This year was the fourth annual CMHA fundraising event at Au Vieux Duluth where citizens were encouraged to choose from one of three meals in exchange for a donation to support mental wellness in our community. This year, hard-working volunteers served 395 meals. The fundraiser, which also included a raffle and silent auction, brought in $25,706.
“We do this fundraiser to support the community because we’ve been here for 12 years, and the community has supported us so it’s to give back,” said Au Vieux Duluth co-owner, Alexandre Paradis, “I have some people in my family that were affected by mental health. It’s a good cause so we try to help.”
Au Vieux Duluth also partners with other community organizations to raise funds for different causes. In 12 years, they have raised over $215,000 for local non-profits like Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics (in partnership with Cornwall Police Service), Liftoff, Children’s Aid Society, and of course, CMHA.
“Today 1 in 3 people are affected by mental health, it used to be 1 in 5. New data shows were going in a direction we don’t want to go in, which is why it’s important to support events like this in our community,” said Angele D’Alessio, Mental Health Worker with CMHA and event organizer, “Our goal is to put this money back into education and programs that get people together again.”
Some new things at the event this year were a fun photo booth with educational mental health statistics and sayings as well as an art activity titled, ‘Feed you Body Feed Your Soul’. Many youths stopped in after school to participate.
“Lunch was quiet but supper was very busy,” added D’Alessio, who is already thinking of ideas for next year, “I would say our busiest year to date. We want to thank the community for their generosity and support during Mental Illness Awareness Week. Hope to see everyone in 2023.”