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Coffee Morning Goes International

The fifth annual Coffee Morning for Matthew’s House fundraiser was a success, raising nearly $15,000 and drawing participants from the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and as far away as England.

School and community groups, businesses, and individuals hosted events, inviting their families, friends and colleagues to join them for coffee and make a donation to Matthew’s House. Starbucks coffee was a major supporter providing free coffee to those who signed up early to host an event.

Jeanne Lachance and Penny Bailey both work for Sutton Group West Coast Realty and organized the event for their office. They invited Maggie Oleson, assistant manager for Matthew’s House, to come and share about Matthew’s House during their coffee time. They also included an extra incentive for staff by having a prize for the person who would guess how many coffee beans were in a special jar. Their Coffee Morning raised nearly $500.

“This was our first event and it went great,” Jeanne said. “We try to support community events, so I believe we could do this again next year.”

Cascade Aerospace has held Coffee Morning events for the last three years and this year raised $1500. Kathy Hocken worked with a team of volunteers who helped put on the event in the staff coffee room. They included a bake sale as part of their Coffee Morning.

“The bake sale is really popular. We are so happy with the way it went, we’ll definitely do it again.” Kathy Hocken, Cascade Aerospace

Schools also participated. At St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Victoria, the class that raised the most money for Matthew’s House was promised a Dairy Queen ice cream party. Two grade 4 classes won this privilege. The total for their school came to $1600.

“The students at St. Joseph’s worked really hard to help raise these funds for Matthew’s House,” said Michelle Cavin, special education assistant. “With posters all around the school, the kids knew what the money was for and they are already asking about doing this event for Matthew’s House next year.”

In Abbotsford, Thomas Swift Elementary School raised a whopping $2400. Mindy McCracken worked with PAC volunteers to organize the event and was thrilled with the response. Her son Austin stays at Matthew’s House and having this direct connection made the fundraiser more meaningful for those who participated.

“Having Austin come out and participate in the Coffee Morning helped the children see who benefits from this fundraiser,” she said, adding that family members also contributed to this Coffee Morning.

And in Nottingham, England, the Rushcliff Athletic Club raised $350 with their World Marathon Challenge – a continuous relay event that goes the distance of a traditional marathon. Organizer Graham Moffat made the connection with Matthew’s House when he visited Abbotsford last fall and ran in the Run for Rest fundraising event.

“Over 60 people took part in the challenge and the collection box was bulging by the end of the day,” Moffat said.

Thirty separate events took place over a week in April and together these Coffee Mornings raised nearly $15,000, the most money ever raised with this annual fundraiser.

“We are thrilled with this result. Not just the amount raised but that so many people wanted to participate and support families whose children live with special needs,” said Alan Cavin, director of resource development for Matthew’s House.


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