LA BELLA VITA
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On November 9th, I attended a Caritas School of Life charity event for addiction and mental health at Cavallino Wine Bar host by the 9-year-old Matthew Newman and his 12-year-old co-host Sofia Esposito. It was a packed event filled with attendees that showed nothing but love and support for this local cause. The event welcomed some inspirational speakers from the program and also the legendary Toronto Maple Leaf goalie, Mike Palmateer who was available for pictures and autographs in support of Caritas.
After the event, I had the opportunity to talk to Matthew about his involvement in this charity. His parents are strong believers in giving back and after discussing and researching several options, Matthew decided on a smaller more unknown organization that really needed attention. He was able to fully commit to his decision after meeting a 13-year-old boy by the name of Nick who suffered from a drug addiction and was in the process of successfully completing the program at Caritas. Meeting a young boy with such a serious addiction was an eye opener for Matthew who decided that he wanted to bring light to other youths that addiction can happen to anyone at any age. Matthew gets involved in Caritas through an annual CHIN Telethon, Gala and started his own event that is now in its second year. This year’s event raised a whopping $7,100 and he hopes to continue to grow this number to $10,000 next year. It was encouraging to see many young people in attendance, and I think that it is important to be open an honest with our children about addiction and mental health and take away the stigma associated with it. Matthew’s goal is to continue to spread awareness of Caritas through classroom reach-out initiatives and through a social media campaign that he will be launching.
Thank you, Matthew and Sofia, for your commitment and support in this important initiative that is, Caritas School of Life.
To learn more about Caritas or to donate, please visit their website at http://caritas.ca