By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
One of Dundas’ most respected family businesses issued a community support challenge to their Valley Town neighbours, Monday.
Theresa Picone, of Picone Fine Foods at 34 King St. W. in Downtown Dundas, is calling on her fellow business owners to match the store’s $500 contribution to the Dundas Central School Community Park project – in memory of their mother Elsie, who died last week.
Anyone can help support the project, which will rejuvenate the Melville Street school’s practically unusable field into a naturalized play area with a sports field and interpretative wetland intended to solve ongoing drainage issues while offering new educational opportunities.
The Picone family is offering one of their front window displays to promote the project and highlight a different park component every couple of weeks, which passersby and customers can donate to.
“Dundas Central School is an integral part of the town,” Picone said. “We believe a community should give back to its own.”
Extolling the virtues of an inspiring community, she said the people here must work to preserve and protect all the elements that make it a special place to live and work – including the prosperous small businesses downtown, and local schools.
And for the well-known Picone family, now in its third generation operating the historic 98-year-old business, it’s a given that local business should support community projects like that proceeding at the school just blocks away from the downtown core.
“We couldn’t receive if we aren’t giving,” Theresa said. “I think people in Dundas recognize that.”
She credited Dundas Central principal Barry Morlog with doing everything possible to protect the historic school, and insure continued school board investment in maintenance and improvements.
And she credited Dundas Central Home and School Association president Michelle Chin for her hard work on behalf of parents and the community.
Morlog and Chin were both on hand Monday morning to receive Picone’s $500 cheque towards the park project.
“It’s what we were taught as children. You have to contribute,” Theresa said.
Scheduled for a groundbreaking on Earth Day, April 22, the natural park project is designed and overseen by local resident Adam Bienenstock of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds.
Anyone is welcome to drop into the store and bring a cheque towards the effort.
More information is available at: friendsofdundascentral.yolasite.com/
“My mother would have done this if I didn’t,” Theresa said. “We would like to dedicate this effort to the memory our mother, Elsie Picone, who was always so community-minded and instilled this value in us, the third generation of Picones in Dundas.”