Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Discussion Topic: Charitable Programs

Posted by auroracitizen on November 19, 2010

Should the Town provide space for charities to offer their programs? Many municipal governments provide food banks with rent-free space to operate, for example. Aurora doesn’t, but should the town do so?

Is it appropriate for groups to use Town facilities for charitable fund-raising? Should those groups pay the usual fee, a reduced fee, or should the Town provide space and staff provide free support to help support charitable endeavours?

What role should the town play in supporting charities financially? Should we waive fees or should they pay user fees like other groups?

What about making donations to charities?

Is anyone familiar with the current Town policy? Is there a policy? Let us know.

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52 Responses to “Discussion Topic: Charitable Programs”

  1. JOHN H SARGENT said

    It is very hard for the town to support a charity monetarily or with space as they would all be lined up.. THE AURORA FOOD PANTRY, BIG SISTERS and space yet to be filled has been so gracefully been given space by the IRVINE FAMILY at there family owned OLD AURORA CABLE building at 350 Industrial St S..They not only are providing space but bringing it to par with the operations of these charities..Here is one family that has more than sped up to the plate of giving back to their community..They are a very fine group to set such a example without fan fare, we are just o so lucky to have this family in our corner..May others be so generous and committed time will tell, the example has been set and then some.. i know i can speak for others…WORDS ALONE CAN NOT SAY HOW THIS FAMILY IS PROGRESSING WITH THEIR GIVING..SEEING IS BELIEVE WHEN YOU ENTER THIS FACILITY..THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE WHOLE IRVINE FAMILY…MORE OF THIS KIND OF GIVING IN THE COMMUNITY WOULD BE A GOD SENT FOR CHARITY’S

  2. JOHN H SARGENT said

    MORE BRAGGING FROM ST KITS , volunteer of year, heck wonder how many volunteers in Aurora could have that tile on going not just 2009 AT LEAST THIS YEAR THEY WERE NOT MENTIONED IN BANNER REPORT ( RE CHRISTMAS DINNER FOR NEEDY AT JONATHON’S ) ?????

  3. What was once a positive discussion about how we can all work together for the betterment of Aurora has degenerated into a very negative and confrontational discussion in response to comments by George St Kitts.

    No further responses to George will be published under this topic. Future comments should be posted on the post by George (https://auroracitizen.ca/2010/11/26/george-st-kitts-sets-the-record-straight/).

  4. […] The following has been reprinted without editing. The original can be seen here. […]

  5. Winter's comin said

    Mr. St. Kitts … when are you and the Mrs. going to become true Aurorans – I mean move to town. We could use your support as an average citizen once in awhile. … wc

  6. Kermit the Frog, or maybe The Queen said

    If the AC was on Blogger I know I can log in ‘securely’ with my blogger id….is there a way to do that through wordpress? I’m wondering because as it stands, ANYBODY could claim to be anybody in the comments. Can anybody help?

    Really,

    Heather Sisman

    • Thanks Heather for pointing this out.

      I’m unsure if the Moderator(s) have recognized or planed for this eventuality, I expect that it will be upon the blog soon if it hasn’t happened already.

      When it does it reduces the credibility of the blog significantly, how can it not.

      Even if there is no incident of this, the continued suspicion of knowing or not who posts what will no doubt limit the level of participation, and rightly so.

      As a community, don’t we want to strengthen our ties to each other, how does the current ability to post as who you want help facilitate this?

      In answer to your question there are WordPress plug-ins that allow that same credential verification upon login that would nullify this issue.

      Other news services and blogs employ them for this very issue as it also reduces down the liability aspect for the moderator who is 100% accountable for ALL comments on the site.

  7. George St kitts said

    Mr. Maddocks – quick answer, the George St. kitts does not get paid just like all of the volenteers. As matter of fact I pay the band to be there.

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Thank you. To clarify then, you say the George St. Kitts (Band) does not get paid, but you also say you pay them to be there; are you saying the band takes no fee(s) from any of the “Christmas Dream” donation funds, but instead you pay them entirely out of your own pocket?

    • Anonymous said

      For the Aurora Christmas Dream – I volunteer my time and cover band expenses out of my own money -is that clear? Usually I spend my Christmas Day entertaiig our special guests with a few musician friends. For your information – I have also donated my time for Thalia’s Dream, countless other charity events in and around Aurora, Run for the Cure, the Aurora Farmers Market for 3 years of special . In general the truth is I help as much as possible. If you need more information why not contact the charities I have helped… What exactly is your point and actual goal with these comments Mr. Maddocks and what have you been doing for local charities? Do you get paid?

