Community Living starts fundraising for third new home at Hope Farm site

MINDEMOYA—The Island Foodland parking lot in Mindemoya was brimming with activity this past weekend, as the company and its owners, the Bondi family, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Foodland brand with a barbecue, car show and cake with proceeds going to the Community Living Manitoulin building fund.

Community Living Manitoulin (CLM) executive director John Caruso addressed the crowd of shoppers, car enthusiasts, CLM clients and family, and those folks just seeking a great summertime dog or burger and announced that the organization is embarking on a campaign to replace the aging building where CLM’s programming is carried out.

“The Bondi family has and continues to be great supporters of our community,” said Mr. Caruso. “We are sincerely appreciative of their ongoing support, so I was not entirely surprised when Sam Bondi called me and asked if Community Living would be the recipient of the proceeds raised from today’s barbecue. I graciously accepted this wonderful offer and told Sam that we would use this event to announce the launch of Community Living Manitoulin’s capital campaign.”

Mr. Caruso outlined his organization’s mandate, noting that CLM operates four residential homes in the Mindemoya community, a consignment store called ‘Everything Under the Sun’ (encouraging everyone to drop in and see the new products and store layout) and a life skills program in an old building on the Community Living Manitoulin property.

“The replacement of this property is the focus of our capital campaign,” said Mr. Caruso. “Not only is this building too small, it is old and not well built, resulting in excessive heating bills and a constant stream of repair and maintenance expenses.”

Mr. Caruso said that his board is committed to addressing that longstanding issue through “a combination of earned revenue, donations and grants to secure the resources required to build a new life skills centre.”

Bondi family representative Michele Hart said that she, her parents and siblings, were delighted to be a part of kicking off the campaign, especially on an afternoon tailor made for an early summer barbecue. “On behalf of the Bondi’s and the pharmacy we would like to make a donation of a $1,000 to the building fund and also, this is on behalf of my mother and dad, they would like to make a donation of $3,000,” said Ms. Hart.

Mr. Caruso went on to put in a plug for the CLM June 22 auction on the Hope Farm property. “The yard sale begins at 11 am, with the auction beginning at 1 pm,” he said. “There will be some great items to buy and bid on, including a beautiful hot tub, a propane-fired generator capable of running a 6,000 square foot home, air conditioning units, furniture, computer accessories, office equipment and much more. We will host a fundraising barbecue and there will be music. If anyone wishes to donate items to this sale please call Megan at our office at 705-377-6699. She will tell you where to drop the items off or, if required, she will arrange to have them picked up. Thank you everyone for your support.”

In addition to the barbecue and cake, there was a display of local antique and classic cars and trucks on hand.

“Well this is a great event in a good cause,” said Anishinabe Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee whose familiar red and black classic truck the ‘war pony’ was one of the vehicles on display. “Besides, it gives me a great excuse to take her out for a nice weekend drive.”

Michael Erskine