Guest blog by John-Michael Maharaj, director of community outreach for the MPI Ottawa Chapter
Ten years ago I became aware of the need for kids to have a good breakfast to help them learn better. Children are our future, in the world and in our industry.
I started supporting the MPI Ottawa Chapter before officially becoming a member, and when I joined I immediately decided to participate in the MPI Ottawa Community Outreach Committee, which had just started to support the School Breakfast program. I have been on the committee for the last seven years, the last three years as director. I believe very strongly in the program, as there are a lot of kids who do not get a proper breakfast before school, thus are hungry and not as attentive to their studies.
On February 9, 2012, MPI Ottawa hosted our annual auction dinner at the CE Centre, in support of the Ottawa School Breakfast program. With more than 680 guests in attendance (an MPI Ottawa attendance record), everyone opened up their hearts and, more importantly, their wallets for silent and live auction items to the tune of another MPI Ottawa record: more than $26,000 raised for the program. With the generous support of our sponsors and the generous donations of auction items (more than 70), we were able to accomplish an amazing goal.
I was very proud watching the Community Outreach Committee put together such an amazing event, with such amazing results—from the organization to the collection of amazing items to our captivating live auctioneer, Ryan Watson of the Brookstreet hotel and RaisingtheBid.com. To stand at the podium and see the large amount of people in attendance, the people networking, the people bidding on the many items and knowing that this had become one of the go-to events in MPI…I felt a major sense of pride. I am forever grateful to MPI Ottawa for allowing me to be able to help the kids and also very thankful to have such a great committee to work with.
Created with the support of AVW-TELAV and the MPI Foundation, the Events for Communities of Sustainability (ECOS) Project integrates social responsibility into chapter relationships with their communities.