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100 Strong benefits planning council's emergency fund

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | May 22, 2014 - 2:11 PM |
Apollo Restaurant owner Toula Sakalaris, right, makes a donation at the 100 Strong event May 14. The  Social Planning Council of Sudbury's emergency fund received a $10,000 donation as a result. Photo by amandawhitephotography.com.

Apollo Restaurant owner Toula Sakalaris, right, makes a donation at the 100 Strong event May 14. The Social Planning Council of Sudbury's emergency fund received a $10,000 donation as a result. Photo by amandawhitephotography.com.

Sudburians have 'generous hearts,' organizer says

Thanks to the second annual 100 Strong event May 14, the Social Planning Council of Sudbury's emergency fund received a $10,000 donation.

One hundred people converged on Tom Davies Square, each with a cheque for $100. Each participant nominated a local charity, and the charities were entered into a draw.


Five ballots were drawn, and the people who nominated a charity each had five minutes to convince the group to vote for their charity.

Social Planning Council of Sudbury Executive Director Janet Gasparini was the one who nominated her organization's emergency fund, which allows people to access small grants that make a difference in their lives.

During the event, Gasparini gave the example of a young mother whose baby had thrush and was unable to drink milk.

The planning council's emergency fund provided the $47 it cost to buy medication to cure the baby's condition, as the mother couldn't afford it herself.

“The next day, the mother called, and was so grateful,” said 100 Strong organizer Anna Maria Barsanti. “She said 'You have no idea. My baby can drink again. It's going away.' (Gasparini) was actually in tears when she told us this story.”

Barsanti said she got the idea for 100 Strong from a book, and thought it was a great idea, as it's a quick, easy way to raise $10,000 for a local charity.

The inaugural 100 Strong event in 2013 actually surpassed its fundraising goal, bringing in more than $11,000 for the Greater Sudbury Police Service Chief's Youth Initiative Fund.

“I believe it's because the citizens of Greater Sudbury have generous hearts and souls, that's why something like this can happen,” Barsanti said. “People leave feeling good, and knowing ... our own citizens, our people, are going to benefit.”

Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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