Fundraiser to support N2N tutoring program goes city-wide
Neighbour to Neighbour Centre is hoping bars, restaurants and coffee shops across Hamilton will come on board.
The west Mountain centre has announced Raising the Bar for Kids, a fundraiser for Neighbour to Neighbour’s Kids Can Succeed volunteer tutoring program that began 10 years ago this fall and has helped improve the reading skills of more than 1,600 Mountain youngsters.
Deban Brunette, education program manager at Neighbour to Neighbour, said the new fundraising initiative runs from September to June and replaces the Mountain Pub Challenge that ran during the spring and summer months the past four years.
“It’s not a challenge any more,” said Brunette, who noted they are looking for venues who will commit to holding one fundraising event for the tutoring program during the school year.
“If they want to do it through the whole school year that would be wonderful, but we’re just asking them to sign on for one event,” she said.
Last year the pub challenge raised $17,000 with seven bars participating.
This year, Brunette said they would like to have at least 14 participants and hopefully raise $20,000.
The Ale House on Upper Gage is one popular venue that is taking part.
Owner Paulette Trembelt noted the establishment was a big participant in the pub challenge when it was known as Cagney’s.
“We used to do the bar challenge and we had a lot of fun doing it,” Trembelt said. “We’re going to do it all year.”
Trembelt said they are currently selling Nevadat ickets in support of Neighbour to Neighbour and they plan to hold 50/50 draws, a softball game and other events through the school year.
Brunette said they are also looking for a volunteer events manager to oversee the Raising the Bar for Kids initiative.
“It’s a pro bono position, there’s no money,” said Brunette, who noted the manager will work with all of the participating venues and solicit new ones.
“We would love to have somebody who has a social media background, who understands the hospitality business,” Brunette said.
She said the position would require a about 10 hours a month and would be ideal for someone who has retired from the hospitality industry, a current bartender or server who has the time to commit or a young person looking to get into the event planning business and who would like some hands-on experience.
“If they’re already involved in the industry and they are comfortable speaking with bar owners and staff and finding that champion at each of the bars to get involved, that’s the person we’re looking for,” said Brunette, who wants to have events manager in place by Labour Day.
Anyone interested in the events manager job or any bar, restaurant or coffee shop interested in taking part in Raising the Bar for Kids, should contact Brunette at 905-574-1334 ext. 204 or via email at: email@example.com.
The tutors will be heading back to Mountain elementary schools in October and Brunette said the number schools using the program will grow from 12 to 14 in January.
She noted it costs about $7,000 per school to run the tutoring program and they have eight more schools on their waiting list.
Brunette said the program is transferable and they are willing to share it with any social agency in the lower city that sees a need for a tutoring initiative at an elementary school in their community.