That's about the size of it! Executive Director Catherine Beaudet stretches her arms wide in happiness and gratitude as she describes the past year of events and achievements at the Quyon Maison de la Famille's annual general meeting on June 20.
From left: ED Catherine Beaudet with board members Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert and Sara-Lynn McCann.
The Maison de la Famille de Quyon (MdlFQ) continues to be a remarkable and vital mainstay in this community. In her AGM notes, Beaudet compared the Centre to a lighthouse which stands and shines over the community of Pontiac.
"We are always there to help people," she wrote. "Our activities assist families and individuals in the sea of the lives. Sometimes our help is the light in the night that allows people to find their way in difficult times."
She admitted the MdlFQ has had its fair share of storms and gray clouds this year but added "2017-18 is forecasting sunny skies and a few rainbows."
Sara McCann awarding Louann Gibeault with a certificate of appreciation for her work at the MdlFQ
This year, the Maison continued many popular projects and added a few new ones. The craft workshop evening, designed to appeal to women who need to take some creative time for themselves, had 18 participants. It runs from June to October.
Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert with a bouquet of flowers for ED, Catherine Beaudet.
A Meet and Greet event hosts 15 participants every Thursday afternoon. Community members have a place to relax and socialize with others, breaking the feeling of isolation. Occasional musical guests encourage positive energy and a sense of joie de vivre.
The Collective Kitchen initiative continues to be popular. Working with the Alliance Alimentaire des Collines, participants meet and cook meals together once per month, with daycare available for those with small children.
The Maison's second hand clothing and housewares store: a bargain-seekers paradise.
Bingo continues be a highlight, less as a fundraiser and more as an entertaining outing for members of the community. The snowsuit fund aided 34 children from 19 families last year, aided by local businesses Depanneur Marcotte, Depanneur Poirier and Desjardins Masham-Luskville.
The Back to School program, offering school supplies for 25% of the usual retail cost, was offered to 43 children from 10 families in the Municipality of Pontiac and Bristol.
Fun times await at playgroup.
The pre-school childrens' playgroup (Little Grasshoppers) has expanded to include a PD daycare service, a gym day and a monthly bilingual get-together, as well as a partnership with the municipal day camp. The baby sitting course was taken by 12 children last year and the Home Alone course (helping young people feel confident and educated about being at home without an adult) was taken by 20 youth aged eight and over.
Also new this year: The Income Tax Clinic, aiding 106 local resident s through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program; the CLIC OPEC program which helps low-income families find a refurbished desktop computer at a low cost and a vegetable market table with produce from les Jardins Educatif in Campbell's Bay.
The MdlFQ also took part in the annual Lions Club parade last year, winning best float. The Harvest Supper in October raised $1,313 for the MdlFQ.
Visit the MdlFQ: buy a second-hand book and six new old drinking glasses. Donate your used skates and DVDs. Look at the pin board, smile at your neighbours. Get involved. Lend a hand. Every person that comes through the door helps support and enrich this community. The Maison is us.
La Quyon Maison de la Famille
1074 Clarendon St., Quyon
819 458 2808
Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday.