Construction of "80, ruelle de l'Avenir" - A Quebec first in the fight to promote staying in school in the Centre-Sud and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts



    MONTREAL, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, before the project's major
partners and neighbourhood school children, the co-chairs of the fundraising
campaign, Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro, and Jacques Ménard,
President of BMO Financial Group Quebec, launched the construction work for
"80, ruelle de l'Avenir." A joint initiative of Gaz Métro and community
organization Projet 80, this project is aimed at reducing the dropout rate,
which stands at 70% in this, one of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in
all of Canada.
    The construction, estimated at close to $3.2 million, is set to be
completed by September. The centre will be housed within Garneau elementary
school and will foster a unique and stimulating educational environment for
the children of the Centre-Sud and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts.
    "The time is ripe for mobilization in this community, and in particular
for a partnership between the community and the private sector. As a socially
responsible company, Gaz Métro has chosen to invest in and commit to this
trail-blazing project so that we can make a difference in a world full of
differences. We must provide young people with a learning environment that
allows them to grow and believe in the future," said Ms. Brochu. "80, ruelle
de l'Avenir is a path that will show children the way to overcome obstacles in
a neighbourhood where almost 78% of families are living off an annual income
of less than $21,000. Here, children will learn through cooking, horticulture,
science, sports, arts and the multimedia," explained Daniel Paquin, General
Manager of Projet 80.
    A $5 million fundraising campaign is currently underway to ensure the
realization and longevity of this important project. "If we just apply
ourselves, we can achieve great things in the 'alleys of the future,'" added
Mr. Ménard. "I appeal to the business community to get actively involved and
show its support by generously giving to this nurturing project, which can
serve as a model for supporting young people in other areas of Montreal and
indeed across Quebec."
    This all-important project would never have been possible if it weren't
for the invaluable collaboration of the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM)
and the dedication of the administration and staff at Ecole Garneau. "The
Commission scolaire de Montréal is very proud to join hands with the various
partners of this wonderful adventure, "80, ruelle de l'Avenir". This
completely revitalized environment will inspire our children to give the best
of themselves and dream big," underscored Louise Mainville, Commissioner of
the St-Louis - Mile End district and member of the Executive Committee of the
CSDM.
    Whether in the form of a donation, the offering of services or the
involvement of individual volunteers, a great many partners have climbed on
board in support of this initiative, whose single aim is to significantly
improve the quality of life for thousands of children. For more information on
this project and a complete list of its partners, please visit
www.80ruelle.com.




For further information:

For further information: Marie-Sophie Villeneuve, HKDP Communications et
affaires publiques, (514) 395-0375, poste 227, (514) 895-1040


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