West Island Community Shares will hold its major fundraising event of the year with its Red & White Benefit Evening on Monday, Jan. 27 at 40 Westt Steakhouse & Bar.
This year Sophie McCann, executive director of WICS, said the non-profit organization is celebrating 10 influential “West Island Business Women Philanthropists”, among them Karine Thibert, senior manager of commercial banking with the National Bank.
Thibert helps organize major fundraising events for WICS, while also supporting the bank’s philanthropic activities for the Fondation Martin-Matte and riding her bike to support diabetes research. She also supports the Share the Love campaign and organizes fundraising activities for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence.
For the past three years, Thibert and the National Bank has organized a Bikes for Youth program in which 125 bicycles are assembled and delivered to kids in need in the West Island.
The fundraising event also raised $100,000 for WICS, which provides support to 40 community groups in the West Island.
Thibert said she derives satisfaction from seeing a child receive a bike. “It’s really a magic moment. You see brightness in their eyes, they’re so happy,” she said.
“It’s natural for us (at the bank) to give back and have a positive impact,” said Thibert, a resident of Pincourt.
In September, the National Bank announced it would contribute $500,000 to WICS over the next five years.
McCann said this year’s group of philanthropists “are all dynamic but they all work behind the scenes.”
“They’re amazing; they reach out to their networks and organize the whole thing but don’t want the spotlight on them. It’s a common thread amongst all of them and very interesting to see.”
The other WICS honourees are:
Teresa Broccolini, director property management, Broccolini
Broccolini supports many charitable initiatives for WICS, the Lakeshore General Hospital, the Jewish Hospital, Fondation Communautaire Canadienne Italienne (FCCI). She also supports Broccolini’s employee volunteering activities with West Island Mission.
Chantal Carrier, philanthropist and leader
After joining the WICS’s Fund Distribution Committee as a volunteer in 2006, Carrier is now its chair. She is also on the executive committee of 60 million girls and recently joined the Fund Distribution Committee for Social Economy Enterprises of PME-Mtl West Island. She sat on the board of Collège Sainte-Anne and its foundation scholarship committee.
Eva Chalkiadakis, development manager, small business, Scotiabank
For the last 10 years, Chalkiadakis has been active in the local helping associations like the West Island Women’s Shelter, the Rick Hansen Foundation, Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation, JDRF, Missing Children Network and Shields of Athena.
Brigitte Garceau, lawyer and senior partner, Robinson Sheppard Shapiro
Garceau, a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and Parliamentary Certificate of Recognition, is currently legal counsel and board member of the West Island Women’s Shelter and helped found its annual “Pumps & Pearls” gala. She has also been involved with Centre Bienvenue, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Community Shares’ Youth Committee.
Lolita Guerrera, vice-president, commercial markets/retail, consumer services/franchises, RBC
She served as president, co-president and honorary patron of a number of fundraising events including the Miracle Ball for the Ronald McDonald House, Centraide, Urban BBQ benefiting the Cancer Research Society. She is a board member of the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.
Frederica Jones, regional vice-president, West Island of Montreal, BMO
Jones is involved with Friends of the Environment, assisting in initiatives for the SPCA, co-president of the JDRF Revolution Ride, leading a walk benefiting Kids Help Phone, She also participated in the first Ride to Conquer Cancer, supports food banks, the Bell Walk so Kids Can Talk and the board of WICS.
Roberta Lacey, head of marketing, Avon Canada
In 1992, Lacey founded the Avon Foundation for Women Canada and initiated Avon’s first Breast Cancer fundraiser. She continues to lead the foundation as president. She has been involved with the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, Big Brothers, Big Sisters Canada and West Island Community Shares.
Anna Mormina and Angela Martingnetti, co-owners, Mfleurs
The duo of Mormina and Martingnetti support a multitude of charities including the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Heart and Stroke Foundation, JDRF, Dans la Rue and numerous cancer charities.
Rhonda O’Gallagher, vice-president, corporate affairs, Pfizer Canada
After starting her career with the Kidney Foundation of Canada, O’Gallagher developed an interest in philanthropy. She sat on Community Shares’ Fund Distribution Committee. She sits on the board of the West Island Palliative Care Residence Foundation and Canadian Paralympic Foundation, and participated in Pfizer’s Global Health Fellow program.