Author Archives: Port Cares

Port Cares 21st Annual Dinner and Auction

The 21st Annual Port Cares Dinner and Auction is a chance for community members to support something bigger than a one-day event. Together, our efforts will help those in our community with social and economic needs improve their quality of life.

“The effect of poverty and low income on local families remains persistent in our community. We continue to see more and more families come to the Reach Out Centre food bank who once they pay their rent and utilities have little left for food for their children. We rely solely on fundraising and donations to run the food bank, crisis services, meal program and other vital services up and running at the Reach Out Centre which assists approximately 1,300 local residents – a third of which are children. The Annual Port Cares Dinner and Auction is our major fundraising event for the year and every penny raised goes directly to support the Reach Out Centre. Our goal is to raise $57,000 at the event through our silent auction, live auction, ticket sales and sponsorship,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares.

“We’re asking local businesses, artisans, corporations and community members if they can do so to provide a donations of items and or services for the silent and live auction. All proceeds from the silent and live auction will help keep the doors of the Reach Out Centre open for local families in need. We are truly humbled by the support  and we welcome any new or potential donors to contact Port Cares in person, by telephone or through social media” says Christine.

WHAT:                  Port Cares 21st Annual Dinner and Auction to support children, families and individuals in your community who rely on the Port Cares Reach Out Centre food bank, meal program and poverty relief services

WHERE:                 Italian Canadian Cultural Centre (223 Bell Street, Port Colborne)

WHEN:                  Thursday, November 21st. Reception at 6:00PM, Dinner served at 7:30PM  

  • The event expects to host 300 members of the community
  • Tickets are $80 and can be purchased at Port Cares (92 Charlotte St.) or by phone (905-834-3629 x 245)
  • Tickets include a three-course meal and a $40 charitable donation receipt
  • This year’s theme is Are you a little bit country, or a little bit rock n’ roll?
  • Items up for auction include: Meridian Centre Suite (with beverages) for an Ice Dogs game, One-week rental in Nelson British Columbia, Home Décor, Sports Tickets, Weekend Cottage Rental on Lake Erie
  • In 2018, the Reach Out Centre food bank distributed 172,148 pounds of food to those in need
  • 7, 753 plates were served through our kitchen in 2018
  • We were able to distribute 1,648 school lunch kits (8,240 lunches) between September 2018-June 2019

For more information about Port Cares or the Dinner and Auction, please call Shelby at 905-834-3629 x 245.

Port Colborne Lions Club – Wainfleet Lions Club Food Drive in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Centre and Food Bank

Port Colborne, Ontario (October 16, 2019) – The Port Colborne Lions Club and Wainfleet Lions Club will once again be out in full force on Saturday November 2nd. Their wonderful team of volunteers will be collecting food and monetary donations from local Port Colborne and Wainfleet residents for their annual food drive in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Centre.

Residents of Port Colborne are asked to leave any canned or dry goods out on their porches by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 2nd to be collected by the volunteers supporting the food drive. The main collection hub is located at 484 Barrick Road, Port Colborne.

Residents of Wainfleet Township are asked to either drop their non- perishable food donations off in-advance at the Meridian Credit Union located at 31885 Highway 3, Wainfleet, beginning Monday, October 28 through Friday,  November 1, or to come to Meridian Credit Union (Wainfleet Branch) on the day of the food drive Saturday, November 2  between 9:00 a.m. and noon. Interested volunteers please contact Lion Laura Slat; 289-407-0106.

“Our local community has struggled with the effects of poverty for more than 40 years. As difficult as the struggle has been, the compassion and the care of the community has been even greater. Right now there are nearly 400 local children who are supported by the Port Cares Reach Out Centre Food Bank. The Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Club food drive will ensure that low income children and families who struggle to get by will be assured of nutritious food through the cold winter months. Our Port Cares team appreciates the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work side by side Lions and community members at the 2019 Lions Food Drive.” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director, Port Cares.

The food donations collected will provide the Port Cares Reach Out Centre with much needed resources for clients during the winter months, when the need for food is the greatest.


Canned fruit, canned fish, canned meat, canned pasta, side dishes, dry soup, peanut butter, pull-tab cans, diapers sizes 4 & 5, deodorant, shampoo and toothbrushes. Cash or cheques accepted (made payable to Port Cares).


  • In 2018, the Food Drive collected 30,502lbs and $7,025 in monetary donations.
  • In 2018, the Reach Out Centre food bank distributed 172,148 pounds of food to those in need.
  • Seven thousand, seven hundred and fifty three plates were served through our kitchen in 2018.

