11-year-old Elmdale student helps raise funds for Parkdale Food Centre

Photo and story By Matthew Horwood

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Grade 6 Elmdale Public School student, the Parkdale Food Centre (PFC) is getting closer to purchasing two new urgently needed ovens.

Kylie Hollingsworth, 11, will be selling toques in order to help raise some of the necessary funds the charity needs.

Kylie Hollingsworth, 11, shows off the toques she is selling to raise funds for the Parkdale Food Centre.
Kylie Hollingsworth, 11, shows off the toques she is selling to raise funds for the Parkdale Food Centre. Matthew Horwood photo

According to Deb Abbott, Chair of the Board of Directors for PFC, the ovens are expected to cost between $3,500 and $4,000 each, not including the costs associated with their installation and related electrical upgrades.

Abbot said PFC will receive $3,000 from a sponsor, but needs to fundraise for the remaining amount. She also said their current ovens are “not reliable” and will need to be replaced this year.

This is not the first time Kylie has volunteered to help PFC. Every fall, she helps raise awareness for the charity by placing flyers in mailboxes around her neighborhood, and for the past few years her AA Hockey Team ran a food drive for PFC.

When Kylie learned that her hockey team would not be doing a food drive for PFC this year – they are doing a bake sale for seniors – she reached out directly to PFC to see how she could still help. That’s when she learned about the ovens.

“They try to keep the food healthy – not just packaged, artificial stuff. Usually that means they have to cook it, so they need a stove,” Kylie said. “It feels really good doing healthy stuff – and they’re really nice people – so I wanted to help.”

Kylie reasoned that given the freezing weather, selling toques would be the best way to raise money. And because her hockey coach, Tony Ricciuti, owns GADAR Promotions – a custom sportswear and promotional goods company – Kylie was able to get toques at a discounted price.

The toques, which feature PFC’s logo as well as the words “We Care” are selling for $20 each. Kylie said she ordered 100 toques and already has 40 confirmed buyers. If the demand is high enough, she said she will order more.

In addition to volunteering with her hockey team over the years and taking part in several of her school’s canned food drives, Kylie has volunteered with the Ottawa Hospital, CHEO, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and the Ottawa Humane Society.

“She’s pretty involved; a pretty active little bee,” said Kylie’s mom, Rebecca.

Kylie will be selling toques at the Elmsdale Book Fair on February 21-22 (which is actually being held at Fisher Park Summit Alternative Public School on Holland Avenue because of renovations at Elmsdale). She is also taking order by email at wecarePFC@gmail.com.

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