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Greason photo

Greason photo

Monique (in back) and Tony (right) VanderSchot with their volunteering grandchildren at last week’s sixth annual Haitian Dinner. From left: Kurtis, Liam, Olivia and Allie. Family and friends volunteered at the Dinner, while Damen’s Restaurant staff and management once again donated food, time, and tips.

Sixth Haitian Dinner ‘the best yet’

Dear Editor:

Last Wednesday, Jan. 30, our Haitian Dinner was served to 150 people. This was the sixth year that Damen’s Restaurant has sponsored this meal. Through their generosity, and including extra donations and tips received that same evening, we are able to send $ 4,680 to Haiti.

The money this year will be used to support “Heart Plus Centre Vie,” an orphanage built especially for children who lost their families in the earthquake. There are 31 children ranging from 7–12 years of age.

The money will go towards a dairy goat enterprise to help make the orphanage more self-sufficient, and to teach the children many skills that they will also benefit from after they finish school.

They will learn how to raise goats, make ricotta cheese and soap, as well as selling meat and starting an evening restaurant for the purpose of generating income for the orphanage and working towards sustainability.

This orphanage was established by Dieudonne Batraville, with whom our Hope for Haiti group has worked for many years, and who was here last year for our fifth Haitian Dinner. It will be operated by the Almonte Presbyterian Church.

Many thought that this was “the best meal yet” and we think that Burt Damen has become the greatest Haitian cook around.

Once again, we would like to thank all the volunteers who offered their time to help prepare, serve, and clean up. Heartfelt thanks to all our supporters who bought dinner tickets this year and gave donations. And, as always, a very special THANK-YOU goes to THE DAMEN FAMILY, who, through their generosity, for the sixth year in a row, made it possible for us to send 100 per cent of the proceeds to our projects in Haiti.

Thank you so much,

Monique and Tony VanderSchot and family.

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