On Thursday, February 21, the GRIS-Montréal announced that it has collected more than $275,000 over the course of its 15th annual fundraising campaign, Demystifying Prejudice, One Story at a Time.
One hundred guests gathered at the offices of the law firm McCarthy Tétrault, including the prolific writer and speaker, Simon Boulerice, who lent his support to the organization. “Having done the same in my own conferences, I know just how effective it can be to stand up in front of young people and speak openly about your partner and your life, and to say it’s okay to be gay, bisexual or a lesbian,” he said. “That’s what is needed to shift ways of thinking, and the volunteers of the GRIS have been doing it wonderfully for years.”
Co-spokesperson Vincent Bolduc, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary with the GRIS, agreed: “The volunteers of the GRIS are role models who make a real difference in the lives of young people. They give them keys to better understand the world around them and to grow. And it’s thanks to your generous donations that an ongoing dialogue has been fostered between these dedicated volunteers and thousands of young adults in the making.”
Toward the end of the evening, François Leclair, president of the fundraising campaign and vice-president of the Groupe Leclair, officially announced the results. Surrounded by his fundraising team and by Catherine Duclos, president of the GRIS-Montréal, he took the opportunity to look back on the past five months: “As in previous years, the campaign had its fair share of surprises. We won’t deny that we had some jitters leading up to the final weeks. But thanks to your support, we have once again reached our goal!” He also thanked McCarthy Tétrault for its contribution of $15,000.
Like the law firm, and the Groupe Leclair, which donated $25,000, more than 1,000 individuals and companies supported the campaign. These contributions are particularly precious—private donations make up 85% of the GRIS’s annual budget. As Catherine Duclos indicated, the money finances the recruiting and training of volunteers, as well as the research that measures the impact GRIS workshops have on society at large.