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Christmas, Charity, Events

East Vancouver Christmas dinner gives back to those in need

DH Vancouver Staff Dec 13, 2016 10:35 pm 228

A massive community dinner will take place at the Italian Cultural Centre in order to give back to those in need this holiday season.

The Bosa Family Foundation, the Italian Cultural Centre, and other sponsors have teamed up to host Bella Notte, which  will take place on Tuesday, December 19. The event will provide a multi-course dinner as well as family-friendly entertainment and gives to over 400 community members, including at-risk youth, vulnerable families, new immigrants, and single mothers.

“Bella Notte was inspired by the desire of our employee families to give back,” says Sylvia Bosa, Director of Philanthropy at Bosa Family Foundation in a release. “But it’s also driven by our desire to connect with people in the community and honour those who work to bridge the gaps and lessen the hardships of those who are most vulnerable.”

Bella Notte will be the first large-scale community dinner to take place in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood.

The invitation to the dinner was extended to community partners working nearby in the East Vancouver neighbourhood such as Frogs Hollow Neighbourhood House, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, CedarCottage, Bridge to Work, Vancouver Technical High School and the Food Bank.

Ana Mateesco, a counsellor at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House said the families she works with are looking forward to the dinner. “The families I work with won’t have a nice Christmas dinner at home because they can’t afford it,” Matteesco said in a release.

“But they also need  connection and entertainment. They are often isolated by their financial struggle and this kind of large-scale event, with food, music, and entertainment hasn’t been done before because there just aren’t the resources.”

Bella Notte’s organizers are hoping this inaugural event becomes an annual one.“This is the inaugural year for what we hope to be an annual event,” says Mauro Vescera, Executive Director at the Italian Cultural Centre. “We are proud of our many community partnerships, and believe this event will help usher in the spirit of the holidays for those who come out.”

DH Vancouver Staff
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