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2008 — Community
ACTION at Baie-Comeau schools
At the Baie-Comeau Smelter, volunteering is not only contagious but induces an uncontrollable desire to do it over and over again.
Carl Martin, Section Head, Finishing and Homogenized Billets, was informed by his wife, who is secretary at the Richard de Chute-aux-Outardes primary school in the outskirts of Baie-Comeau, that the school’s library was in serious need of new equipment and books. With the ACTION and Bravo! programs gaining popularity at Baie-Comeau, Carl decided to take the challenge and organize an ACTION program for the Richard school. Close to a dozen of his colleagues showed interest in joining the fun and, along with the students’ parents and the school council, decided to hold a breakfast benefit.
On January 27, everything was set up to serve over 100 breakfasts. Polyphone, a choir of young songbirds led by Carl’s sister, provided the soundtrack for the morning’s activities. The Martin family is, most assuredly, a very resourceful and generous bunch. All of the profits from the initiative, along with a $3,000 contribution from the Alcoa Foundation through the ACTION program, went to revamping the library and increasing its collection.
This success prompted Carl Martin to do it again! The park at the Monseigneur Bélanger School in Baie-Comeau needed some major renovations. The entire community jumped on board to help. The City of Baie-Comeau park services group created a new management plan for the school’s park, and proceeded to install new facilities after the municipal road crew had completed the required excavation work. And the school didn’t have to pay a cent! But there were still some expenses incurred for landscaping and new equipment: soccer goals, basketball hoops, swing sets… for a total of $25,000.
The entire community put their heart into the initiative, with the Caisse populaire Desjardins de Hauterive donating $10,000. Carl and a dozen coworkers from the smelter decided to organize a second ACTION program. Teaming up once again with a group of parents, they will transform themselves into waiters next January to serve a spaghetti dinner where more than 150 people are expected to turn out for a good meal – and a great cause. All of the profits from this lively activity, and the contribution from the Alcoa Foundation, will be donated to the new school park, which is already being enjoyed by nearly 200 children.
Organizing benefit dinners for good causes. What a great way to show that the best way to get to people’s hearts is through their stomachs!