Community . General

The City of Montreal Celebrates Sun Youth’s 70th Anniversary

June 19, 2024

The City of Montreal Celebrates Sun Youth’s 70th Anniversary

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On June 18th, we had the immense honour of being welcomed to the Salle du Pin-Blanc by the Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, to celebrate our 70th anniversary.

In the presence of our co-founder, Mr. Sid Stevens, our Executive Director, Ms. Johanne Saltarelli, the president of our board of directors, Mr. Renzo Fraraccio, some of our longstanding donors, employees, and volunteers, as well as municipal advisors, the Mayor addressed us and presented the municipal council declaration adopted earlier at the city council meeting.

During her speech at the city council, Ms. Plante rightly emphasized, “Just in 2022-2023 alone, to give you an idea, nearly 100,000 individuals benefited from their services, spanning from the young, middle-aged, and the elderly. This represents an exceptional contribution to the quality of life of our population, particularly the most vulnerable.”

“Sun Youth embodies values of solidarity, social inclusion, and respect, which closely align with the values of the City of Montreal. The organization contributes to building a city where all Montrealers have an equal opportunity to contribute to society. It is therefore a pleasure to propose this declaration to mark its 70th anniversary.”

– Valérie Plante

Ms. Martine Musau Muele, President of the City Council, and Madam Mayor presented the municipal council declaration to Mr. Fraraccio, Mr. Sid Stevens, and Ms. Johanne Saltarelli, and then invited them to sign the City of Montreal’s Golden Book. It was a very emotional moment for Mr. Stevens, co-founder of the organization since he was 13 years old, who over the years, has received several honours, including the title of “Great Montrealer” by the Montreal Chamber of Commerce in 2011, and was later appointed as Commander of the Order of Montreal by the city in 2018. This was noted by Ms. Musau Muele, who recounted several significant aspects of Sun Youth’s history. It was a nice way to come back to City Hall for Mr. Stevens, who had served as a city councillor under Jean Drapeau.

In his speech, Mr. Renzo Fraraccio, on behalf of Sun Youth, emphasized the contribution of the City of Montreal to the organization’s longevity: “Today, Madam Mayor, we are fortunate to have you and your team as valuable allies. We work daily with several of your teams in food security, welcoming newcomers, civil security, crime prevention, and the physical and psychological health of young Montrealers.”
Mr. Fraraccio then stated that, strengthened by these experiences, its impact, and its roots in the community, Sun Youth is focused on the future, always for and with Montreal.

“On Boulevard St-Laurent, in front of Jarry Park, an iconic location in the city, we will soon begin the construction of our very first permanent home. And all the while, we’ll maintain a presence on ‘The Main,’ which has witnessed our growth, in a vibrant neighbourhood where we are eager to establish ourselves to serve the community.”

– Renzo Fraraccio

“This new building will be the first carbon-neutral facility owned by a Montreal community organization, “Mr. Fraraccio continued. ” It will serve as a hub for several other organizations in fulfilling their missions to serve vulnerable populations, pooling their efforts with ours. We are very excited to better serve our clientele than ever before, alongside our community partners and, of course, the City of Montreal.”

Like the families and young people we serve, we have shown tremendous resilience over our 70 years. Without the City of Montreal, we could never have helped so many individuals and families who enrich our beautiful and vibrant human scaled metropolis. We thank Madam Valérie Plante and her entire administration for the wonderful recognition given to our organization today, as well as all those who have contributed over the past 70 years.

Photo credits : Ville de Montréal – Sylvain Légaré and Wayne Oliver

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