May 20, 2017 4:51 pm
Updated: May 20, 2017 6:42 pm

Pierrefonds picnic offers respite from flood fatigue, highlights West Island community spirit

WATCH ABOVE: Residents came together in Pierrefonds Saturday to throw a picnic for those affected by the floods, showing yet again that community spirit is alive and well in the West Island.


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.

Story continues below

READ MORE: Quebec floods: Pierrefonds family welcomes victims into their home

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.

READ MORE: Clients support flood-affected Pierrefonds florist on Mother’s Day

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.

Preparations underway at the community picnic in Pierrefonds. Saturday, May 20, 2017.

François Joly/Global News

“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.

READ MORE: Quebec floods: Too many volunteers, too little co-ordination?

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.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.