Community "School's Out for Summer" Barbecue Another Club Success
The second annual community barbecue was held on Thursday June 25, 2015 at the Rotary Playground located in Nor'West Optimist Park, next to Emily Carr Elementary School on Hawthorne Ave.  The weather was perfect with sun and a gentle breeze for the 15+ volunteers and over 400 members of the community who joined us for free hotdogs, hamburgers and sausages generously donated by the new Farm Boy store located on Beaverbrook Ave. 
Dave & Rachelle (NWLRC) hand out the hamburgers, hotdogs and sausages to the community
Steve, Lillian, Josh Morgan (Ward 7 City Councilor), Neil, Myung Joon, & Dave spell out Rotary

The purpose for the barbecue was to help strengthen the local community while providing us with the opportunity to give back to our community.  This was the second time we have held this event, with the first time being the occasion of the grand opening of the playground in 2014. 

Plaque commemorating the playground equipment installed in June 2014 

Last year we organized and implemented the barbecue on our own with support from the City of London and it was successful, although we did run out of the 240 hotdogs within 30 minutes.  This year we increased our commitment by collaborating with the North West London Resource Centre and receiving invaluable support from Farm Boy, Tim Hortons, City of London, and West London Alliance Church. 


George, a volunteer from West London Alliance Church, "hams" it up for the camera

This was a truly community event as it was initiated by our club but organized jointly with the North West London Resource Centre.  Farm Boy (1415 Beaverbrook Ave. store) was especially generous as it donated all of the meat (150 hotdogs; 150 hamburger patties; and, 150 sausages) and buns.  Tim Hortons (Sherwood Forest Mall store) donated coffee and Tim Bits and the City of London provided drink boxes.  The Sherwood Forest Branch of the London Public Library also set-up a table to promote their summer programming.  We had several volunteers from the Rotary club of London Hyde Park (thank you: Barb, Lillian, Neil, David, Mike, Steve; & Myung Joon) ; North West London Resource Centre; West London Alliance Church; and, the City of London.  The two barbecues (along with a volunteer to help with the grilling of the meat) were provided by the West London Alliance Church. 


David, Steve & Neil stuffing hotdogs, hamburgers & sausages into the buns

While there were some concerns regarding the weather (the forecast had predicted rain in the afternoon), the weather was perfect with sunshine and a light breeze.  The theme for the barbecue was “Schools Out for Summer” to coincide with the final dismissal for the students of Emily Carr Elementary School as they began their summer vacation.  This was coordinated through the Principal, Matthew Chevalier, who sent out the notification of the barbecue earlier in the week.  As a result, we served over 400 students and parents between 3:30 pm and 4:50 pm.  There was a “picnic” atmosphere even though there were long line-ups for the food.  Volunteers would often walk up and down the line offering Tim Bits or sausages to those waiting.  The children played on the playground equipment while the parents relaxed and chatted with each other.  Some brought blankets to relax on the ground.


Adults and children lining up for free hotdog, hamburger or sausage

It was a lot of work organizing the event but without the support and enthusiasm from Rachelle Coleman, Executive Director of the North West London Resource Centre and Gilles Blais, General Manager of Farm Boy (Beaverbrook Ave. store) this community event would not have happened. or be as successful.  Hopefully, next year we can engage additional community groups to continue building our local community.