Italian community rallies for hospice at Carnevale

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By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - Hospice Cornwall describes the Italian Canadian Sports Club of Cornwall with one word: loyal.

The club's signature event Carnevale Masked Ball has helped kick-start the palliative care home's annual fundraising campaign with a cash injection of over $4,000.

Guests dined on a seven-course meal with live entertainment provided by tenor Perry Canestrari at the Best Western Parkway Inn in Cornwall on February 22.

Tina St. Martin, the club’s past president, said the lavish fundraiser has been an important tradition for all 90 members since the club was revived in 2003. Already, it has raised $20K for the hospice.

"Annually, the hospice is only 60 per cent funded by the Ministry of Health, an additional $500,000 has to be raised to keep the doors open," said Maria Badek, director of operations at the hospice. “This contribution will help us tremendously.”

Maria Bonamassa, club president, praised the hospice for the vital service they provide the community.

“We’re glad to support the hospice in any way possible,” said Bonamassa.

Members of the club regularly volunteer to cook meals for residents and their families.

Over the years, Carnevale has raised more than $45,000 for a variety of charitable causes including the Children's Treatment Centre, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club, and earthquake victims in Haiti.

The club was founded in the ‘80s to help earthquake victims in Italy. After a few years, it went dormant. In 2014, the club is building its momentum with a slew of events.

In May, a Mother’s Day celebration takes place and bocce season begins. The league goes all summer until the playoffs in late August, followed by a banquet and awards in September. The club’s annual picnic is in July, and their Christmas party is held in early December. Membership fees are $25 per person.

For more information, e-mail tstmartin@cogeco.ca or visit their Facebook page.

Organizations: Carnevale, Western Parkway Inn, Ministry of Health Treatment Centre Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Cancer Society Boys and Girls Club

Geographic location: Cornwall, Haiti, Italy

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