45 years of community giving recognized

By Allan Benner, The Standard

The Welland Athletic and Benevolent Society has been working to make its community part of a wonderful world for 45 years.

After being honoured at the start of Tuesday’s Welland city council meeting for the work the organization has done, founding member Lou Pelino entertained councillors by singing an impromptu rendition of It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.


“It’s amazing how an organization can stay together and work so positively for positive results, and achieve those results,” Mayor Frank Campion. “We thank you very much because you’ve done so much for our community without asking for anything back.”


Welland regional Couns. Paul Grenier and George Marshal teamed up with the mayor and city councillors to honour the organization’s members, presenting them with community involvement recognition plaques.


Grenier said the recognition is “long overdue” for a group of people who have “worked together for 45 years and donating such funds to the community.”


He said members of the group have spent 45 years raising funds to support organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Community Living, Shriners, Autism Niagara, Hope Centre, Family and Children’s Services, to name a few.


The group raises about $5,000 annually at a sold-out elimination draw event held at Croatian National Home on Broadway.


During the past 45 years, Grenier said, the organization “arranged well over $300,000 to be distributed throughout the community.”


“Look what they’ve done for our community,” Marshall added. “I’m so impressed.”