Food bank fundraiser draws good crowd, generous support


Christian Gammon-Roy


The Marcel Noël Hall in Sturgeon Falls was packed on Saturday night, February 11th as 320 tickets were sold for a night of dancing to live music by Roadhouse, all for the benefit of the West Nipissing Food Bank. “The community is to be commended for their enthusiasm and their generosity,” says Don Clendenning, administrator of the food bank, calling the event a “tremendous success.”

Clendenning had been planning the fundraiser for a while. When he last spoke to the Tribune, during the holidays, he mentioned the February event as an attempt to spread out fundraising efforts throughout the year to help keep up with the constant demand from clients of the food bank. During the evening, he confirmed that all expenses had been covered by sponsors and over $12,000 in ticket sales, with all further money raised going directly to the food bank.

Among the sponsors were Don’s Butcher Shop and Stop & Shop who helped sell tickets, Total Cabinet Modules who paid for the band, as well as Audio Video+, Giant Tiger, Michaud Levesque, Tim Hortons, Home Hardware, and Rolande and Leo Malette. The food bank also received a cost exemption for the use of the hall on behalf of the town. Finally, the event benefited from lots of volunteer help. Clendenning mentions that the bartenders even refused to be paid when they were told it was a fundraiser for the food bank.

The night certainly attracted an eager crowd. “100 people were lined up at 6:30,” beams Clendenning, adding that they opened the doors early to get the people out of the cold. The band didn’t start until 8pm, but a crowd of hundreds were already there well ahead of time talking, laughing, and ordering drinks. Once on stage, it didn’t take long for Roadhouse to get everyone on their feet dancing. Crowds formed up for every song and there was plenty of energy in the room as even the band was excited to be in Sturgeon Falls that night.

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