The long-planned and vigorously prepared fundraising banquet took place at our modest parish hall on Sunday 5/15/16. While the actual turnout of the invited guests was not what we expected based on the confirmations we got in the previous weeks, the atmosphere was nevertheless very joyful and the fundraiser was a success.
In the festively decorated banquet hall for the occasion (courtesy of Dana Vojnov) the evening began with a cocktail hour accompanied with an excellent assortment of appetizers and good red and white wine offered. The bar was served by Srdjo Stojsic and Aleksandar Cvijetinovic.
Right before dinner was served, Fr. Vasilije Tomic briefly addressed the guests to thank them for their response and support to our parish, and then he led a prayer and blessed the food.
Dusko Knezevic, president of our building committee, made a presentation on the current state of affairs at our parish (rezoning success, the incurred costs so far, our regular monthly expenses, etc.) as well as explained what are our next goals and challenges: primarily the ability collect funds through donations and pledges so that we can keep up with our monthly work, and hopefully save up sufficiently so that we can start building our new church.
Aleksandar Cvijetinovic, the church board president, concluded the presentation with an appeal that we all, with God’s help, take part in making our plan a reality and spread the word to our community as well.
The excellent food prepared by our tireless Kolo sisters under the principal guidance of chef Lenka Steker was served after that. Both the quality and presentation of the food was marvellous. There was also a desserts table with a great choice of fruits and cakes.
Misko and Danijela from Kitchener were kind, as always, to provide us with entertainment, and the guests enjoyed the well selected and performed songs and dances. We also had a special guest, Mladen Stojanovic who sang two old songs about St. Sava to the accompaniment of his “gusle” [Serbian single-string fiddle], and the 2 short performances were very powerful. Eventually the banquet was joined by all of the organizers present.
A distinguished guest of honour was the Richmond Hill city councillor Greg Beros, who gave a moving speech, congratulating us on our hitherto achievements, and encouraging us to continue with our dream project to complete the church building in Richmond Hill. As a child of immigrants and being a witness to communities struggling to create a little piece of their homeland in our Canadian mosaic, councillor Beros has been very understanding and supportive of our actions and plan.
Other guests of honour were the people who helped us with the building permits, plans and projections: Sasha Milenov and Mladen Ninkovic.
We want to thank all of our guests and donors for their great help, and we hope that they will keep supporting our parish and spread the word about our parish to our community. We also want to thank all of our parishioners who took part, and especially the members of our KSS for the great effort they invested in helping make this a successful event. Finally, we want to thank Fr. Vasilije Tomic, who over the years has faithfully led our parish and was at the helm of all events in our parish, including this one.