News Local

FCS to hold Mardi Gras Feb. 4

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

When the Big Easy comes calling, you have to answer, even if you are in the Ottawa Valley and not New Orleans.

On Feb. 4, 2017, Family and Children's Services of Renfrew County is holding its second annual Mardi Gras Gala at the Pembroke Legion. This will also be an official Pembroke’s SnoSpree event.

At a press conference and kick off held Tuesday at the FCS building at 77 Mary St., Dave Henderson, fund development coordinator, said this fundraiser will again prove to be a memorable time out.

“This evening will feature the music of the Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo, a Cajun/creole band made up of musicians from Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley,” he said. “They are a favourite of the Cysco Ottawa Bluesfest and other festivals.”

Henderson said dinner will be authentic Cajun cuisine, there will be a special signature cocktail served, and a King and Queen of Mardi Gras will be crowned, all part of the fun and music of the evening.

Present at the kick off were representatives of the event sponsor TD Canada Trust, and Johnston and Mackie Ltd., who are the entertainment sponsor. Both stated they were thrilled to be helping the kids in Renfrew County.

The fundraiser is supporting the I Can Play Too Fund, a brand new fund designed to help Renfrew County children pursue the sports, recreation and culture activities they are passionate about, those they otherwise would not be able to afford. With one in 10 children in Renfrew County living in poverty, it is something which is needed to help out.

"Those are the things that our core funding doesn't cover," explains FCS executive director Arijana Haramincic. "With community support, the children receiving our services will be able to participate in those events just like everyone else in the community."

She said FCS looks at kids holistically, and if they want to help create future citizens and well rounded individuals, they need to look at other ways to support children in need, besides providing food and shelter.

Henderson agreed, saying it's important that children be involved in what they're passionate about. He said the fund is just about ready to be officially launched, having $5,500 set aside in it already. They are still working out the rest of the details on how people will be able to apply to it, who would be eligible and so forth, but it should be ready to go later this year.

As for Mardi Gras, Henderson said they raised $3,000 last year, and while they don’t have a set fundraising goal in mind, he would love it if they surpass $10,000.

The event kicks off with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Mardi Gras dinner at 7:30 p.m. The band takes the stage for the dance at 8:30 p.m. Party goers are urged to don their fanciest Mardi Gras outfits and costumes.

Tickets for the party are $60, with a partial charitable receipt provided. All funds raised will go to the I Can Play Too Fund.

Tickets can be purchased at Johnston and Mackie Inc., 10 Nelson Street, Pembroke, and tickets can also be reserved by calling 613-735-6866, extension 2032.

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