Congratulations to LaSalle resident Joseph Pugliese, who has won the 2015 Montreal Community Cares Community Organization Award for community leadership.

“I thought it was a crank caller when he called,” said Pugliese, who is thrilled to have won. Now, he’s wondering who kindly nominated him.

The person in charge of the awards, Community Cares founder and Alouettes’ manager Denburk Reid, who also lives in LaSalle, says that person wants to remain anonymous so that the focus stays on Pugliese, who was among six community leaders who will be getting recognition. The others include Simeon Pompey, who also lives in LaSalle, plus Maggie Caruso, Sheila Pinsky, Philippe Tousignant and Jessie Dorélien.

“This is our way of saying thank you from the community,” said Reid. “These individuals aren’t doing it for the recognition, so this is one way that we can say thank you.”

The awards will be presented in Montreal at Club Soda on May 28th during the annual Greater Montreal Community Cares Gala. VIP tickets cost $125, regular ones cost $75 and students pay $40. Tickets can be purchased at Club Soda or online, via a link from

Reid linked the Montreal Community Cares awards with his sports outreach programs during the funeral of a friend of his a few years ago. He says that he was looking for a way to reward individuals and organizations that work hard to improve their communities. The first awards banquet took place in 2011, although the organization behind it wasn’t officially formed until a year later.

This year, he’ll be presenting life-time achievement awards to Johnny Montanaro and Reverend Darryl Gray.

Student athletes Kimberl Saint-Felix and Chloé Lanteigne will get awards too, as will Paul Frappier Youth leaders Alissa Rutman, Aiesha Robinson and Pearl Amiran. Congratulations to all of you too.

Three community organizations will also get recognition, including Laval-based Games for Hope, Dorval-based Otis Grant and Friends Foundation, and Southwest-based CFAD (which supports mother and daughter inmates).

The recognition going to Otis Grant’s foundation could be good momentum for their upcoming fundraiser, which includes the 12th annual Montreal Media Hockey Marathon on Saturday, April 11 at the Pierrefonds Arena. That event has raised more than $270,000 since its inception. For more information, visit

The Games for Hope Foundation also has an annual sports tournament coming up on Saturday, June 13 in Brossard. Every year, employees raise funds for children’s charities, including: The Missing Children’s Network, The Shriners Hospitals for Children and The Starlight Children’s Foundation. The tradition began in 2001 and has raised $ 1.2 million so far. For more information, visit their website at




Tracey Arial

Unapologetically Canadian Tracey Arial promotes creative entrepreneurship as an author, cooperative business leader, gardener, family historian and podcaster.

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