It was a thank you that came with a free breakfast.

The Catholic Centre for Immigrants recently thanked their volunteers and sponsors with a free breakfast of pancakes and sausages with the help of Dow Honda.

This is the second year Dow Honda has graciously organized and hosted the event at their Colonnade showroom.

The doors opened at 9 a.m. and close to 200 volunteers, sponsors and sponsored refugee families were treated to a festive atmosphere. Everyone was encouraged to write out on specially designed placemats to express why they volunteer. By the end of the two-hour event, a showroom wall was filled with inspirational messages.

Carl Nicholson, Executive Director of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants, kicked off the speeches with a big thank you to everyone’s hard work over the last year.

“We could not do what we do day in and day out without the help of our volunteers and sponsors. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he said.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said it was wonderful to see how the city came together in 2016 to help thousands of Syrian refugees who were forced to flee a brutal civil war. He said he was moved by how Ottawans responded to the humanitarian crisis.

Councillors Michael Qaqish and Keith Egli also addressed the crowd as did Dow Honda owner Jeff Mierins.

Mr. Mierins, whose grandparents fled Latvia at the end of the Second World War, also made a donation to CCI and the Dave Smith Foundation.

With this year’s event a huge success, Dow Honda has already committed to hosting another thank you breakfast next year during Volunteer Week.

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