People

High School student Elan Vigderhous launches COVID-19 themed care package business

During this pandemic, it has been heartening to see different young  people step up,

Take Elan Vigderhous for instance. The soon-to-be 15 year old Côte Saint-Luc resident  has started a home-based business called “Care Packages,” which is composed of a week's worth of COVID supplies (mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer). For every purchase, $3 goes to Hope and Cope, which has been providing compassionate, supportive, evidence-based cancer care for over three decades.  He chose that charity because his grandfather, noted musician Gideon  Vigderhous,  is now hospitalized due to an invasive cancer. 

“A while back when quarantine started and school was suspended, my father started to teach me about business and we decided to put the lessons into practice,” said Elan, a Grade 10 student at Royal Vale School in NDG. “ I decided to start a business that not only would be helpful to the clients, but I wanted to make sure I could help a charity close to home too. I liked the idea of making gift boxes that could be sent to a family member or friend, as a gift. I decided that the box should include the essentials: masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. I also added a little candy, to make it a little  sweeter.”

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Elan is putting his free time to good use.

 

Originally Elan was going to raise money for COVID-19 relief,  but  given the fact his grandfather got diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago and recently he had to go to the hospital, he opted for  Hope and Cope.

Since launching a website  at https://www.care-packages.ca, orders have started to roll in. “I enjoy running my first business, and I go to work every day working on sales, marketing, packaging and delivery,” said Elan.

See this report from Global TV.

 


Here’s a big hand for 12 year old cookie entrepreneur Matthew Liebman

Twelve year old Matthew Liebman is one of three sons to Howard Liebman, a longtime political strategist to the likes of Irwin Cotler and Denis Coderre and current government relations director for Air Transat and Willingdon Elementary School  Grade 4 English teacher Heather Leckner. I have known his grandparents, Rick and Gloria Leckner, for most of my life. Rick, of course, was the legendary traffic  reporter on CJAD and for many years an investor relations and PR guru to corporate giants.

Given his lineage, it was not surprising to hear that young Matthew has decided to put his baking skills to good use during these times of confinement. The Côte Saint-Luc resident and District 2 constituent of mine is impressive.

After his full day of remote learning is done as a Grade 6 graduating student at JPPS,  Matthew dons his apron to bake dozens of fresh cookies for his growing client list.

Helping to keep track of orders and behind  the beautiful packaging is mom Heather. Swift local drop off deliveries (free in CSL, Hampstead, NDG and Montreal West) have been entrusted to dad, Howard, to allow the baker to focus on his creations in the kitchen.

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Matthew Liebman gets down to business.

To start, a simple menu of fresh-baked classic chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies are being offered, attractively priced at $10 per dozen or $18 for two dozen. Different varieties are in development in the test kitchen. The cookies make an excellent dessert or snack at home or are the ideal gift for others.

Matthew’s Bakery invites clients to get their Father’s Day orders in early!

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Some of the finished product.

"As we are all in this together, Matthew’s Bakery will generously donate 10 percent of sales to MADA and The Depot,"  mom Heather says of the  organization formerly known as the NDG Food Bank.

You may place orders for these delicious cookies at matthewsbakery13@gmail.com.

Now chocolate chip cookies happen to be my weakness so I was more than happy to take a container home and try. The verdict is already in and everyone at our dinner table gave a big thumbs up to the decadent dessert. I highly recommend this purchase!

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People step for our used air conditioner and fan campaign

A few weeks ago, Ariel Davidson and I put out a call for people to donate used air conditioners and fans to low income families  and individuals in Côte Saint-Luc.

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Steven Adler

First of all thanks to our invaluable jack of all  trades Morris “Moe” Giobbi from Parks and Recreation who took care of  the first set of pickup and deliveries on June 8.

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Daniel Gal

Hats off to our initial donors: Steven Adler from Almar Appliances provided two 10,000 BTU units and Daniel Gal had a 12,000 BTU portable unit.

