Big launch for big event 
A launch was held at Russell’s Scotia Bank to announce the theme for this year’s Ladies Night, “Let Your Light Shine,” in memory of Ottawa Butterfly Boy, Jonathan Pitre. Pictured from the left, back, Theresa Wever, committee member Mike Gervais, committee member Sarah Dupont, councillor Andre Brisson, Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux, Suzanne Bolduc of Scotia Bank, co-chair Lynne Rochon, councillor Cindy Saucier and Francine Turpin. From the left, front, Tina Boileau, Jonathan Pitre’s mother and co-chair Judy McFaul. Glover photo

RUSSELL – Just in time for International Women’s Day, co-chairs Judy McFaul and Lynne Rochon announced the launch and return of the Russell Horticultural Society’s 16th annual Ladies Night.

This year’s theme, “Let Your Light Shine,” is being dedicated to Ottawa’s Butterfly Boy, Jonathan Pitre who passed away last year from his rare skin condition, epidermolysis bullosa.

“Well, this is going to be an emotional one,” said Tina Boileau, Pitre’s mother fighting back tears. “I remember a year ago, I was dreaming of coming home with my boy. I’m just happy to be here and I think it’s going to be a beautiful night.”

McFaul stated that the choice of theme was decided by the committee because it was something they always wanted to do but the timing was just never quite right.

“Every year, the ladies and medecide what cause has been brought to us and other ideas and this was always something we wanted to do but we just didn’t have the right timing,” she said. “We didn’t really think anything was going to happen to Jonathan. Just after our last year’s event, it was just one of those decisions that we have to do something and with the one-year anniversary, it seemed like a good time.”

Russell Township councillors Cindy Saucier, Andre Brisson and Mayor Pierre Leroux were in attendance to show their support for the long-lasting local event. 

“As every year, it’s always a pleasure for the township to help out in any way we can,” said Leroux. “These events showcase why we’re the third best place to live in all of Canada and I think if that matrix had taken into account the people in the municipality, I think we would’ve been first.”

Saucier added, “Well, I think I’ve been to every ladies night since the beginning and I want to honour all the women here today for International Women’s Day. This is very important as Jonathan touched all of our hearts, so I’m going to be very happy to be there that night.”

Russell Ladies Night is set for Fri., May 3 at the Russell Arena. Tickets are $55 each and McFaul wants to express that people should grab their tickets as soon as possible as there are only 500 available.