There were laughs, burgers and hot dogs, all for a good cause on Saturday as Caldwell Securities held a charity barbecue for two good causes.
Money raised at the cookout will help both the Niagara Nursery School and Newark Neighbours.
Vincent Francescut, an insurance adviser with Caldwell, helped put the gathering together at the firm's Mississagua Street location.
He said it was a natural way for the company to give back to some important NOTL organizations.
The nursery school is close to home for Francescut, who has a one-year-old son and five-year-old daughter.
His daughter is a nursery school alumna, he said, and his son has “probably terrorized the place enough just this past week that the money from the barbie will probably just cover that,” he joked.
“Newark Neighbours is also another great cause,” he added.
The barbecue proceeds went to Newark Neighbours, while proceeds from a raffle went to the school.
Prizes included lunch at the Sandtrap, a carriage ride, a bathymetric map from Wow Me Too, chimney cakes from Budapest Bake Shop and bike tours.
Tom Caldwell, chairman of the company, was down from Toronto for the event.
“It’s a great town to have a presence in,” he said, noting the business has been in NOTL for 25 years.
“I love coming down here. We have a place in town. And when I come down. I think my blood pressure goes down about eight points as soon as I turn onto the main street.”
While the event was about supporting two important organizations, it also was a chance to blow off some steam, he said.
“You know this COVID thing is wearing everybody down. Everybody is going stir crazy, and it’s good to just have some excuse to just be outside, have a hamburger or hot dog, say hi to our friends,” he said.
His brother Jim Caldwell, who operates the NOTL location as vice-president, said it’s important to support local charities and non-profits, particularly during COVID.
“It’s a very worthwhile cause and especially in these times where there’s a lot of people suffering,” he said.
Right now, he said Newark Neighbours’ client list is up, so it's good to be able to help them out.
“Obviously there’s a big need so we’re happy to fill in a little bit. I don’t know how much we got today, but at least it’s something.”
Supporting the nursery school is also important, Jim Caldwell said.
“There’s obviously a need there because of the expansion they’ve done, so that’s really why we sort of chose the two,” he said.
Francescut said the office is hoping to make the barbecue an annual event and was surprised by the turnout this year, with lots of people stopping in for a bite and to make a donation.