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Laura Elfman and Moe.

Moe picked up the machines, placed them in his truck and delivered them to three very happy individuals. One was District 2 resident Laura Elfman. Previously I donated one of my own old ACs to a family on Sir Walter Scott Avenue. They immediately told me how much they appreciated this.

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Moe and Chris Agholar

We are probably in for a warm summer, so any more donations would be appreciated. I have two more set for next week.

Just email me at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.

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Recipient Adama Inteh.

 

 


Local resident publishes unique book: "I Love You In Every Language"

I was pleased to welcome to our city council meeting on Monday, January 13, resident Assaf Havilio and his wife Merav.

Assaf, a graphic designer who moved here from Israel 12 years ago, spent a decade turning his wonderful book “I Love You in Every Language” into reality. He was gracious enough to donate a copy to our CSL Public Library and I am sure it will be very much in demand. I accepted it along with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor David Tordjman, who holds the library portfolio.

The book is self-published and available for purchase on Amazon. It explains and teaches readers how to say “I love you”  in different languages. On each page, Assaf chose the symbol of each country. In addition there is an explanation of how to pronounce “I love you” and also how to write” I love you”  in each language. At the beginning of the book, there is a background story with the two main characters who travel around the world and explore different cultures.

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Assaf Havilio and his wife Merav present a copy of the book to CouncillorDavid Tordjman, Mayor Brownstein and myself.

“The story comes with an important message: love is universal and it exists in each and every one of us, no matter where you come from,” said Assaf.  “Besides this, the book is talking about love and about different cultures, languages, and countries. My goal is  through this book, people from different countries will understand each other and will learn about different cultures in a way to understand each other better.  In Canada  a subject like this is very important because it's multicultural.”

Assaf says that feedback about the book from  children and adults has been wonderful. “I have met parents who told me that their children cannot put it down and they enjoy it so much,” he said.

You can purchase the book at Amazon at the following link.

Assaf hopes to have it available at some stores soon. He is available for public appearances. email me at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org and I will share your request.

 


The Segal Centre for Performing Arts Welcomes Elliot Lifson as New Board President

The Segal Centre for Performing Arts  has announced that Vice Chairman of Peerless Clothing Inc, and  Côte Saint-Luc District 2 resident. Elliot Lifson has been officially welcomed as their new Board of Directors’ president, as voted upon by the Board at their AGM.

Elliot Lifson at the Segal Centre
Elliot Lifso
 

In addition to his duties at Peerless, Mr. Lifson is a respected member of the Montreal community, a dedicated philanthropist, and is actively involved with many organizations and boards, including Member of the Board of Directors of Export Development Canada (EDC); Professor and Board Member at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University; Member of the Faculty Advisory Board, McGill-HEC EMBA Program; Member of the Board of MR- Montréal Relève pour la Persévérance scolaire; Past Chairman, currently sitting as advisor to the Board, Chambre de Commerce de Montreal; President of the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF); and sits on the Board of many charitable institutions such as The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, and The Jewish General Hospital Foundation, and past Co-Chair of Centraide. Mr. Lifson received his MBA from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. He is also a Graduate in Law from the Université de Montreal and a Member of the Québec Bar. Mr. Lifson has been a member of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts’ board for the last 12 years.

He is also the recipient of many awards including the ‘Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal’, the ‘Desautels Faculty of Management Distinguished Teaching Award’ (Graduate Level), Quebec’s Fashion Industry’s ‘Recognition Award’, McGill University Alumni Association ‘Honorary Life Membership Award’, and the Senate of Canada 150th  Commemorative Medal. Mr. Lifson is following Joel Segal who will remain on the board as a Director / Immediate Past President.

“It’s been an honour to serve as Board President over the last four years," said Mr. Segal.  "The Segal Centre for Performing Arts will always remain an important part of my family’s legacy and I’m confident in its future under Elliot’s leadership as it continues to grow as a resource for the community, create and produce exceptional theatre, and transform our national artistic landscape."

