It was lunchtime, and community members in New Hamburg couldn’t wait to grab a bite at the popular Poor Boy’s Luncheon on Sept. 26.
The annual fundraiser is hosted by the Wilmot Family Resource Centre and this year, the event celebrated 25 years.
“It’s always a success,” says Trisha Robinson, executive director at the Wilmot Family Resource Centre. “It’s a community event which not only supports our agency, but it also allows community members to connect and reconnect, to see old friends.”
About 800 plates were served in support of the centre. “So many people from the community come to the luncheon. It’s like breaking bread. Everyone gets together to talk and network,” Robinson said.
The meal traditionally includes hot dogs, pork and beans, apples, coffee, punch and live music.
Every year, meals are served from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm and again from 5 PM – 7:30 pm. Community members can purchase tickets in advance or at the door.
“About 26 years ago, a committee came together to create a fundraiser and today everyone knows it. They just know the name,” Robinson said.
The Poor Boy’s Luncheon is the largest annual fundraiser for corporate/sponsor donations to fund multiple programs offered by Wilmot Family Resource Centre. It has been held annually on the fourth Thursday in September.
Funds raised support programming and services for people living in Wilmot and Wellesley townships.
Wilmot Family Resource Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1980.
It continues to be a leading provider of social support services to low-income and food-insecure families and individuals, while understanding the needs of the community and the unique challenges of delivering support services to residents in rural areas.
The Centre continues to respond to the needs of individuals and families within Wilmot and Wellesley communities through resident-centered planning and the provision of innovative programs, services and supports.
There are a variety of programs and services available including early years programming, employment and financial services, family violence prevention, food bank, parenting and family support and summer and youth programming.
Students from Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School also continue to take part in helping raise funds at the Poor Boy’s Luncheon. For every $2 raised, students hang a poster on the community centre wall displaying a “community hug”. And the walls were covered with hugs.
“We raised about $759.69,” said Jayda Erb, a student at the high school and member of the student council “charities” group.
“We are helping the community and we are in the community, so we want to reach out,” said fellow student, Marina Wheaton.
About 50 volunteers made the event another success this year.
“We have such a super community. They are all so supportive. We could not do this without the support from our volunteers,” Robinson said.
“People are so invested in the community. And they just keep coming back.”