthier, Jennifer Works and Karen Samson, Seniors' Care workers at Active-Action, Francis Scarpaleggia, member of parliament for Lac St-Louis, MIchel Gibson, mayor of Kirkland, Cynthia Homan, Pointe-Claire councillor.
Front row: Claudia Flores, Seniors' Care worker at Active-Action and Brittany Ungar, Manager at the Pat Roberts Developmental Centre.
Photo courtesy of WIAIH
Over 500 guests dropped by including WIAIH members, families, community partners, sponsors, government officials MP Francis Scarpaleggia, MNA Gregory Kelley, retired MNA Geoffrey Kelley, MNA Marwah Rizqy, mayors Tim Thomas, Marc Doret, Michel Gibson and Alex Bottausci, and city councillors Cynthia Homan, Paul Bissonnette, Brent Cowan, Bruno Tremblay and Christopher von Roretz.
“The West Island has been supporting WIAIH and its families for over six de- cades, and this is our way to say thank you to all of you,” said WIAIH board president Jean-Pascal Bruneau while addressing attendees.
WIAIH supporter Sheldon Kagan donated his time and expertise to the party, with musical guests Pierre Perpall and Freddie Mercury impersonator Johnny Zatylny of Queen Flash, a live DJ and animation. Other crowd pleasers were Sonia Balazovjech with her dance company and Anthony Roach playing steel pan drums.
Lyne Charlebois, Executive Director and Jean-Pascal Bruneau, WIAIH Board president at WIAIH’s 25th anniversary celebration on October 1. Photo courtesy of WIAIH
“We are grateful to the Caisse Desjardins de l’Ouest-de-l’Île for their generous donation, along with other partners who helped make the event a great success,” said Lyne Charlebois, WIAIH’s executive director. “This celebration was a testament to the resilience of families and caregivers who inspire us, the WIAIH team, every day.”