    • Matt Maddocks said

      I just asked for a clairification.

      Sounds like I struck a nerve.

    • George St. Kitts said

      You sure hit a nerve, I tried not to get involved with the spin in aurora but come on this crazy..

      To that Buck woman, I would say:
      A full accounting regarding funds raised to Revive the Canada Day Parade was given to the Town and Mr. Elliot has confirmed at a Council meeting that such accounting as been received and it is all above board. The Buck woman was there at that meeting.

      The purpose of the Aurora Christmas Dream is clear and has been stated publicly many times. We work with the Aurora Food Pantry, the Salvation Army and the Welcoming Arms.

      The Aurora Dream Team is not, and has never claimed to be, a charity. This has been repeated to that Buck woman several times. The Dream Team volunteers come together to make dreams come true. Some of the dreams we’ve helped with are the revival of the Canada Day Parade, the Aurora Christmas Dream and smaller dreams for citizens with special needs in and around Aurora.

      In order to revive the parade funds were raised by private citizens and therefore not within the purview of that Buck woman’s interrogation & investigations as a Councilor of the Town. However, in good faith books were given to the Town as mentioned.

      Question asked and answered so why does that Buck woman continue to dig up old insinuations?

      According to the recent finding of the Integrity Commissioner that Buck woman has been found guilty of stepping out of the lines of proper conduct. That is a fact and she has been put on public notice.

      It is also a fact that the Buck woman continues to obsessively send out blogs filled with conjectures and insinuations not based in fact. The entire community endures this onslaught of garbage almost daily. In this way she keeps her name and image in the limelight under the guise of representing the citizens of Aurora. Many find the Buck woman’s blogging behaviours distasteful and unbecoming of an elected official. This is an age where bullies love to use the haphazardly regulated Internet to make up stories and then not be accountable for their words. This will change – it is the behaviour one would expect of those ignorant of the law and proper conduct.

      As regards comments made by my wife at the May council meeting – Sher was simply asking for relief from the incessant unfounded, negative blogs and interrogative phone calls that Buck woman had been making to parade volunteers, wherein she insinuated they may possibly be using parade money for personal gain. Freedom of speech also works for innocent, non-bullies. To date that Buck woman still has no proof of wrongdoing.

      Past President Len Whines of the Legion wrote a letter to the editor of the Auroran, standing up for my wife on a similar matter regarding use of funds. Mr. Whines absolutely dismissed the Buck’s ramblings as untrue. That Buck woman should contact all the charities we work with and ask. Get the facts.

      Thanks for the publicity. It is however, getting very old and since there is not a shred of proof of any wrongdoing – why doesn’t this councilor get on with her job, and do something more positive and productive with her time for the citizens of Aurora?

      George St. Kitts

    • Integrity? said

      Did Sher write this ….does not read like you George.

    • George St Kitts, thanks for your comments on this blog. We appreciate your input. We would invite you to write a post that you feel clarifies some of the facts you feel are misrepresented by folks on this blog.

      As a reader, we note you use the terms Aurora Christmas Dream and the Aurora Dream Team.

      While the names are similar it appears from your comments they are different, have different mandates and different beneficiaries. Possibly the similarity in names has added confusion.

      Also, you might clarify where the Jazz Festival and Canada Day parade fit into the above 2 groups — or are they part of another?

      Our sense is that people are asking for clarity — you seem to be willing, so we welcome your comments.

      It is critical that volunteers are applauded and supported for their efforts. Let’s clear the air so we can all work together.

      You can send an email or simply respond as a comment and add that it should be a post. We will reprint it unedited.

    • Anonymous said

      Mr. St Kitts,

      That’s Councillor Buck to you!!!!

      You speak of tastless blogs and disrespect….

      Have some respect for someone that the majority or REAL AURORANS voted for…….

      How disrespectful of you….But then again it is what we have come to expect from the St Kitts

    • Anonymous said

      Is this the real George St. Kitts…… He has never said a word on here before and now he shows up?

    • Anonymous said

      Mr. St. Kitts
      Councillor Buck has been elected by a very significant number of Aurora residents to represent them on council. I don’t believe that you qualify to comment on what Aurora residents choose to do as you are not a resident. I wish you and your wife would channel your energies in King City and leave us Aurorans to take care of our own business.
      Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, your friends, Phyllis Morris and Evilina MacEachern, were not afforded the same vote of confidence by us Aurora residents. I wish you would just butt out quite frankly.