For more information on the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Clubs Food Drive please contact:

  • Port Colborne Lions Club – Lion Laura Slat, 289-407-0106; Lion Jeremy Hamm, 905-327-9799
  • Wainfleet Lions Club – Lion John Taylor, 905-834-6032
  • Meridian Credit Union, Wainfleet Branch – Dan Bouchard, 905-899-3951

News Release – Sherkston Supermart Donation

Sherkston Supermart pitches in to support Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre’s School Childrens’ Lunch Kit Program


Port Colborne, Ontario (August 30, 2018) – For local school children in need going back to school next week will be a whole lot easier knowing that they will have nutritious lunches thanks to Sherkston Supermart’s support of the Port Cares Reach Out Centre  School Lunch Kit program.

The Bodner Family and their business Sherkston Supermart inside Sherkston Shores Resort have donated $2,500 to support the Lunch Kit program which is 100 per cent reliant on donation and philanthropic support. Last school year 2,404 lunch kits were provided to local children supplying 12,020 individual lunches to elementary and secondary school students during the school year.

“Through the support of Sobeys we offer a wide selection of nutritious and delicious products but it is important for us to remember that not everyone has equal access to food or basic needs. Our partnership with Sobeys Wholesale has helped our success and allowed us to help our community by supporting this very important program.” said Ron Bodner.

“This donation comes on the fourth anniversary of our launch of this important service. Every child who is registered for the lunch kit program is a child living in a low income or poor family where choices have to made about whether there is enough money to pay the rent or buy nutritious healthy food. Port Cares started this program with the incredible support of the Branscombe Family Foundation and we are blessed to have the number of community supporters grow every year,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director, Port Cares.

“On behalf of the children and families we serve we sincerely thank Ron, Claire, James and Glen – the Bodner Family – for  their generosity and community goodwill.”


  • The food bank assists 1,200 A third of the people reliant on the food bank are children.
  • On average, 17,000 to 20,000 pounds of food is distributed through the food bank each month.
  • The most needed food items for the food bank include: canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, cereal, jam, baby food, formula, diapers and personal hygiene items.
  • Last school year the Reach Out Food Centre, located at 61 Nickel Street, provided 2,020 lunch kits (12,000 lunches) to local school age children who live in low income households.
  • Hot and nutritious community meals are served three times a week to families and individuals in need. More than 50 adults and children typically attend each meal. In the winter months there will be nearly 100 clients attending at meal time.

Port Cares Pancake Brunch a success

A huge thank you to the over 200 people who turned out for our 6th annual Pancake Brunch at our Reach Out Centre on 61 Nickel St. in Port Colborne and helped us raise over $3000 to aid those facing homelessness in our community.

A special thank you to ADM Milling for the delicious pancake mix; to Shaun Slat of Tendercuts for not only donating all of the sausages for the event but also helping to serve the meals, to Christine Strom Harper, owner of the Tim Horton’s at 197 Main. St East for donating 3 huge containers of Tim Horton’s coffee and hot chocolate; to Grant Jennings from Sobeys for the juice and toppings and to Dean, Sarah and Amanda for cooking up a storm.

1517948827610Verge Insurance also donated $500 towards the event for homelessness prevention. Hats off also to all of the folks from Giant FM;Country 89; Whites/Verge Insurance and to Mayor April Jeffs, Board members Cathy Boggio and Ashleigh Miatello and to the Port Cares staff who pitched in and the fantastic volunteers for their wonderful help. We could not have done it without you!!!! What a great community we live in!


2017 Gala Dinner and Auction at Port Cares

The 2017 Dinner Gala and Auction was a success with close to 300 guests who had a marvellous time at the Hollywood inspired event.  Over $50,000 was raised to assist with vital programming at Port Cares.

Many thanks to the sponsors, donors, guests, staff and volunteers who made this event possible.




Port Colborne & Wainfleet Lions Food Drive Nov.4

Many residents of Port Colborne, Wainfleet and South Niagara currently rely on our Reach Out Food Centre at 61 Nickel Street. On November 4th the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions Clubs will be holding their annual food drive. We are grateful for their support because it helps to make it possible for us to continue to to serve 200 meals each week, provide school children with lunch kits and distribute 17,000 to 20,000 lbs of food monthly.
This food drive would not be possible without the many volunteers who will be collecting food, and sorting it for transport to our Food Bank on Saturday November 4th.
Residents in Port Colborne can leave their food food on their door steps by 9 am as volunteers will be going door to door in Port Colborne. Wainfleet residents can drop their food off at their local Meridian Branch on HWY 3.
A huge thank you to all of the Port Colborne and Wainfleet Lions members for their support; to the incredible volunteers who are donating their time to help collect and sort food; to the Christian Life Assembly Church and the Meridian Branch in Wainfleet for the use of their space. And to you, the donors, who generously give food to this food drive so that those in need in your community can have access to hot meals and food through our Food Bank and Reach Out Centre.
If you missed the food drive or wish to donate food items during the year, please call our Food Bank at 905-835-1914. Thank you.
To learn more about this Lions Club Food Drive for your community and surrounding areas, please see this recent article in the Tribune : Read more about this important food drive
Annual Port Colborne & Wainfleet FOOD DRIVE FINAL

A Thanksgiving of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a time of family, celebration and sharing gratitude.  And for the 1,496 residents of Port Colborne, Wainfleet and South Niagara who currently rely on the food bank and meal services of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC), people in need will share in the celebration of gratitude this Thanksgiving thanks to the amazing outpouring of community and corporate support Port Cares and the Reach Out Food Centre receives.

