Last year’s International Women’s Day breakfast, hosted by Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, raised about $1,600.
On Friday, a month away from this year’s event, Bond dispersed those funds, half going to a special project honouring a fallen soldier and and half going to a local service organization that helps women in India.
Bond presented $800 to Shobha Sharma of the Our Satya Foundation and $800 to Colleen Fitzpatrick, mother of Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick, who was killed in Afghanistan. Both were speakers at last year’s International Women’s Day breakfast.
“Colleen spoke (at the breakfast) and I can tell you there wasn’t a dry eye in the place as she shared the story of her son’s commitment to our country,” said Bond. “And then it was a real honour to meet Shobha Sharma … who through her own personal experience Shobha decided she needed to support women in India and focus on maternal and infant health care in India.”
The funds will go towards the installation of a plaque in Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park that will memorialize Corporal Darren Fitzpatrick, who stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in the Zahari district, near Kandahar City on March 6, 2010. The plaque was originally donated by CP Rail.
The funds will also go towards Our Satya Foundation which supports women in positions of distress, poverty, and unequivocal socio-economic and political conditions. This donation will engage women in rural India in programming around education, empowerment and health and wellness.
“It was a pleasure to participate in the event and to spend time and engage with the truly inspirational women in our community,” said Fitzpatrick. “I would like to thank Shirley Bond and the Ramada Hotel for the donation toward the Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park. The installation of the memorial plaque will further support the parks vision of remembering our veterans, their contribution and bravery.”
“I am always humbled by the fortitude of the women Our Satya serves, in dealing with often overwhelming challenges,” said Sharma. “During events such as this, with the genuine support of our local community, we as members of this community gain further inspiration to contribute as local and global citizens. My sincerest gratitude to Shirley Bond and the Ramada for spearheading initiatives that educate, inspire, and encourage our individual and collectives calls to action.”
The Ramada Plaza Prince George co-sponsors the event every year and proceeds from the 2018 event will go to the following:
“We take our role as a member of the community very seriously and it is a pleasure to support women who make Prince George a special place,” said Ramada Plaza Prince George general manager Arlene DeWilde. “It is our wish to attract even more people to this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day coming up on March 1.
“Each year we hold the International Women’s Day event to recognize some of the inspirational women who live and contribute in our community and beyond,” said Bond. “It is wonderful to be able to make these financial contributions on behalf of everyone who attended last year’s breakfast and because of the partnership we have with the Ramada.”
This year’s event will be held on Friday March 1st at the Ramada Plaza Prince George. Doors open at 7 a.m. and breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are on sale new and are $30 each. You can purchase your tickets through Laura in the Ramada Sales Office (250) 561-5685 or at the door.