Les Petits Gourmets dans ma cour is back in Laval on July 7th starting at 4;30 pm, thanks to participating restaurants who will set up on the street on avenue Trois-Rivières. The event is a fundraiser for the Fondation Dr. Julien, which aims to provide pediatric care to children living in vulnerable circumstances and to assist these children to develop their full potential.

For one night only, youth aged 5 to 17 years old play the roles of waiters, waitresses, kitchen assistants, and hotel managers, and the clients are neighborhood residents, their parents, families and friends who would like to enjoy an evening outdoors for a good cause.

Almost 350 volunteers are set to make the event a success again this year. Josée Lefebvre, who originally conceived of the idea with her young son Ugo, says that the event is a unique experience for the youth who participate and who will help to serve almost 1000 meals.

With the help of the volunteers, three restaurants will offer 100 spots each throughout the evening of July 7th. Other entertainment will also be offered on site, such as a candy kiosk, face painting for children, etc. For those who cannot stay to eat on site, there will be a takeout meal kiosk available.

A Unique Experience for Youth
Besides food preparation skills, youth will also develop team work, listening skills and communication skills. They might even have certain responsibilities such as verifying the material necessary to run the event, manage logistics during the event and to take initiatives. According to Lefebvre, this unique experience allows the children to develop their self-confidence and get out of their comfort zone. The children will begin preparing with Lefebvre a whole week before the actual event.

The funds raised will be given to two organizations; the Fondation Dr. Julien as well as the Centre pédiatrie de Laval, affiliated with the foundation. A total of 60 per cent of the funds raised will go directly to the foundation and the remaining 40 per cent will go to the pediatric center.

Origin Story
When Lefevbre’s son Ugo was just seven years old, he wanted to raise money for children in need, as he saw his older sister Eva do when she was his age. Pierre Charbonneau, Ugo’s father, mentioned the idea on a radio show, and the concept of the fundraiser took off from there. With the help of family friend Annie Brouillette, the Charbonneau family solidified their idea and submitted it to the citizens of Duvernay, and it has been a fantastic success for the past eight years.

Translation by Lisa Cipriani