“I am excited to lead the Segal Centre for Performing Arts’ Board of Directors and work closely with Artistic and Executive Director Lisa Rubin, management and staff at the Segal Centre as it continues to establish itself as a leader in Canadian theatre,” said Mr. Lifson. “I am inspired by the outstanding leadership of my predecessors, Joel and Alvin Segal, and their dedicated commitment to the cultural crown jewel of this city that is the Segal Centre.”

Current Segal Centre for Performing Arts Board of Directors are: Joel Segal (Immediate Past President), Myer Bick (Vice-President), Michael Tevel (Secretary), Shawn Rozansky (Treasurer), Alvin C. Segal, O.C., O.Q. (Chairman Emeritus), Karen Aflalo, Gideon Arthurs, Adam Barza, Françoise Bertrand, Maia Cooper, Janie Etinson, Moe Liebman, Sylvi Plante, William Rosenberg, Barbara Seal Shiveck, C.M. (ex-officio member and Chair of the Advisory Committee), and Howard Stotland.

The Segal Centre could not be luckier than to land a star like Elliot Lifson in this role!

About the Segal Centre for Performing Arts

The Segal Centre for Performing Arts is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to creating, developing, producing and presenting world-class English-language theatre and to showcasing the best professional artists from Montréal and beyond. A part of the community since 1967, the organization was reborn in 2007 as the Segal Centre and has expanded to become a nationally recognized venue for the performing arts with a focus on creation, innovation, diversity and cross-cultural collaborations. Driven by a belief in the power of the arts to strengthen and connect communities, the Segal’s programming emphasizes original interpretations of popular classic and contemporary works, new Canadian musicals and engaging productions with universal appeal. www.segalcentre.org


Fifth annual JFK Foundation Stroll for Kids set for this Sunday in CSL

The Just for Kids Foundation (JFK) will hold  its  fifth Annual Stroll for Kids event, a fun-filled philanthropic day that celebrates family and community,   on Sunday, September 22 (9:30 am to 12:30 pm)  at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park (6975 Mackle Road) in  Cöte Saint-Luc.  More than $600,000 has already been raised.

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Scenes from last year's Stroll for Kids.

 

Stroll for Kids is a family oriented activity-filled day, where those involved give back to their community while spending quality time with their loved ones.  Those who take part must register online, as a team or individually, and are encouraged to make a donation.  All funds raised will contribute to supporting JFK’s Comfort and Care Campaign which is dedicated to supporting the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Operating Suites, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the JFK Kangaroo Care Program, and the JFK Sibling Park.  

Throughout the day there are various entertainment and activities such as a petting zoo, clowns and carnival games to name a few, and snacks and lunch from some of the city’s favourite restaurants (such as Arthur’s, Venice, Gentile’s to name but a few!)

This year, funds raised will also aid in equipping the NICU with 46 new specialized recliners, created specifically for Kangaroo Care, the ultimate method of comfort and care for the tiniest patients. 

Jodie Zimmerman-Frenkiel  and Alana Geller  are the co-founders of the event.

 “ The event has always brought together families from within and around our community,” says Co-chair Tania Kakon. “Over the years new activities, food vendors and entertainment have come along so it really grows  into something newer every year. The driving force of the event is the loyalty of our returning supporters. The event reflect the values of the community serving a higher purpose that being the  ‘Just for Kids Foundation’  in this case.

"It really is thanks to Jodie Zimmerman - Frankiel and Allana Geller for having this incredible idea to get families together and teach their kids at a young age the importance of giving back and community all while having fun,” added Co-Chair Jaclyn Hoffman. “We have a strong and supportive community and the event brings 100 plus families together every year,  the majority of whom are returning families. Many families hear about this event through word of mouth, and by being supporters of the JFK Foundation.  This year we targeted new moms and dads, with the hope that they will return year after year with their growing families!  This is the first year we are introducing a theme for the stroll, a carnival theme, which adds a fun and different twist to the event compared to past years.”

