Fabulous flapjacks help bring out the best in the community

Port Cares staff and local politicians were shoulder to shoulder serving up a pancake brunch Tuesday to raise funds and awareness to help combat homelessness in the community. From left: Welland riding MPP Cindy Forster, Dave Anderson, client services housing manager Port Cares, Christine Clark Lafleur, executive director Port Cares, Township of Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, Cathy Boggio, board member Port Cares, Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney, and Bryan Ingram, constituency assistant representing MP Vance Badawey.

Port Cares staff and local politicians were shoulder to shoulder serving up a pancake brunch Tuesday to raise funds and awareness to help combat homelessness in the community. From left: Welland riding MPP Cindy Forster, Dave Anderson, client services housing manager Port Cares, Christine Clark Lafleur, executive director Port Cares, Township of Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, Cathy Boggio, board member Port Cares, Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney, and Bryan Ingram, constituency assistant representing MP Vance Badawey.

Funds and awareness raised for homelessness at annual event

Port Cares Reach Out Centre was the centre of some awesome community spirit Tuesday in the form of their annual pancake brunch.

Local politicians, board members and staff of Port Cares banded together to serve up fabulous flapjacks to raise funds and awareness to help fight homelessness in our community. The event also joined with Raising the Roof national Toque Tuesday, an organization that raises funds and awareness for to help combat homelessness nationally and provincially.

“What a wonderful turnout, such amazing support from the community,” Port Cares executive director Christine Clark Lafleur said. “A great turnout, a beautiful day and all this is going to help combat homelessness in our community.”

The kitchen help included our local politicians who put on the aprons and served up brunch to a hungry crowd.
“Port Cares does a great job, raising awareness in the community as well as, at the same time, raising money to support people that are living in poverty,” Cindy Forster, Welland riding MPP said. “I’m really happy to be here, to be part of this because as our wait lists continue to grow in the Niagara Region for housing, the economy in Niagara is not what it needs to be yet, so, anything we can do to assist folks in the riding, I’m happy to be part of.”

“It’s always a pleasure to participate in and support events through port cares as they are a valuable resource for those in need In our Southern communities,” Township of Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said.

“It’s important to come out to events like these and roll up our sleeves with the staff and volunteers that work so tirelessly to make Port Cares the great organization that it is,” she said. “I think eventually we all take ownership of the causes and it becomes part of who we are as a community.”

“This has been great fun, serving the clientele and kibitzing with the people in here for a quick lunch,” Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney said.

“With an event like this, everyone wins,” he said. “The fundraisers win, the folks behind here helping out win and the people enjoy themselves and we end up raising money to help fight homelessness in our community.”

Cathy Boggio is a board member for Port Cares and she was behind the counter helping out Tuesday as well.

“There is a great need that we don’t really realize in Port Colborne, we need to raise awareness about that,” she said.

There are no official stats for the homelessness in Port Colborne, through Port Cares caseloads, the “hidden homeless” numbers in Port Colborne are quite large. These are mostly young adults who may be “couch surfing” or living in garages.

“The need is great,” said Dave Anderson, client services housing coordinator for Port Cares. “It’s nice to have people volunteering to help, especially our local businesses that support us and our local media, local politicians support us, that’s what makes Port Cares fly.”