by Brad Aubin
Hundreds of people came out to support the West Nipissing Community Kitchen, as well as the Serré family last Wednesday, July 17, for the 2nd annual Gaëtan Serré Butterfly Release held at the Minnehaha Bay amphitheater.
The event, which came to fruition last year when the late Gaëtan Serré’s wife, Jeannine, partnered with Linda Lafantaisie Renaud, Director of the Horizon Women’s Centre, to raise funds for the WN Community Kitchen while honouring Serré’s legacy of community service. This year, the event raised over $5,000 through the sale of butterflies at $30 apiece. All those who bought the live butterflies gathered at the bay to release them all at once and watch them fly away – though some lingered for quite awhile as young and old admired them.
It was an emotional evening, with beautiful weather, the setting sun, the scenic view over the river all lending to the celebratory ambiance. For many, the butterflies symbolized a lost member of their family or close friend.
Jeannine Serré addressed the crowd flanked by her daughter Lynn Gervais and son Marc Serré. “This is a way for us to recognize the rich heritage that Gaëtan left us; his knowledge, generosity, and comprehension. Gaëtan was a fighter, and fought for social justice for everyone. By being here today, you are all ambassadors for that vision - to help the less fortunate in our society, and defend that social justice. Thank you all for supporting the fundraiser for the community kitchen, for all the volunteers who make this a stand out success!”
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