Miltonians got a taste of Italy August 12, 2018 at the Italian Canadian Club of Milton (ICCM). It was the venue for the sixth annual ItaliaFest fundraiser organized by the Lizzi family, owners of Larose Bakery. This year’s proceeds were going to support the Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK).

The move was motivated by an increase in size. “We kind of wanted to have more Italian influence. What better place to do it than with the Italian Club in Milton? Sal Lizzi explained. The fundraiser was previously held in the parking lot in front of the bakery’s Bronte St. location. The ICCM is located at 104 Tremaine Rd in Milton. The 16 acre property holds the hall, an adjacent house, bocce courts, and land sloping up into the escarpment. The warm, breezy afternoon brought to mind images of Italy

Food, and drink were available outside at stations on the patio. A stage was set-up in one corner for live entertainment, with chairs lined up. A beer garden was set up selling local beer. Inside the hall were craft tables for kids, and card games for adults, as well as a cool place to sit. One attendee identified only as John visited for his first time supporting family and friends who have used The ROCK’s services. “It brings people close. It draws people together, and makes them aware of what’s going on around them” he said.

The Rock provides mental health services for children and youth up until the age of 17 in the region of Halton. Campaign Manager Stephanie Wilsack feels that fundraisers like ItaliaFest are important to breaking the stigma. “This gives people the freedom to speak. We’ve got lots of information that people are coming, and taking home with them.” Information took the form of brochures and pamphlets. “People feel confident when they come to these events, see that it’s not a frightening thing,” she explained. Services offered include a 24 hour crisis line, and walk-in therapy clinics. “We want them to know that it’s okay to talk,” Wilsack said. For more information on the Reach Out Centre for Kids visit www.rockonline.ca. For more information on the ICCM visit: www.iccm.ca
Photos by: Sarah Arfan

Laura Steiner
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