CORNWALL, Ontario – It’s been 10 years since Domtar’s Cornwall location closed its doors but a committee of past employees have joined together and planned a special reunion and fundraiser to bring everyone together again and to benefit the United Way.
The fundraiser gets underway at 5:00pm on Friday, September 30 at the Army Navy Air Force Club on Marlborough Street and will include a spaghetti dinner and live entertainment from former Domtar employee, Rick Filion.
The evening is meant to bring together former Domtar employees, giving old colleagues and friends a chance to reconnect after a decade and to reminisce about the good old days.
The pulp and paper mill ceased operation on March 24, 2006 and while some old colleagues have stayed in touch, there were those who moved out of town or lost touch following the closure and this reunion is a chance to have everyone back together again.
Mitch Fobert-Irving was an employee for 17 and a half years, working the number nine coater, and has played a large part in planning the upcoming event. She explained the void the closure left.
“Back then, all of our lives revolved around our friends at Domtar and it almost felt like getting a divorce. We spent so much time together, we would work 12 hour shifts then go out for dinner or go bowling and then, all of a sudden, we no longer had those long hours with each other”.
After recently losing a few co-workers and friends, the committee was formed and it was decided that meeting at funeral homes would no longer suffice and that a happy occasion needed to be planned so that everyone could get together under better circumstances.
“We wanted to plan a fun evening of reminiscing and rekindling those old friendships” said Debbie Fraser, committee member and former 20 year employee.
Deric Latour is also on the planning committee and was a Mill Hand at Domtar for 29 years. He said “We threw around a lot of ideas like a picnic or a golf tournament, even a hockey tournament, but at the end of the day we realized we just wanted to have a get-together and enjoy each other’s company”.
All the proceeds from the event will go to the United Way, a charity that Domtar always supported in the past. Between the years 2000-2006, Domtar and its employees raised over $515,000 for the charity and many former employees still hold the cause close to their hearts.
A silent auction will be taking place during the evening and while many great gifts have been secured, prizes are still being accepted and businesses or individuals looking to help contribute in any way are being asked to reach out.
Tickets for the event are $15 and on sale now at the Army Navy Air Force Club, the United Way, and by emailing email@example.com. Past workers are encouraged to join the Facebook group entitled “Former Domtar Employees” which will contain updates about the fundraiser.
Because of the 300 person capacity, only former employees and their spouses are eligible to attend but if there are extra tickets remaining closer to the date, they will become available to the public.