Pierrefonds picnic offers respite from flood fatigue, highlights West Island community spirit
It sometimes takes a tragedy for people to stop for a moment and take stock of their lives.
And if the recent floods in Quebec have shown us anything, it’s that the West Island has a strong sense of community.
Volunteers rallied together to come to the aid of their neighbours in their time of need; the outpouring of help continues even now that the waters have receded.
A group of West Islanders gathered Saturday afternoon at the Westview Bible Church in Pierrefonds, to organize a community picnic for flood victims and volunteers.
“It was just supposed to start out as a dinner at my home,” event coordinator Angie Gery said — but it quickly grew into something bigger.
The idea gained so much traction, with people and businesses coming forward to volunteer their time and donate goods and services, that organizers decided a community picnic was the way to go.
Hosting the event was first and foremost a way of saying thank you and giving back to the community.
“We just want them to know that the West Island cares,” event organizer Debbie Praw said.
The get-together was also about offering some much needed respite to those affected by the floods.
“We just figured that it would be a way for the people to take an hour out of their cleanup, an hour out of their despair and just come in and have a hot dog, a hamburger and let their kids have a good time and just forget about the flood,” Praw said.
There were bouncy castles on site for the kids and plenty of sunshine, a welcome change from recent weeks.
Gery said she’s grateful to be part of such a loving community.
“It’s amazing seeing the outpouring of support and love,” she said.
As if organizing a community picnic weren’t enough, Gery was also collecting donations for her hometown of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.
“Our food bank lost everything — over $20,000,” she said, adding that anything people were bringing and leftover food from the picnic would be going towards helping the food bank.
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