Just for Kids Foundation raises funds to purchase high-priority medical equipment, and to support initiatives that improve the quality of care for patients of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Over the past 30 years, we have purchased over $11 million of equipment, touching almost every department at the hospital. That is more than 200,000 children treated and 1,500 healthcare professionals who are better equipped to care for their patients.  

For more information on Just for Kids Foundation’s Stroll for Kids event visit the event page and register at www.JFKStrollforKids.com. You must raise a minimum of $250.

 

 

 


Little boy is an inspiration to all of us: Nikan Nassiraei does not let disability stand in his way

Five year old Côte Saint-Luc resident Nikan Nassiraei,his mother Dr. Mehrnoosh Movahed, MD, PhD, and members of the city council presented a cheque for $1,700 to Karianne Robert of the The War Amps organization at the start of our council meeting of Monday, August 12, 2019.

The $1,700 was raised during the Canada Day event in Côte Saint-Luc at a table organized by Dr. Movahed. The fundraising table featured art created by Nikan, who was born missing his right arm. He has been part of the Child Amputee (CHAMP) program since he was one month old. Nikan’s family received support from the The War Amps, including information and financial assistance for Nikan’s special artificial arm, which allows him to play musical instruments and be active in sports. His mother says the CHAMP seminars also give Nikan a sense of belonging and confidence.

"When Nikan was one month old and we took him to the Shriner's Hospital the doctor told us, 'You will be surprised what he can do' and he was right," said Dr. Movahed. "He is unstoppable."

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Nikan and company showcase the cheque.

As the editor of Inspirations Newspaper, which focuses on individuals with special needs, I applaud Nikan and all of the other individuals affiliated with the War Amps.

The War Amps is a not-for-profit charitable organization and is funded by donations and key tag services and does not receive any government grants. Last year, the WarAmps celebrated its 100 years of services. Their support to thousands of amputees around Canada, help them to live and enjoy life to the fullest.

To donate to the War Amps, visit https://donate.waramps.ca/eforms.aspx?edonate. In the section “Select the donation type”, select “In Honour” and add the name Nikan Nassiraei. 

 
 

We can all help in the search for Jesse Galganov: Fundraising Bazaar set for March 17

On September 24, 2017, 22-year-old Côte Saint-Luc resident Jesse Galganov left home for an eight-month backpacking trip through South America and Southeast Asia.  He was last seen on October 1, 2017 in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains of Northern Peru, in Huascarán National Park.  Image-31

Alisa and her son Jesse.

Jesse’s mother Alisa Clamen has left no stone unturned in an effort to find him, notably engaging a prominent Israeli search and rescue company called Magnus International. Their search and investigation is ongoing and Alisa has full confidence that they will succeed in locating him. However, the costs related to the search have already exceeded $2 million.  

As part of fundraising efforts to support the search,  Alisa and her co-chair Jen Gian are organizing A Bazaar for Jesse, a multi-faceted fundraising initiative: garage sale, bake sale, sale of new items, raffle, auction and community event. It will take place on Sunday, March 17 (9 am to 4 pm) at the Lawrence Bergman Chalet at Trudeau Park in Côte Saint-Luc. All funds will go directly to the Jesse Galganov Fund at the Missing Children’s Network.

Some of the high end items available for sale will be   headphones, televisions, fur coats and many gift cards for dinners (Montreal and Toronto) and gyms,   paintings., Tumi luggage, Swarovski Jewelry, Juliet et chocolat gift baskets  and much more.