“We are truly blessed to have such a compassionate and giving community. We receive support from the young children who collect food donations at their daycares and schools to small businesses and major corporations providing food, services and financial gifts. Port Cares relies on all of this kindness to run the Reach Out Centre including the Food bank, community meals and intervention programs,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director.

While the need to help is daunting, the support is overwhelming Clark Lafleur explains. She notes that throughout the year and especially at festive holiday times like Thanksgiving and Christmas Port Cares and its Reach Out Centre receives an outpouring of support. “We are truly blessed to without even asking have the individuals and companies like the Leon Family and Leon’s Furniture Limited step forward to help. The Leon family through Leon’s Furniture Limited provided a substantial gift to Port Cares to assist the work we do for young children at the centre.  They shared with us that they wanted to recognize their gratitude by assisting the less fortunate by sharing compassion, care and comfort to those who need it most. Their gift is directly supporting the food bank and meal program at the Reach Out Centre.”

Approximately 120 to 140 people are anticipated to attend the Thanksgiving Dinner Meal at the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre this Thursday, October 5th with the Port Colborne Fire Department hosting by supplying turkeys, and helping to prepare and serve alongside community volunteers and client helpers.

Not all of the people in our community who require food assistance participate in the ROFC meal program. Many more will receive food support through the ROFC food bank.

“Our clients are truly appreciative of the compassion and support they receive not only at Thanksgiving but year round. They do their best to give back and share their gratitude as best they can when their personal situations improve. This is what Port Cares is truly about – help, hope and opportunity.”


  • More than a third of the people reliant on the ROFC food bank are children.
  • Typically 50 adults and children attend the lunch program on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC) at 61 Nickel Street, Port Colborne.
  • Approximately 100 individuals attend the weekly dinner on Thursday evenings at the ROFC.
  • Lunch kits with supplies to make five nutritious lunches are provided to families with school age children through the Reach Out Centre food bank
  • On average 17,000 to 20,000 pounds of food is distributed monthly through the ROFC food bank.
  • Port Cares Reach Out Centre relies on donations, grants and fundraising to provide services and assistance to people living in poverty.

Thanksgiving 2017


The first annual Port Cares Trivia Night was a great hit with 94 players all hoping to win the bragging rights as top team.

The Winning team was Low Expectations! Trvia winners

Thanks to the many generous guests we raised $2640 for the food bank. Gratitude goes out to Anne Turner and Rob Leveille for their incredible support as Trivia Hosts. I also wish to thank the Legion for donating the space, Super Mario’s for donating the pizza, Janet Bruce for the cupcakes and Val Capaldi for all of her hard work. See you all next year and if you have any questions regarding any Port Cares events please contact Karin DiBiase, Supervisor of Fundraising for Port Cares at

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Check out the Ontario Early Years Centre at Port Cares

dad and kidsAre you looking for a place to bring your child to play and learn new activities? Over 14,900 children between the age of 0-6 visited our centres in 2016/17 and we have many services to offer you.

Do you as a parent and caregiver want to connect with other parents and learn more about the resources available to you and your child in the community? mom & babay

Our Port Cares Ontario Early Year Centres are here to help you. There is no cost for any of our programs. Come on out and visit us at one of our 4 sites. You can also reach us at 1-866-933-9633 or  OEYC Information .

Baby Kyle (5)

How the Youth Justice Program could help a young adult

Port Cares offers parents and youth access to the Niagara Youth Justice Program (NYJ) through our onsite Niagara Youth Justice Manager Heather Ranger, MSW.
This program offers an alternative to formal court proceedings for youth, 12-17 years-old, who have committed minor offences. Over 80 youth were assisted through our program in 2016/17. The NYJ serves the entire Niagara region and accepts referrals from Police and Crown Attorneys.
Youth Justice Committees (YJC) are based on restorative justice principles which gives priority to the accountability and the needs of the youth, needs of the victim, and community wellness and healing. This is done through community conferencing that involves trained community members who meet with persons harmed, accused young people and their parents/caregivers to negotiate an appropriate way for the young person to make amends for their actions.
By offering this program Port Cares provides an opportunity for those who have been harmed and the broader community to have a role in dealing with offences committed by young persons.
This program was established under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.
For more information please contact Heather Ranger at 905-834-3629 ext. 242.
Youth Justice DYN 2017