Local mental health organizations benefit from Rotary fund raiser


Hosts Louis-Philippe Lefrançois (left) and Linda Gallant with recipients Lynn Enfield (Le Versant), Alexandra Laliberté (Le Tournant), June Dubé (Le Tournant), Jeff Moat (Partners for Mental Health), Jean-Noël Bilodeau (Le Zèbre Rouge) and Benoit Bourassa (Le Zèbre Rouge).

The Rotary Clubs of Hudson and Saint-Lazare in conjunction with the Lakeshore Rotary Club held a special event Tuesday March 7 at Sucrerie des Gallants to hand out the proceeds raised through last November’s Ken Lefrançois Memorial Gala for Mental Health.

Presented by the Rotary Club of Hudson and Saint-Lazare in collaboration with Partners for Mental Health and Auberge des Gallant, the gala aimed to increase awareness of mental health issues in our community and raise funds to support local charities such as Le Tournant, Le Versant and Le Zèbre Rouge. The gala was held in memory of Ken Lefrançois who started a Mental Health initiative with the Rotary Club. “He felt that if we could start to talk about mental health issues, we could do more to prevent those problems and help those in need,” stated his son, Louis-Philippe Lefrançois.

“The Gala helped raise funds and we are here this evening to hand out checks to the organizations we want to help. Representatives from Le Zèbre Rouge, Le Versant, Le Tournant and Partners for Mental Health are here with us this evening. Le Zèbre Rouge, Le Versant and Le Tournant will each receive $1,800,” Lefrançois stated. “Partners for Mental Health also really helped us put this together. They are based in Ottawa and they aim to help youth.”

Le Tournant is a local organization that aims to prevent suicide and help people with mental health issues. Le Versant works with people suffering from depression and anxiety. Le Zèbre Rouge is a bicycle recycling shop that opened up in 2004 and that has since grown into a significant social reintegration tool for people suffering from mental illness.

The event was hosted by Linda Gallant and attracted over 50 people, filling up the main room of Sucrerie des Gallants. Gallant has been a strong supporter of the Rotary’s efforts to raise funds for help fight mental health issues. “Mrs. Gallant is a strong supporter of our cause, from the initial gala to tonight’s event,” Lefrançois stated.