Friday, June 12, 2009

Operation Go Home graduation and...a plea for funds!

To all Ottawa business owners - there is an opportunity for a free breakfast! Operation Go Home is hosting their annual Breakfast On The Rideau at the Courtyard restaurant 7:30 next Thursday. Dave Smith is involved, serving up a terrific breakfast, and there will be guest speakers and a few of the success stories to come out of Operation Go Home in recent years. I'll be there too - not that my presence sweetens the breakfast any - doing the show live from the Courtyard. We have had some success this year convincing potential donors to attend the event, but less than in previous years. Which means we're taking late registrations, and you can do so through me at

The event will be two things - first, a fundraiser. And second, a big media event where the new direction of Operation Go Home will be unveiled. I believe that's all I can say about that for now. The funds raised will go toward programs like the Achievement Centre, which provides the homeless kids of Ottawa a place to take courses, learn skills, and in many cases graduate. I just attended, yesterday, a graduation ceremony at St. Brigid's church downtown, beside OGH. About ten kids were there, receiving diplomas and certificates for the completion of courses and some for graduating high school. School officials from Lester B. Pearson and elsewhere were in attendance, creating a celebratory atmosphere.

And it really is a celebration - first of all, these kids don't get a prom when they graduate from high school. They just get the satisfaction of having done so, and a leg up in life. But for someone in these circumstances - no family support, no money whatsoever, sometimes abject poverty and sometimes substance abuse problems - to actually graduate high school is no small feat. It really is a bigger deal than it was for, say, me to graduate high school. All I had to do was show up in order to graduate. These kids have to fight just to show up at all. But with the help of the dedicated volunteers, and teachers, and tutors who work in the Operation Go Home classroom, many youth are able to succeed in this daunting task. And it's through donations from the community that such things are able to be done. So come on out for a free breakfast next Thursday! You know, if you're one of those corporate types.

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