    • George St. Kitts said

      Yes it is George St. Kitts. I don’t wish to respond to those who don’t have the courage to show themselves and hide behind the title anonymous or some childish pen name. Aurora does not belong to you and you few who have nothing better to do than trash people are not a true representation of an Auroran. You are entitled to your opinions as are everyone else. I will be wherever I wish to be – we live in a democracy. if you are a true Aurorian, why not proudly post your name? Why are you hiding?

      NO, I did not vote for that Buck Woman, so like it or not it’s not Councillor Buck to me. Respect is earned and she is the one starting such a mockery of my wife’s good name. I think I hit a nerve!! She is and shall always be that Buck woman to me.

      You bloggers and the anonymous people who run it have gone way to far in trashing good people without any evidence or truth. We are not going to account to you – who do not even have the courtesy to show yourselves! Who the heck are you? We have been transparent…you consistently accuse the innocent of what you actually, openly practice – not transparent, dishonest and bullying – which is the true purpose of this blog.

      This site posts comments about me and my wife that are absolutely untrue and which are aimed to cast aspersions on our character. I had to take a stand. However, it appears no one on this site can handle the TRUTH.

      The Christmas Dream is what it is a Dream to help people. The Aurora Dream Team is the volunteers that help. I don’t see how this is confusing. Bottom line we are helping people in Aurora – King City – Richmond Hill – Newmarket – who cares maybe in Afganistan. We do so with integrity and with the charities involved pending the dream.

      The Canada Day Parade was revived largely due to the hard work of my wife and her team of Red Hot Canadian volunteers. This has absolutely nothing to do with The Dream Team. This was a gift of 3 years of volunteer hours, promotion as so much more which directly benefited the Town of Aurora and its citizens and for which Sher has never received financial compensation. Bringing nearly 30,000 to Aurora for the parade is also good business…

      Aurora jazz+ Festival has nothing to do with the Christmas Dream except my wife and I are involved. Do you see a pattern – it appears my wife and I have been bringing good things back to Aurora (including a thriving market – like it or not!), the Canada Day Parade, a new music festival and much more. We have supported the Aurora Cultural Centre, several Churches and charities, the Seniors Association, the Legion, the Salvation Army, the Street Festival, the Chamber… this list goes on – so we really don’t understand what this witch-hunt is all about. Go find yourselves a new football – or do something positive with your time and stop wasting ours.

      Be careful what you blog about us as we are keeping records.

      Why would any true Auroran have a problem with what Sher and I have been doing in Aurora? It was a gift, Sher did the last parade waiving an offered fee of $5000 and yet you wish to try to say she took some money. Get the facts. What is wrong with you bloggers on this site – jealous maybe?

      Blogging Off – never to return
      George St. Kit

    • Winter's comin said

      George, George George. You and the Mrs have done wonderful work in town. However, you seem to march off in a huff when you are asked to account for monies spent. Hmm, Aurora has always believed in accountability of funds. Is that a community fault? You’re a big guy who likes the headlines; I am just a small fry – ordinary citizen on the street, … why don’t you move to town? Or are you here just to profit from me? Time to fess up, George. … wc.

  8. evelyn.buck said

    Council did not receive answers to the question about funds generated at an event held at the Legion to raise funds by a Leisure Services sub-committee for the July 1st Parade.

    People donated items for a silent auction. They were naturally interested in the success of the event.

    The sub-committee report simply stated funds generated covered the cost of the event.

    Somehow, because persons on the July 1st Committee were the same as the Christmas Dream and Christmas Dream was a private charity, the staff explained there was no need for a private charity to account to the town.
    Readers may re-call the infamous meeting where the St. Kitts woman, in an appearance during Council public forum was permitted to make unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations and allegations, in response to my position, the community was entitled to an accounting for funds raised by a sub-committee under the auspices of the municipality.

  9. Robert the Bruce said

    The Town should provide space to any group that requests it provided they pay the appropriate fees.

    While charity is good thing, it is not the responsibility of Government to provide charity groups with subsidized services. If you do it for one, you will have to do it for all and where do you draw the line of services?

    Fuimus

    • Fred said

      RtB is spot on. There are many charitable organizations that are worthy and do great works within the community, but if you provide for one, how can you not provide for another?
      I support charities by my actions, not by my taxes.

