They came out in droves for much more than a cup of hot soup on a cold day.
In Stouffville on Saturday the community came to the Royal Canadian Legion by the hundreds because they care – to help bring a Syrian refugee family to the community.
That was the goal of the Stouffville Cares “Soup Day At the Legion” fundraiser, which organizer Jason Wilson called “fantastic” as he estimated the crowd could top 300.
Though Wilson couldn’t provide a definitive number on cash raised from the event, he estimated based on the $10 entry fee and donations, plus raffles and silent auction, the proceeds could wind up in the $4,000 to $5,000 range.
The event was a big hit with longtime Stouffvillians Jean and Laurie Barclay.
“When we came they were lined up right out the door, we didn’t know if we would be able to get in,” said Jean. “The whole town has come. It’s great, the community cares.”
Wilson gave credit to the 12 local restaurants that donated soups (along with coffee, tea and bread) as well as raffle prizes and auction items.
“Once you see where the family came from that is coming here (to Stouffville), your heart melts,” said Wilson about any naysayers concerned about refugees coming to the community.
“The vast majority of the good people of Stouffville have supported us,” he said.
The next Stouffville Cares fundraiser will include Wilson’s band Jason Wilson and the Perennials, George Sawa as well as others at 19 on Park.
“After today, I’m sure we’re over the $70,000 mark in fundraising,” said Wilson who said he’s been told it costs about $35,000 a year to bring a family to a community. It’s estimated a Syrian family could be in Stouffville as soon as the end of February.
Credit: Stouffville Sun-Tribune/yorkregion.com