More than 150 people attended the Dispensary’s annual members’ meeting and Great 140th Anniversary Reunion on June 10 at the Sofitel Montréal Golden Mile Hotel, where guests were entertained by the Parminou theatre troupe throughout the lively and colourful evening. Jean-Marc Demers, president of the Dispensary’s Board of Administrators, and Jackie Demers, executive director of the organization, shared the honour of reviewing the 2018-2019 fiscal year and highlighting the contributions of all involved (board members, staff and various committees as well as donors, partners and volunteers) in achieving the positive results that were obtained.
A Few Highlights from 2018-2019
- We updated our vision and mission and drafted our 2018-2022 strategic plan.
- We provided 831 pregnant women in vulnerable situations (e.g. women in difficult socioeconomic circumstances, women with precarious immigration status, psychoactive substance users, Aboriginal women) and their families with social nutrition services, either at Agnes C. Higgins House or on the premises of our partner organizations (community outreach).
- In addition to providing direct support in the form of 5,116 individual consultations and 230 group workshops, the Dispensary continued to define and standardize its social nutrition practices and increase its regional contributions to promote the well-being of families and create conditions to foster the optimal, healthy development of children.
- Through fundraising activities (benefit events/fundraising drives), spontaneous donations and planned giving, we raised $537,466.
- To read our 2018-2019 Report to the Community, click here.
- To view our March 31, 2019 financial statements, click here.
140 Years : Forever young!
Throughout the evening, members of the Parminou theatre troupe brought important moments of the Dispensary’s history to life and lauded its 140th anniversary by frequently chanting a rhyming jingle that, loosely translated from French, proclaimed: 140 years! Isn’t that impressive? And still in the service of children, with the heart of a child! Those in attendance were fortunate enough to see comeback appearances by Agnes C. Higgins and Marie-Paule Duquette, both of whom were portrayed by members of the acting troupe.
Cathy Wong, councillor for the Peter-McGill district and president of the Montreal municipal council, made an excellent speech in which she described the role the Dispensary has played in the community for so many years and, more specifically, the organization’s impact on the future of each child who has been born healthy as a result of the services provided. Ms. Wong also wished the Dispensary a happy anniversary and promised to attend some of our celebratory activities, specifically the next edition of the Défi sportif and the Baby Race on October 19, 2019.
To view our 140th anniversary events calendar, click here.
The Inaugural Agnes C. Higgins Awards
The evening of Monday, June 10 also marked the occasion of the Montreal Diet Dispensary’s inaugural Agnes C. Higgins Awards ceremony. The awards were created to recognize individuals, groups or companies who have made significant contributions toward the achievement of the Dispensary’s mission and to the well-being of vulnerable pregnant women, their newborns and their family members. The tagline for the awards is: Nurturing the future, one pregnant woman, one newborn and one family at a time.
- The Agnes C. Higgins Tribute Award was presented to Marie-Paule Duquette, who was executive director of the Dispensary for 33 years (1981-2013).
- The Agnes C. Higgins Social Nutrition Award was presented to Hélène Laurendeau, a nutritionist and broadcaster who is well-known for advocating healthy, varied eating habits for all.
- The Agnes C. Higgins Business Award was presented to Sean Finn, executive vice-president of Corporate Services and chief legal officer at CN, as well as to CN, for their remarkable financial contributions over the past few years.
- To find out more about the Agnes C. Higgins Awards and the 2019 recipients, click here.
A New President and New Board Members
At the very end of the evening, outgoing president Jean-Marc Demers had the pleasure of introducing Isabelle Bonneau, the newly appointed president of the Board of Administrators of the Dispensary.
For the upcoming year, the Board of Administrators is composed as follows:
President: Isabelle Bonneau, Vice-President: Francine Martel, Secretary: Dr. Jean-Marie Moutquin, Treasurer: Vacant.
Administrators: Astrid Bicamumpaka Shema, Élizabeth Gauthier (as of July 12, 2019), Zeina Khalifé, Annie Langlois, Jocelyne Pinsonneault (as of July 4, 2019), Mélanie Sirois, Isabelle Tremblay (as of July 4, 2019) and Pascale Valois.