    • evelyn.buck said

      We have had a Lacrosse Association receiving free use of facilities for a week-end annual tournament.

      It’s not even an Aurora organisation.

      They informed us of funds contributed to charity from tournament revenue.

      It amounted to $40ks or thereabouts.

      It would still have been a substantial donation had they paid the town’s user fee.

      Whatever they pocketed for their own purpose is not our business.

      But their contribution to the charity was fattened by the amount of the fee they did not pay.

      In effect taxpayers contributed the user fee, in the thousands, to that particular charity without as much as a by-your-leave or even aware it was happening.

      Another factor to consider is the more revenue our facilities realise from users, the less the fee needs to be to cover operating costs.

      Or,conversely, the lower the subsidy needs to be from taxes to keep the fees sufficiently reasonable so that all may have access to the facilities.

      Freeloaders are a drag in every respect.

      Policies need to be consistently applied for people to be assured everyone is being treated fairly and equally.

  10. George Gonsalves said

    Please note that wherever I mentioned “Rotary” in the above posting I meant specifically “the Rotary Club of Aurora.”

  11. Anonymous said

    George St Kitts, please define “account” when you say you “account to three local charities”

  12. Brian Duff said

    I will be hosting a Hot Dinner on Jan 1st. I will be doing so without town help. I believe that we need to do more to make programs and opportunities available and promulgated to the people of Aurora. I also believe that charity begins at home and within ones self. The Town can organize and acknowledge whatever charities they see fit and I feel this would be invaluable, but I think that the true onis is on us to provide what we can.

    • George Gonsalves said

      This town needs more citizens like you, Brian. Thank you for this!

    • David Heard said

      If you require any help in any way I would be honored.

    • As would I

    • Grace Marsh said

      Brian, please put me down to help in whatever way I can, other than cooking – my skills are quite lacking in that area 🙂
      Let me know what I can do to help.

      I’m not sure what your reasoning was for January 1st, but I think it’s a great day that shows Aurora can start the new year off on the right foot, and I would be pleased to be part of it.

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Count me in Duffman.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      I love it that individuals do a lot for charities in town. I love it that service clubs do a lot for charities in town.

      My real question was about what the Town of Aurora can do in the future for charities and how it can develop its policy/policies to ensure that citizen values are reflected.

      Cheerily

      Elizabeth

    • Brian Duff said

      Grace,Chris,Matt, and David. Thank you very much for your generous offers of your time. The dinner is in its planning stages right now and ideally I would like to have it at the Food Pantry to promote awareness for the pantry. Secondary possible locations would be the Cultural Centre or perhaps the Chamber of Commerce. Let me know what you think.

      Grace, I picked the first of January for that reason exactly, it is the day we all reflect and refocus and try to put our best feet forward for the coming year. I think that we can help people hit the ground running a little bit with a meal that they may not otherwise have and I want to extend the invitation to those in Aurora that are the invisible working poor. The ones who don’t show up on a stat sheet but live paycheck to paychek while supporting a family.Don’t worry I will take care of the cooking!

      I really want this dinner to be a non political, non denominational, comfortable event for those who need a little kickstart to their New Year.

      George Thank you for your positive feedback, the town could use more citizens like yourself and all of you as well.

      Elizabeth, I am not sure of the Town’s current policy but here is my take on it. If space is surplus then by all means offer it to registered charities, house them all in one and have one stop shopping if you can. If we have to maintain the building anyways and the charities can pay the utilities I think everyone wins. Have a charities home page on the Towns website to help get the word out to those who are in need. A registered not for profit charity should be the bar that is set for inclusion.

      I myself have been on the outside looking in and just knowing where and who to turn to makes all the difference in the world.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      Meeting space for free would be amazing for many charities in town.

      I admire the folks who are willing to offer to have great events.

      If you think that all the chariites that need help with “housing” and “one stop shopping” can be accomodated, then my suggestion is to say where and when.

      Just a heads up. If you think that charities need to be housed and to use habitable buildings, you might not want the food bank or anyone else using the town buildings.

      You would then have to describe why you think that it is okay to ask the food bank and the clothing drive folks to use a substandard building that can’t be used for anything else.

    • Anonymous said

      Brian, a day other than Jan 1 would likely get a better reception and participation which will bring more awareness to the effort, which is what you want.

    • Kelli said

      Brian I would be honoured to spend new years day helping you out. Please count me in! I think any day is a good day to give back to the community.

