A Taste For Life logo and images of food
Inside Bruce House
Spring 2016
A Taste for Life is one week away! 
Where will you dine on April 20th?
 
In 1999 an idea blossomed into an evening in Ottawa to raise funds for those living with and affected by HIV. Taste is now a national event that spans from Calgary to North Bay, Saskatoon to London.  

On April 20th thousands of diners will be welcomed into participating restaurants from Chelsea to Manotick, Bells Corners to New Edinburgh. The Taste restaurant community in Ottawa is truly remarkable, and once again they will donate 25% of their evening proceeds.  With the support of TD, who has been the presenting sponsor for almost a decade, 100% of the all funds raised will go directly to Bruce House and the Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation.  By dining out you can be a part in sending someone to camp, ensuring stable housing and being a partner in a healthy, vibrant Ottawa community.

Call your friends, make a date, reserve a table at one of our Taste restaurants and be a part in a dynamic evening of remarkable impact.
 
Reserve today! www.atasteforlife.org
It truly is Hope made Delicious.
 
Great food at a Taste For Life
Rideau Speedeau Swimeauthon 
Swimming for Bruce House
 
Bruce House volunteersOn at crisp April 2nd morning, four brave Bruce House Mermaids made our way into the pool to swim for Bruce House.  Encouraged by the generosity of the Rideau Speedeau Swimeauthon, and cheered on by the enthusiastic lap counters, the mermaids swam 1500 metres and raised over $2000 for core programming.  We joked that we would even dive for Toonies, but thankfully no one took us up on that, and we just concentrated on our 60 laps and staying afloat.

The Mermaids could not have done this without the help of Volunteer Coordinator Linda Truglia and her early morning troopers, Brigitte, Dave, Lana and Mart.  They valiantly awoke with the crowing of the roosters, and spent a very early Saturday morning registering swimmers, welcoming participants, and getting soaked counting laps.  
 
Thank you to the Mermaids, Jacquie Bushell (member of the Bruce House Board of Directors), Amy Beth Allen (office volunteer), Jill Woodley (office staff) and Kimberley Sanders (Transition House staff) who jumped in feet first with smiles and energy. A huge thank you to those who donated, and kept us afloat with their generous hearts.

Bruce House is very honoured to have been a recipient of the over $2400 raised!  Thank you to the Rideau Speedeaus for a fantastic event.
 
Bruce House Mermaids
Upcoming events supporting Bruce House 
 
National Capital Leather Pride 2016
Celebrating 7 years!
 
Bon Appetit 20th Anniversary
Over 2.1 Million dollars raised for charities in your community!
Tuesday, May 3rd
http://bonappetitottawa.ca
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Wish List
  
Bruce House is always looking for items to make a client's life a little bit easier.  Can you make our wishes come true?
 
Gift cards for Loblaws, Tim Hortons, Giant Tiger, Shoppers or Walmart
 
Ensure or other meal replacements.  With the summer heat comes a higher demand.
 
Please contact jill@brucehouse.ca with any questions around donations. Thank you so much!
Volunteer Spotlight 
Murray Lavigne
 
Murray LavigneWhen you first meet Murray Lavigne you are immediately drawn in by his warm smile and infectious laugh.  He is comfortable, genuine and has a kindness that can be felt as soon as he begins to speak.  

Murray began volunteering at age 55. He was nearing the end of his career with the government of Canada and he wanted to give back to his community. Four years ago he began volunteering at Bruce House and has been an invaluable support. From front line reception to our famous bartender at the Kitchen Party fundraiser, to hosting a restaurant for A Taste for Life,  Murray has the ability to contribute as a key volunteer on every level.  When asked why he chose Bruce House, Murray said he "loves working with people" and believes Bruce House is doing a "wonderful service to the city."  But it was the Ottawa Knights work that inspired him to join the volunteer team.

A dedicated Ottawa Knights member since 1990, Murray has raised funds, collected furniture and participated in food drives. During the AIDS crisis, the Ottawa Knights were ground level support for those facing the storm, and Murray was instrumental in helping the Ottawa community, and those who most needed support. He was the president of the Ottawa Knights for 17-years, and today is the past president and remains on the executive committee. The Ottawa Knights remain strong allies and supporters of Bruce House, with annual Centretown Pub Red Ribbon Nights that have rasied thousands of dollars for core programming.  His energy is not limited to Bruce House, and he can be found at fundraisers all over the city including Swirl and Twirl, the Kind (then PTS) Galas and LGBTX events.  

When asked about his involvement with the Toys for Tots fundraiser, Murray's eyes light up with pride and enthusiasm.  In its 39th year, Toys for Tots began when a local toy drive would not accept donated toys from a 'gay organization'.  This was not a defeat for Murray and the Ottawa Knights, this was a call to action, and every year the Lanark Chidren's Aid Society has been the recipient of toys and funds generously donated by the Knights. In 2015 close to $5000 was raised, in addition to toys for children who would not otherwise have a bright Christmas.

Three days a week you will find Murray at the reception desk at the Bruce House Office.  He is the first person our clients, donors, staff and volunteers see, and he is remarkable at putting people at ease, and making them feel welcome.  He is quick to point out that he loves what he does, and when speaking to someone for the first time, or the tenth time he says, "you know you are talking to a volunteer, but I know who can help you." Murray understands the unique needs of our clients, and provides a safe and welcoming voice. He is a true ambassador of our work, and we are truly thankful for the dedication and love he brings to Bruce House everyday.

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