Article and Photos by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – The United Way/Centraide of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry (SDG) held its 11th Annual Holiday Gala on Saturday, November 25, 2023, at the Civic Complex in downtown Cornwall, Ontario. This year’s event, presented by international vertical farming technology leader ZipGrow Inc., was a resounding success, marked by an evening of elegance, fine dining, and lively entertainment.
The evening’s program featured key figures from the United Way Centraide SDG. Executive Director Juliette Labossière, Board President Craig Fuller, and Nicholas Seguin, a former Campaign Chair and homelessness advocate, took the stage to address the audience. Their speeches served as poignant reminders of the vital work undertaken by the United Way.
Labossière highlighted the organization’s ongoing efforts in tackling local issues such as poverty, mental health, and hunger, emphasizing the impact of community support in these initiatives. Fuller reflected on the organization’s achievements and the importance of continued community engagement. Drawing on his experience with homelessness advocacy, Seguin shared insights into the challenges faced by vulnerable populations and the difference that the United Way’s work makes in their lives.
The former Parisien Manor has taken on a new and vital role in addressing homelessness. This winter, it will serve as a temporary housing solution for individuals living in encampments or those on the homelessness waitlist, known as the By-Name List. This initiative represents a crucial step towards providing safe, warm shelter during the year’s coldest months.
“We thank everyone who came out to enjoy the evening and the sponsors. Everything raised here stays in Cornwall, SDG, and Akwesasne. It’s a great event and cause,” says Board President Craig Fuller.
The event was hosted by the dynamic duo of Dan and Vic from Boom 101.9 and 104.5 Fresh Radio.
The gala, a much-anticipated event in the community calendar, was graced by the musical talents of The Chesterfields, known for their captivating live performances. Once the music started, the dance floor was never empty.
Guests indulged in a gourmet feast prepared by the renowned Chef Ahmed and Chef Christian Barque of TAURO Restaurant. The menu was complemented by a selection of exquisite wines, adding to the sophisticated ambiance of the evening.
The event wasn’t just about fine dining and music; it also featured a live auction by Jennifer Blair Manley, a realtor at Royal LePage Performance Realty.
Dressed in their finest attire, the gala attendees showed their support for the United Way SDG’s mission to address local issues such as homelessness, poverty, mental health, and hunger. The funds raised during the gala are dedicated to staying within the community and supporting the United Way SDG in its vital work.
The organization works tirelessly to ensure that every donated dollar is used effectively to address the most pressing needs in Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Cornwall, and Akwesasne.
The 2023 gala highlighted the work of the United Way Centraide SDG and supported the inspiring efforts of 13 agencies and 16 programs tackling local issues.
The gala’s success was also made possible by the dedication of numerous volunteers who ensured the smooth running of the event, proving once again that community spirit is at the heart of Cornwall.
As the winter season begins, the United Way SDG’s 11th Annual Holiday Gala has not only brought a sparkle to the community but also illuminated the path towards a better future for all.