Alisa notes that her committee is already in receipt of donations of many goods and services from many generous individuals and businesses. Donations of garage sale items can be dropped off at the Chalet on Friday, March 15 from Noon to 3 pm and Saturday, March 16 from 9 am to Noon  and from 7 pm t o 10 pm.  For more information email helpusfindjesse@gmail.com

This Sunday, March   10,  Alisa  will be a guest on CJAD'S Life  Unrehearsed with hosts Matt Del  Vecchio and Corrie Sirota  at 4:30 pm. Matt and Corrie  are both very caring and passionate individuals so Alisa is in good hands to continue telling her story.  You are being encouraged to like the show's Facebook page  here so you can  also have access to a  Facebook Live feed,

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and our  entire council encourage  everyone to  visit the  Bazaar and help in any way we can. 

There is an event page for  the Bazaar you can access here.

See this video by Alisa as to what is available at the Bazaar.

 

Here is Mayor Brownstein's extended interview with Alisa.

 

 


Mindy Shulman Croitoru retires from JPPS

One of our community’s most dedicated school teachers, longtime District 2 resident Mindy Shulman Croitoru, has announced her retirement from JPPS after a remarkable career spanning nearly four decades.

“For close to four decades, Mindy Shulman Croitoru has shared her skill, experience and love of teaching with the children of JPPS,” wrote Marnie Stein, Principal and Co-Head of School at JPPS. “ She has inspired her students to reach their individual potential in English, Math and Science.”

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Mindy and her new student, grandson Charlie

Mindy’s retirement is effective January 2019.  Will she join our Volunteer Citizens  on Patrol (VCOPs) like her husband Marty, recently recognized as one our Volunteers of the Year? My guess is she will try and take it easy for a while and also enjoy life as a grandma!

 “With care and warmth, Mindy taught the students of JPPS the love of learning and the personal rewards of being a lifelong learner,” Stein continued. “As a role model to her students, she taught each and every one of them that hard work and perseverance pays off. The energy she devoted to that end is very much appreciated by the entire JPPS family.”

Stein noted that  throughout her years at JPPS, Mindy remained committed to her students and to helping develop their confidence as learners. “Her colleagues will cherish their memories of working alongside her and we feel so fortunate that our students were taught by such a special teacher,” she stated.

In the Talmud it is written that, "He who teaches a child, it is as though he created it." Stein wishes to  thank Mindy for the years of hard work and devotion to JPPS, and wish her good health, enjoyment, and nachas from her family, as she embarks on a well-deserved retirement.

As the parent of one of Mindy’s former students, I can attest to her excellent work in the classroom.

Good luck Mindy!


Author Caddell to promote his hockey book at The Samuel Moskovitch Arena

It will be a busy weekend for author and former Montreal West town councillor Andrew Caddell.  He will be in Montreal promoting his book The Goal: Stories about Our National Passion  on CTV Montreal with Mutsumi Takahashi  on Friday at noon, and then will be signing books on Saturday afternoon at Bonder Bookstore on Westminster in Montreal West, then off to The Samuel Moskovitch Arena on Mackle Road in Côte Saint-Luc that evening  for more signing and selling.  The book, which features stories from former Montreal Gazette writer Dave Stubbs, has received great reviews and reached the top 100 on Amazon winter sports books last year. 

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Last year I brought Andrew to Royal West Academy to do a reading of his fabulous book.

It features 14 true short stories about hockey and life, from the title story, "The Goal" about Andrew's trials as a 10 year old goalie on the outdoor rinks in Montreal West, to a touching story aout his great-aunt and her idol, "The Gentleman," Jean Béliveau.  There is hockey history about Montreal Maroons fans who supported the Boston Bruins when the Maroons folded in the 1930s, women's hockey, the Habs-Leafs rivalry, and the longest ever NHL game, in 1936, which Andrew's dad, "Pip" Caddell attended. 

The book was originally self-published and launched in 2015, but picked up by Rock's Mills Press in Oakville last year and expanded, with colour photos and four new stories.  I heartily recommend it.  Andrew is now retired from the department of Global Affairs in Ottawa, but is busy: along with the book, he writes a weekly column on politics in the "Hill Times," and is partnering with an Australian company in emergency services technology for municipalities, QITCanada.  He has plans to move back to Montreal in 2019.