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Fundraising for much-needed services in Sudbury

Fundraising for much-needed services in Sudbury


My name is Bela Ravi. I came to Canada from India, in 1973. I had people knocking on my door, knowing that they had a new neighbour, to see if they could help in any way. I’d never experienced that. My first fundraiser was MacLeod Public School, where my kids went. We had a playground that wasn’t fenced. I asked friends, and went to parents and said this is a safety concern, and the board said that they would match dollar per dollar whatever I raised, and we raised enough money to put a fence. Bela Ravi is a longtime supporter of the ParkSide Centre. She sees a problem and tries to satisfy that. That’s how she actually started with the fundraisers here at the centre. She realized that the equipment in our kitchen was not satisfactory for our lunch service to our members. She approached management and said, we need to get you a convection oven, and we’re going to host a fundraiser. And that’s just what she did. The centre, when Bela first arrived here, it wasn’t doing well. Through the fundraisers that Bela and her family has hosted here, she’s really strengthened the financial position of the centre, and allowed us to have all kinds of different programs: arts and craft classes, line dancing, games, cards. Bela had come to us to provide help, had ideas and the drive to raise funds and to make the place a very different one now than it was then. If you came to Sudbury, and didn’t know Bela, you would find out who she is in a very short order of time. She’s had an impact in our city, and within our school community, and she’s a strong advocate of music. Often school boards have to make choices when it comes to budgets. Bela had approached the board, myself included, so we sat down, and she presented an idea, to say, why don’t we create a music trust? We really do feel that it’s integral that we give children those opportunities, because there’s a genuine love for music. Every time I see a school band and I hear them play, it’s been the impact of Bela. My sense of giving back comes from my mom. My mother would help anybody. It’s not always about money, you can give your time, you can give some love to somebody who needs it, you can give back in so many ways. This city, Sudbury, this is the place I live, this is where I raised my kids, what we have around us and what my girls have become is all about this city. So I want to give back to the community that has given me all this.

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