What a night! Over 200 guests attended our Mission pour Elles (Mission for Her) evening fundraiser on May 7 at Club Soda. The event welcomed many prominent guests, including Marie-Josée Coutu, President of the Marcelle & Jean Coutu Foundation, Pierre Marc Johnson, former Quebec premier, and Suzie Miron, associate advisor for water, infrastructures and status of women to the executive committee of the City of Montreal. The gala event raised a total of $307,030, in support of Montreal’s vulnerable and homeless women.
A team of 12 amazing volunteers helped transform the room and ran activities throughout the evening. A series of large and impressive photographs lined the walls, portraits of women who take part in our services. Each portrait was accompanied by an inspiring quote.
Business leaders, professionals and other figures from Montreal’s business world enjoyed a cocktail reception catered by Les Enfants Terribles. The reception was followed by an incredible performance by renowned soul singer Kim Richardson and the Blok Note Big Band orchestra presented by Musiciens à la carte! The band soon had everyone on their feet dancing, especially during the encore, which featured hits like “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”, “YMCA” and “I Will Survive.”
The fundraiser was co-chaired by Johanne Berry, Co-Founder of Berry, Guilbault & Associés, and Christiane Germain, Co-President of Group Germain Hotel, who noted that the cause of women is one that is close to her heart. “Women who experience homelessness are invisible. They’re rarely spoken about, and unfortunately the number of homeless women is increasing. Every woman, no matter her story, deserves respect, a home and to never go hungry,” said Germain.
Twenty years ago, the Mission created the Patricia Mackenzie Pavilion because it saw a real need for services tailored to women’s reality. It wasn’t enough to simply duplicate services offered to men.
Since then, these services have evolved greatly and today, the Patricia Mackenzie Pavilion is one of Canada’s foremost resources that is focussed on helping homeless women reintegrate into society. Last year alone, it welcomed 600 women in need, including 301 for the first time.
The gala evening also celebrated the remarkable generosity of the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation. The Mission’s new Maison des voisines de Lanaudière located in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood would not have been possible without their generous support. There are 10 new units available now in a charming, fully renovated residential building, which offers a true sense of community.
Part of the funds raised will help the Old Brewery Mission invest in research initiatives, like interviewing women who use its services and collecting data to better understand their trajectories.
The Old Brewery Mission’s Director of Women’s Services, Florence Portes, highlighted the vital contribution of its donors and partners in the community, “Only through their support can we put an end to chronic homelessness in Montreal. Our vision is to provide a normal, homelike and dignified living environment to women who are in the process of reclaiming their rightful place in the community, and to do so in a community environment outside of our already overcrowded emergency services.” she stated.
We wish to thank the volunteers who made this event possible, notably the members of the organizing committee, chaired by Dominique Lambert: Suzanne Caron, Mia Dumont, Muriel Joly, Diane Juster, Marianne Lemieux, Nathalie Léveillé, Jill Martis, Caroline Phaneuf, Florence Portes, Phoudsady Vanny, and Andrea Wolff. These efforts were supported by Kim Nguyen, Director of Development, and her team.
Mission pour Elles partners who helped raise $307,030 for the Old Brewery Mission’s Women’s Services include: AIMTA, Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, Hôtel Square Phillips, Power Corporation of Canada, The Liverant Family, Vins Philippe Dandurand, National Bank of Canada, Bell, Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc., Sanimax, and Secrétariat à la condition feminine.
Thank you, everyone, for helping vulnerable and homeless women reclaim their rightful place in society.