A post-holiday thank you

[attach]3270[/attach]The Holiday Season has come and gone, but the heart and generosity of the residents and volunteers of the Eglinton-Lawrence community continues to shine bright.

I was very fortunate to be a part of various festivities throughout our community recently, celebrating the joy and warmth of the holiday season, meeting residents and volunteers from all walks of life.

On December 3, 2010, I had the honour of co-hosting a Hanukkah celebration for the members of Café Europa at Baycrest.

It was a pleasure spending the morning with the extraordinary members of Café Europa, meeting new members and reminiscing with familiar friends.

A big thank you to the outstanding staff and volunteers of Baycrest for their incredibly hard work in helping to put this event together, and for the work they continue each and every day.

I was also honoured to be a part of the North York Harvest Winter Food Drive launch in front of United Bakers Dairy Restaurant, where generous residents in the community came by on a cold day to drop their donations to the food bank.

On December 13 and 14, I hosted a holiday party for the residents of Casa Del Zotto and Casa Caboto, where we enjoyed some holiday treats and sang Christmas carols.

Another big thank you goes to this caring and generous group, who donated generously to the North York Harvest Food Bank, filling boxes of food that we were able to deliver to those in need during the holiday season.

The following day, I had the pleasure of being invited to the Mukibaum Christmas party, where the generous and hard-working members of the Forest Hill Lions Club served lunch to countless guests, just one of this group’s many volunteer activities throughout the community.

On December 17, I was a volunteer bell ringer for the Salvation Army 2010 Christmas Kettle Campaign at Yonge and Eglinton Centre.

A great afternoon was spent helping a remarkable organization, and meeting residents as they passed by to say hello and donate.

Of course I could not do the job as well as our friend Monty Mazin, resident of the Reuben Cipin Centre, who has volunteered for countless hours throughout the years to help raise funds for the Salvation Army.

These events and many more would not have been possible without the hard work of countless volunteers across our community.

These people not only donate their time during the holiday season, they lend a hand throughout the year, helping those in need and working to keep our community strong.

I would like to thank each and every one of the volunteers who were a part of the events mentioned above and those who I was not able to list here. And I encourage those who have considered volunteering in the past to do so in the new year.

If you know of an outstanding volunteer who either lives in, or volunteers within, the Eglinton-Lawrence community, please nominate them for my annual Outstanding Volunteer Awards. To nominate an outstanding volunteer, please contact me at [email][/email], or at 416-781-2395.

Thank you and best wishes for a safe and happy 2011, a year full of joy and health to you and your loved ones.