  13. Winter's comin said

    George Gonsalves, I think you are on the right track. The town should provide a list of all charities operating within town limits. This being said, TOA should provide free space and advertising to those charities in need of space and advertising and without the means to afford such (this of course needs to be confirmed by the charity); for the “richer” charities who have admin budgets, they can afford to contribute to such costs. …wc

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      Hmmm, I don’t think I necessarily agree with Winter’s Coming.

      Most charities don’t have a lot of money. If they could use town facilities for free, they could use their other dollars for good works.

      But what is the burden the Town of Aurora can take on?

      Could the Town make rooms available for meetings for registered charities? How about providing space in unused or underused buildings for offices for charities?

      And.. here’s the question. Which charities? Would you want your town to provide space to groups that have a religious affiliation, a particular social message (the pro-choice/anti-abortion debate springs to mind)?

      Should those same charities be able to use Town facilities for fundraising? If so, how much should they pay? Half price? Nothing? Full price?

      We need a policy that comes from Council. A policy is the only way to be fair to everyone because it levels the playing field.

    • Anonymously said

      As someone who works with non-profit organizations I can tell you there are HUNDREDS (yes, hundreds) of groups and organizations that operate in this town that would be lining up at town hall for free meeting space if it were made available.
      And I’d want to know who, what and where to make sure I was getting my share of “free”.
      I agree with Elizabeth that perhaps some groups might be considered controversial. Who would decide who would be free? Who would decide what group would be “suitable” to support with free space. What process would there be if someone challenged it? How do you put limits on free usage? Who is more worthy than another? What are the costs to administer all of this?
      And let’s be serious, nothing is really free. It costs money to keep the lights on, staffing, administration, security, insurance, janitorial, increased maintenance, potential damage, wear and tear, for town buildings etc. etc. All on the tax-payers back.
      I expect to pay a “user-fee” for space and know that a group is a viable organization that has the support of the community at large through donations of time, money, services, supporting our fundraising endeavours etc.
      I expect user-fees to be the same for all non-profit groups. If I knew that someone is catching a break that I’m not, then that certainly isn’t fair. Again, I agree with Elizabeth that the playing fields should be level.
      And I hope user-fees help to keep my personal and business taxes within reason.

  14. George Gonsalves said

    The need for town support of charitable organizations in Aurora is there. In all fairness, the town has given support to some charitable endeavours, albeit with no accountability. I believe that strict guidelines should be followed for town support of such groups as the Christmas Dream and the like.

    There is much need in this town. Organizations such as the food bank, Welcoming Arms, St. Vincent de Paul operate, often on shoestring budgets below the radar of most Aurora residents. There are some heroic Christian groups who supply relief for the needy and I refer to the Welcome Table dinners at Trinity Anglican Church (Wednesday Evenings), Martha’s Table lunches at St Andrew’s Presbyterian (Thursdays at Noon) and the breakfast (its exact name escapes me now) at the Aurora United Church (Saturday mornings). These meals are offered free to all and there are no strings attached. In many cases, these are the only wholesome meals for a number of people living in Aurora and the surrounding areas any given week.

    Welcoming Arms is a joint outreach ministry operated by six of the Christian church communities in Aurora. Last year at a ministry information fair at Our Lady of Grace Church, I manned the Welcoming Arms table after one of the masses. It was quite telling that a number of people came up to me asking why such an outreach ministry was needed. “There are no poor people in Aurora,” was a common response.

    There are many people in Aurora who feel a genuine need to assist others and who go far afield to provide such assistance. We need the town’s assistance in advertising the plight of many Aurorans who live hand to mouth on an ongoing basis so that this aid can be directed to the groups in town that provide assistance to the needy.

    • evelyn.buck said

      I believe our first gesture as a council
      should be partnering with Neighbourhood Network.

      It’s not a budget item Simply a statement of principle that the town recognises there are people in need and others prepared to respond to the need.

      I do not doubt there are many ways we can provide support without adding to the taxpayers’ burden.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      Neighbourhood Network is a volunteer organization. Partnering with it doesn’t address policy.

      Partnering doesn’t lead forward. Policy leads forward because policy sets the framework for action.

      The Town of Aurora needs to have a policy in place to ensure that charities are treated equitably.

      Let’s face it, if Canada Revenue Agency can figure out charities, this little town can as well.

      Having a policy allows the Town to address it as a budget item when the time comes.

