Carolyn Thompson Goddard

Record Contributor

FINCH – Over 200 plus people attended the highly successful fundraising dinner in support of the North Stormont Refugee Support Coalition held at the North Stormont Arena Hall in Finch on March 4. The traditional Lebanese seven-course meal was prepared by the Elsaadi family of Finch.

Randy Douglas, a member of the SDG Coalition for Refugee Support, was present at the dinner and commented the NSRSC has a strong core of dedicated people and is building a base of people able to perform a variety of tasks. This was in evidence throughout the evening as volunteers from the group sold tickets, assisted in logistical tasks and stepped in where needed to make the evening run smoothly.

Members of the Dundas Coalition for Refugee Support and the Crysler Refugee Support Program were at the dinner providing their support to the NSRSC as they continue towards their goal of the family currently in a Lebanese refugee camp arriving in the coming months.

As the evening began, diners were presented with a large selection of appetizers which included Fattoush salad, kibbi, hummus and vegetarian grape leaves to choose from at their tables. There were numerous comments overheard regarding the quality and quantity of the food provided.

A presentation of traditional Lebanese dance was performed between courses to the enjoyment of the audience who were given the opportunity to participate following the dancer’s performance. Following this entertainment, raffle tickets were drawn with Richard MacLeod winning a valuable, locally made quilt and Patty Smith winning an oversized basket filled with a variety of treats to enjoy.

The main course of stuffed chicken, meat with vegetables and a side dish of rice was served and the dinner ended with a selection of fruit and baked desserts to enjoy with coffee or tea. For those who attended this impressive event, this will be an evening to remember and celebrate the bounty of this country we call home.

The work of Daad Elsaadi, Moustaff El-Gazaar and their family members, as well as the numerous volunteers who worked long hours to ensure this fundraiser was a successful, entertaining and educational event which must be acknowledged. While donations are still being received, early reports suggest a substantial amount of money was raised for the NSRSC in its work to bring the Al-Mounif family from their current home in a refugee camp to their new home in North Stormont.

In one email to the Record, the amount made at the fundraiser a total net amount of $16,552; and in another, Douglas reported, “As to when the family arrives…paperwork has already had several back and forths due to errors at the other end. We can only hope within an eight to 12 month window.”