When it comes to the annual Winter Carnival in Côte Saint-Luc, my memories shoot back to when I was a mere toddler. I lived on Wentworth Avenue and at the time the park behind my house was the hub for all activities. My parents would take my brother and sister and I to enjoy some hot chocolate, take part in all kinds of fun games and most importantly take my photo next to Bonhomme Carnival.
As a city councillor for the past 12 years, I have had the good fortune of taking part in the planning of the event. It all kicks off with the wildly successful Valentine`s Day Dance, continues with a PeeWee “A” Outdoor Hockey Tournament and concludes the following Sunday with a wide array of programming.
I was so happy to see our good friend Pierre Brunet, franchisee of nearly 20 McDonald’s restaurants, including the two in Côte Saint-Luc and Jacqueline Mallet from Manoir Ronald McDonald at the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. I joined Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Councillors Allan J. Levine, Ruth Kovac and Sidney Benizri, along with Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, in presenting a cheque of $10,000 to Manoir Ronald McDonald. This was a record breaking year for us, bringing our grand total to $59,000 for this wonderful cause.
Manoir Ronald McDonald is a temporary home away from home for out-of-town (more than 55 km) families of children with critical illnesses who must travel to Montreal for medical treatments. It is located on Hudson Avenue in Côte des Neiges, around the corner from the Centre Hospitalier Ste. Justine.
We made the cheque presentation prior to another annual tradition: the awards for the CSL Figure Skating Club. That was followed by a nice show on the ice.
It was five degrees Celsius this year and with the sun beating down it seemed warmer. This represented a mixed bag. It was extremely pleasant to walk around and the crowd was fairly large. I remember days when it was so bitterly cold nobody wanted to be outdoors. With the warmth came a lot of slush and some of our ice sculptures and other snow attractions were melting.
In the Lawrence Bergman Chalet, Pierre Brunet’s team was serving up 1,300 McDonald’s pancakes. People were asked to make voluntary donations to the Manoir. Members of the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society presented a preview song from their new show Fancy Nancy, about to debut at the Segal Centre for three to nine year olds.
There was a dog sled, horse-drawn carriage rides, and taffy on the snow, tobogganing on the hill, face painting, snow games, public skating and more hockey games. It was so nice to see all of the young families enjoying the experience.
Congratulations to our Parks and Recreation staff for the fabulous work they did planning this event, which included signing up many sponsors.