Hundreds of Nepean students gathered together on December 2nd for the United Way Breakfast. The goal of this pancake breakfast was to raise money for the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Center, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary. This charity is dedicated to helping youth overcome substance abuse, and assuring them that they are not alone. They provide assessment, treatment and guidance to help you become sober again. A new treatment facility is being built in Carp to help them reach a larger number of people in need.
In a meaningful speech, the speaker for the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Center shared her experience with substance abuse and how it changed the course of her life. Her son was injured while playing the sport he loved, which forced him to take a break for recovery. As this was something he had loved and dedicated lots of time to, it was hard to suddenly stop. So, he turned to harmful substances as a coping mechanism and kept his struggles to himself. She spoke about how she wishes that he would have felt comfortable enough to reach out to someone, for her sake and for his. Substance abuse is detrimental to your mental and physical health, and it led both of them to experience immense amounts of guilt that they are still learning how to cope with. She joined the foundation to help struggling youth and their families since she has firsthand experience. The story was a segway into the importance of this foundation, and how even if people seem like they are doing good, you never know the true story. She encouraged people to never feel ashamed to reach out for help when they need it, instead of feeling the need to tackle these challenges alone.
So, to support and show encouragement to this charity and all those that may be going through rough times, hundreds of people involved in the Nepean High School community gathered to support this charity and learn about what it stands for.
All the food in the United Way Breakfast was provided by volunteers or business donations. The logos of all the businesses that contributed were above the buffet breakfast. Some of the businesses that generously contributed were MEC, Bridgehead, Suzy Q, and Cadmans Montreal Bagels. The cost to get into the breakfast was $12 at the door, and $10 if you bought a ticket in advance.
Seeing rows upon rows of students, parents, and teachers eating together and having a good time was incredible. It was so touching to see such a large group of people gathering together to show their support for this crucial cause. We interviewed three students that attended the 2022 United Way Breakfast and asked them to describe the event in one word. Social, chaotic, and fun were the three chosen words which properly sum up the breakfast.
With amazing musical performances from students, many tables piled with food, an auction, and hundreds of students in pajamas, this event was a great success. A message from the organizers to all those that volunteered, donated and participated to this event was,
“A big thank you to all of you for joining us this morning. We are so glad to be back having a real pancake breakfast after missing it for three years, and we are glad that you could all make it!”.
The organizers reiterated how important the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Center was, and stated how this was truly one of the most important and significant events that the school has ever done. Everyone found it meaningful, including the organizers and all attendants of the breakfast, to be surrounded by so many people supporting this event.