Year in review

It’s that time of year…activities wind down so that one can relax and enjoy the sunshine!
It was only a few short months ago that I was standing up on a bus in front of WFIM members & guests saying my first welcome speech!   As the new chair of the board for WFIM, I’ve learned a lot in this past year about our organization, and I’ve gotten to know so many of our members.   We’ve had some changes in the board during the year, and many of us were new in our positions, so there was a rather large learning curve.   We had some issues with the website, but I’m happy to say that our marketing team, led by Michelle shebib, has the new website almost already to launch!
Our events team Bren de Leeuw, Mariana Macocei, and newcomer Brenda Seto have executed many great events this year…starting with our day trip to Niagara on the lake visiting a Chocolate F/X factory and Pilliteri Estates winery.  We had a great networking event with our own Donna Messer. Mary Jezerinac & Nadine Farran-Gatti executed our annual round table leadership academy, and plans are already well underway for the 2014 Academy.  December’s gala dinner featuring Ashley Chapman was our largest event ever- with 180 attendees.   We supported our membership with a health event in January featuring Leah Warner, developed our membership with a leadership event featuring Vanessa Judelman in March, and inspired our membership with street food and a fantastic tour of Griffith laboratories in April.    Our golf tournament at Eagles Nest, executed by Sanja Kivac, our golf chair, was a fantastic day of networking and golf.  To end our year, we had a wonderful dinner, followed by an inspiring presentation from Rose Reisman on the Art of Living Well.
I’d also like to note that our sponsors and members have supported great causes this year.   Between a turkey drive, raffles and donations, we have raised over $6000 for Second Harvest, and through sponsoring a participant in the culinary showdown, speaker  honorariums and a raffle at the June Gala, we have donated over $1000 to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
I am very pleased with WFIM’s success this year.  I would like to thank all of the volunteers on the board – I wasn’t able to name you all in this speech, but you have been invaluable to me and our membership.   As well, big thanks to all of the volunteers at all of our events who help make them successful.  Finally, big thanks to our sponsors who support us financially to make all these good things happen.
Looking into 2014-15, we already have great events lined up:  a special Volunteer Appreciation night in September, Chef John Placko in October, Academy in November, and another Gala Dinner in December to get us going.
I’d also like to announce the newly renovated Scholarship program!  This award will honor a female graduating student from a recognized post-secondary program in the food industry.  Keep an eye on our website for application instructions.
Have a safe & wonderful summer!  See you at an event in the fall.
Nancy Klassen
WFIM Chair

2014 Nine & Dine Golf Tournament a Success!

While the weather might have been a bit cold and drizzly, over 100 golfers took to the course at Eagles Nest Golf Course in Maple, ON on Tuesday May 20th.  And the helicopter was able to take off to fly over the 18th hole & drop our lucky golf balls as we watched from the balcony of the Great Hall.   Then we enjoyed networking and a fabulous meal!

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped in the planning & execution of the event.   Your time & energy is much appreciated by all who attended.

Thank you to everyone who donated items for the swag bag – they were chock full of exciting products! Thanks to everyone who donated prizes for the charity raffle.  And finally, thank you to all of the sponsors of the tournament.   With 20% of the sponsorship fees and 100% of the raffle ticket sales going to Second Harvest, we raised $3850, which turns into 7700 meals for Toronto’s hungry families.   What a success!


Nancy Klassen

WFIM Chair

Lets Talk Turkey

What did the lady in the Turkey Suit say to the Loblaws shopper?

“Donate a Turkey to Second Harvest so everyone can Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!”

Hunger isn’t a laughing matter and that is why WFIM volunteers joined Second Harvest’s Turkey Drive. WFIM created two teams of volunteers to work on two weekends this December inviting Loblaws shoppers to purchase and donate a frozen turkey which would be put immediately onto the Second Harvest Truck to be distributed to one of more than 215 community agencies in the GTA area.

On Sunday Dec. 9th at the Loblaws at 2280 Dundas Street, a team of six wonderful women and men could be found all dressed up in turkey costumes and funny hats inviting people to donate. With a goal of 25 turkey donations, the team doubled the expectation and were able to get 54 turkeys donated and over $300 in cash.

With a second date of Sun. Dec. 15th at Loblaws at 380 East Mall, and a goal of 115 turkeys, we invite everyone to shop there and help us help Second Harvest.

Second harvest is WFIM’s Charity of Choice. This year at our Holiday Gala we raised $2,665.00 through ticket sales for our raffle prizes which were all donated by our members. With the addition of our speaker Ashley Chapman’s honorarium, and a top up from the WFIM Board of Directors, we donated $2,800.00. This equals a total of 5,600 meals that will feed hungry and needy people during this holiday season. Click here to see the Second Harvest donation breakdown.

WFIM recognizes the great work that Second Harvest does providing 20,000 meals a day to children in breakfast programs, seniors on fixed incomes, women fleeing domestic abuse, psychiatric survivors, homeless people and many others who have fallen on hard times. Since 1985 they have rescued and delivered more than 90 million pounds of food.

The Turkey Drive is a food-raising campaign which began in 2003. Since its inception they have raised 52,723 Turkeys. The goal for 2013 is to collect 5,000 turkeys.

This year, when you are shopping for gifts for your loved ones, and thinking of your own Christmas dinner, please take a moment to give back, either to Second Harvest or to your own Charity of Choice and try to make someone else who doesn’t have as much as we do a little more comfortable over the Christmas season. And don’t forget to join us Sunday, December 15th, at Loblaws at 380 East Mall and donate a turkey that day.

Merry Christmas from WFIM.