The Winter Warm-Up Lunch is back in its fifth year to help raise funds to support youth programs in the community.
Organized by Shelldale Family Gateway, this year’s lunch will be held on Feb. 20 at the Shelldale Centre from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m and will see food, entertainment, draws and silent auctions.
“Last year we raised about $9,000 so we’re really hoping for more this year. We’re trying to get to $12,000 or $15,000,” says manager of the Winter Warm-Up Lunch, Lorie Delane.
“All that money goes right back into the program,” says Delane about the $20 ticket that provides access to all the events at the Lunch.
The Shelldale Family Gateway, a non-profit organization, says it requires approximately $200,000 a year to keep the youth programs rolling.
“We have to do a lot of fundraising in order to provide programs every day to family and youth,” says Delane.
Youth programs organized by the Shelldale Family Gateway include crafts, activities, breakfasts, after-school programs, youth cooking classes, teen leadership and recreational programs, March break and summer camps and many more.
The organization says the fundraiser is food centred because many families in the Onward Willow community currently live with food shortages and the neighbourhood has the highest number of new immigrants and people living in poverty in Guelph.
The organization says the demand for youth programs has only been increasing and the government doesn’t provide funding for youth support programs for children six and over.
Delane says the organization sees a lot of success with many youth participating and volunteering with the organizations as they get older.
“So for many of our youth, they stay for a long period of time because they start the after school program, and as they get older they go to team programs and then they volunteer. A lot of them have worked for us,” says Delane.
She says the event is a great way for the organization to put their name out there and also bring awareness to the program so the community can help them out regularly.
Delane says with longstanding friends, agency partners, community members and friends, the lunch itself feels like a party.