    • evelyn.buck said

      I heard about welcome table dinners when I went to tea at Bijoys restaurant on Temperance Street opposite and a little bit south of the town’s parking lot.

      The Chef and owner told me how various chefs in town restaurants take turns at cooking the meal.

      It occurs to me others might share a meal with the diners on a Wednesday night, make a regular contribution to the fare and maybe even help to clear tables and wash dishes.

      I have no idea if it’s a practical notion but maybe it’s worth thinking about. We could get to know the chefs in town as well.

      Like..Hey …Marco’s cooking at Trinity tonight…see you there

    • George St kitts said

      As per Gonsalves insinuation that the town support the christmas dream this is not so. Get the facts before you post incorrect info. The Aurora Christmas Dream is a group of volunteers that serve and account to three local charities including the Aurora food pantry, Welcoming Arms and Salvation army. Perhaps you should contact them for verification and accurate information before you blog.

    • George Gonsalves said

      I acknowledge that Mr. St Kitts may be correct about the fact that the town does not contribute to the Christmas Dream. I am a Rotarian, and I can confirm that Rotary supported the Christmas Dream with donations for two years (2007 and 2008). We sought financial statements from Ms. Sher St Kitts, to no avail. Last year, under my presidency, Rotary did not contribute to this endeavour because of this lack of information as to how our contributions were spent. We distibuted the funds directly to the Salvation Army, Welcoming Arms, Welcome Table and the Aurora Food Pantry. My concern as to accountability still stands, therefore.

      My comments may be extended in particular to the Dream Team and to the Canada Day parade. I wonder still whether the financial statements requested by Councillor Buck were ever provided to the town.

    • David Heard said

      The name of the breakfast is “Rise and Shine”,

      I actually came up with the name when I was on the inaugural committee.It seemed fitting for a community breakfast.

      I personally,had trouble in the past, getting up in the morning.Going out into community was difficult due to my hearing and events past.I guess you could say trust was an issue.I did not feel comfortable and yet chose the get involved.Hence the name Rise and shine.It was about waking up and smiling.

      The breakfast was designed to provide a welcome environment to bring people together.Those of all walks of life.This event really helped me feel I was part of the bigger picture.I could get involved.

      I began to volunteer at Welcoming Arms and then start the produce program for The Food Pantry.I was feeling terrific about belonging, as I worked at being a helper.

      It changed my life and now I am going to Seneca College studying Social Service Worker.I hope to start a non-profit/charity to help a specific sector.

      Neighborhood Network have been a huge impact on my life in the last few years.
      Steve Hinder,Tim Jones and Tom Taylor…..well ,you guys rock.Linda Potter is a special women who really touched me with her knowledge and empathy.

      I owe the community for their compassion and support.
      I will pay it forward day by day.
      Aurora is indeed a special community.

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Mr St. Kitts – quick question; will the “George St. Kitts Band” get paid when they play at the Christmas Dream event at Jonathan’s?

    • George St. Kitts said

      The Aurora Christmas Dream did work in harmony with the Rotary Club of Aurora for the first two years. In 2009 by mutual decision as we no longer needed the ‘seed’ money the Rotary moved on to different ventures. During those first two years full accounting was given to the Rotary (Mr. G was retired in Barbados we recall).

      In 2009 without Rotary support, the ACD raised over $23,000. Every penny was accounted for using an accountant and information shared with our 3 charities. We have no complaints from the charities and work closely with them. The reasons the ACD and Rotary are not working together on this as expressed by Mr. Gonsalves in his blog were never expressed to any member of the Aurora Christmas Dream, nor were we given a chance to speak to such unfounded insinuations. We worked in good faith with Rotarian Wendy Browne, who I doubt shares these comments made by Rotarian Gonsalves.

      As ever with these tasteless blogs, there is no proof of the slightest wrongdoing as regards funds and the Aurora Christmas Dream. Rotarian Gonsalves should go directly to the charities and ask them. Speak with Beverley Wood of The Welcoming Arms, Lorna Rummenie of the Aurora Food Pantry and Brian Bishop of the Salvation Army. You might also wish to call other charities we regularly assist: contact Ellen Campbell of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness and Kimberley Gadwah of Safehaven. Did you know that in 2009 my wife, Sher St. Kitts, was honoured as volunteer of the year for Safehaven.

      One would think a person who has been the President of the Rotary would at the very least speak the truth. Get facts before blogging things, which shed negative aspersions on those who are sincerely trying to support the community.

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