CORNWALL, Ontario – Another fundraiser is being organized in memory of a Cornwall mom and wife who tragically died in traffic accident last week – and this time it has the support of the family.
Peter Brodka, who was initially unsupportive of any kind of work to raise money for his family, said in an interview he has been overwhelmed with messages of support from the community, and added people are asking for an opportunity to mourn the death of his wife Claudia Ordonselli, and pay respects in one way or another.
“I’m 100 per cent behind it,” he said. “There’s a whole caravan of people coming over to pay respects to her.”
The fundraiser, organized by Mike Lapensee and a team of volunteers, is slated to take place March 18 at the Army/Navy Club on Marlborough Street in Cornwall beginning at 4 p.m. and lasting into the evening.
Tickets are being sold for a spaghetti supper and door prizes to help raise money for Brodka and his daughter Kristen. Live entertainment, including a performance by the Trench Town Oddities, as well as karaoke is planned.
An online fundraiser was started, and quickly shut down, on the weekend when Brodka said he was not in a position to accept help. That fundraiser did not have the consent of the family.
“I didn’t want people to think I was reaching out to get money,” said Brodka, who has been described as an incredibly proud man by many people Seaway News has spoken with.
Brodka said he was later surprised that so many people want to help, and felt it was right to accept that support as a way to honour his wife.
“Firstly it was a shock, and secondly it was a confirmation of how Claudia touched people every time she had an encounter with everyone,” he said of his wife, who worked at Tim Hortons on Brookdale Avenue, just across the street from where she was killed. “She was greater than life. She was a positive soul and we are looking forward to meeting the guests who are going to be coming and visiting her and the guests in her circle of influence.”
Two vehicles collided last Friday and rocketed to the sidewalk on Brookdale Avenue and Ordonselli became pinned under one of them while walking to get groceries.
Lapensee, who employed Ordonselli as a cleaning lady and was also her landlord at one time, said he felt compelled to help the family.
“We became great friends,” he said. “We were talking every week. I’m doing this because I love the people. I want to show everybody…it’s too easy to be kind to people. Why doesn’t everybody do it?”
More information, including where to purchase tickets for the fundraiser, is expected to be released soon.
In the meantime a visitation for Ordonselli has been scheduled for this weekend at a Montreal funeral home. Much of her family lives in Montreal.
Mourners are being welcomed at Yves Legare Funeral Home, 14370 Pierrefonds Boulevard on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., as well as Monday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.