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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

K of C presents New Day with $1,200

On behalf of the Holy Name Knights of Columbus council, Grand Knight Tom Bonneau (Centre) presents Beth Renaud, Alvin Matte, Ray Renaud, John Cooper, and James Spzpak with a cheque for $1,200 for New Day Advocates.

by Garrett Fodor

After a successful Friday night of frying fish, the Knights of Columbus are giving back.

  On March 22, the Knights of Columbus held a fish fry fundraiser on behalf of New Day Leaders of Today- Self Advocates, a partner of Community Living Essex County. During its monthly meeting last Thursday evening, the Knights of Columbus presented the $1200 fundraising proceeds to representative of New Day.

  Tom Bonneau, Grand Knight of the Holy Name Knights of Columbus council, said he and the rest of the Knights are happy to support community initiatives, such as New Day. They were also glad to see the community support the fish fry fundraiser for the local self-advocacy group. 

“We hosted a fish fry on their behalf, and everyone came in great support,” Bonneau said. “And tonight, we are presenting [the representatives of New Day] with a cheque from the profits of the night. They came out in great support. They sold tickets in advance to everyone they could and we had a large turnout.”

  New Day is a self-advocate group, which Community Living Essex County supports. The group’s goal is to speak out for advocates, people with disabilities, and those who cannot speak for themselves.

  The self-advocacy group was established in 2004. Each month, members hold a meeting at the Community Living Essex County office. Anyone is welcome to attend.

  Last Thursday, four of the eight members of the advocate committee were on hand to receive the proceeds: Ray and Beth Renaud, John Cooper, and Alvin Matte.

  The members of New Day said they were grateful for the support of the community and to the Knights of Columbus for hosting the fish fry on their behalf. They hope they are able to spread their message with the proceeds.

  The funds will be put towards sending members of New Day to conferences. Members of New Day said the committee helps them with their day-to-day living. They speak on people’s rights, disability rights, and speak about inclusion. 

On October 12-14, they will attend a conference for self-advocates, put on by self-advocates. This will be the 11th year of attending, and people from all over southwestern Ontario attend the conference to listen to presentations about disabilities.

Bonneau said a couple of the Knights of Columbus members are involved with Community Living Essex County. Those members asked if we could support New Day.

  The Holy Name Knights of Columbus Council hosts a fish fry twice a month, from September to June. Each event is a fundraiser on behalf of different organizations or charities. “We support them that way,” Bonneau said. “It is one way for us to give back to the community.”

  New Day is selling t-shirts and bracelets to raise awareness about its group and to stop the use of the word “retarded.” They are available at Community Living Essex County’s Office.

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