April 6, 2009)
turnout for 40th edition of Cumberland Lions Maplefest
Judy MacDonald (right) and Marie Ratajczak serve up a plate of pancakes and sausages
during the 40th annual Cumberland Lions Maplefest on Saturday.
whats become an east end tradition of epic proportions, hundreds of maple
syrup lovers turned out for the 40th annual Cumberland Lions Maplefest last weekend,
devouring over 1,000 pancakes, 1,800 sausages and gallons of maple syrup and orange
the maple syrup devotees who dropped by the Maple Hall for the first day of Maplefest
was Marcele Bissonnette, whose late husband Réne was a charter member of
the Cumberland Lions and helped organize the very first Cumberland Maplefest some
40 years ago.
has been to all 40 Maplefest weekends which have turned into an annual reunion
of sorts for current and former Cumberland Village residents.
the whole community together and even people from outside the community,
says Marcele who has eaten too many pancakes to count over the years.
of the events biggest fans, both literally and figuratively, is Cumberland
Ward Coun. Rob Jellett who dropped by the Maple Hall on Saturday to take advantage
of the all-you-can-eat breakfast with his wife Susan.
theres food Jelletts here, the Cumberland Ward councillor joked.
But seriously, its just a great event. I mean look at all the people
here. Its a great event for the Lions, its a great fundraiser and
its one of the things that makes Cumberland so special.
Walker took over as the chair of the Lions Maplefest in 1991 and hes been
organizing it ever since with a lot of help from his fellow Cumberland Lions as
well as a handful of members from the Gloucester North Lions Club.
is this event so important? Its very important in bringing all the Lions
together and it' important in terms of the amount of money we raise and
all the groups it benefits, says Walker.
year, the event raised over $3,500 that went to a variety of organizations and
initiatives including the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre,
the Alzheimers Society, the Ottawa Food Bank and various Lions International
aside from raising thousands of dollars for great causes, what makes the Cumberland
Maplefest so successful is the opportunity it gives people to get out of their
houses after a long winter and gather for a couple of hours to reacquaint themselves
with their neighbours.
Eggert and Florence Edwards have both been coming to the Maplefest for years,
and while they loved the pancakes and the maple syrup its getting to spend
time with each other and their friends that makes the event so special.
just love it, says Edwards. You get to see so many familiar faces
and a lot of people bring their children. Its become a real family event.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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