Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Nurturing community at R.H. Smith

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The students at Robert H. Smith School want to nurture your body and your community spirit with their annual charity breakfast on March 1.


Around 1000 people are expected to pack the gym for the breakfast. All the money raised this year will go to the Children’s Wish Foundation.


Every year, the Grade 6 students research local charities and give presentations on their favourites. They then vote on which charity will receive the funds. The selected charity gives a presentation to the whole school, informing them about its work.


The whole process is designed to engage the students with their community, said principal Tom Rossi.


"I really believe, when it comes to educating kids, you have to educate them globally," he said.
"That means you educate kids about your school, your community, the city, the province, the world. And it’s also about teaching kids how to give."


This will be the 21st breakfast Rossi has organized, his sixth at Robert H. Smith. Last year’s breakfast raised $12,000 for Winnipeg Harvest. The one before that raised $20,000 for CancerCare Manitoba.


"Doing it for a long time, I do have my contacts, and they’re willing to come out and participate," said Rossi.


One of those contacts is Joe Aiello, host of the Joe Show on 102.3 Clear FM, who will be broadcasting live from the event.


"(Joe’s) been supporting me for about the past 15 years," Rossi said.


Other expected guests include current and past members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg police chief Devon Clunis, and Mayor Sam Katz. Breakfast Television and CTV Morning Live will also be there.


"I think that it’s great that (the students) have the opportunity to actually determine the charity that they would like," said Cat Ross, fundraising coordinator for Children’s Wish Foundation.
"Especially because they have the chance to research the different organizations as well, so they get a sense of what we’re doing, what it means to them."


Ross said the foundation doesn’t receive any government funding, so it relies on community events such as the breakfast to support its work.


"I’m super excited to see it and I’ve heard about how successful it’s been," she said.


The breakfast starts at 6:45 a.m. and goes until 9:30 a.m. It costs $5 per person or $20 for a family.


You’ll get pancakes made by the Pancake House, yogurt donated by Safeway, apple wedges from McDonald’s, cappuccino from DeLuca’s and Tim Horton’s coffee.


Students will provide the entertainment with their RHS Idol competition, with singing, dancing, and playing instruments. The Kelvin High School band will also perform. There will also be an "extravagant" silent auction.


During the breakfast, there will be activities throughout the school, including a jumping pit and nail painting (blue and yellow, the school’s colours). Massages and hair cuts will also be provided for donations.

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