By CRM Staff
Toronto, Ontario – November 14, 2018 – On Tuesday, Jack Martino of Martino Brothers Collision and Parkdale Food Bank's director Valdene Allison, were awarded for their efforts to help feed the students of Tropicana's autobody program.
A long-term supporter of Tropicana , Martino was honoured for his efforts to spearhead the fundraising needed to provide food to students struggling to pay for it.
Last May, program coordinator Suad Dualeh started noticing that students in Tropicana's autobody and collision damage repairer course appeared to be withdrawn in their classes. Concerned, she took them aside and discovered a worrying trend. Several of them had gone without meals.
"I called Jack, who is is always very supportive of Tropicana's work, and let him know that we had a big problem," Dualeh said. "We needed a plan to let students worry about their classes, not where their next meal was coming from."
Martino reached out to a friend, Allison, to see if the food bank director had any suggestions. Together, the pair hatched a scheme where Martino would raise funds for the student's food, and Allison would manage its delivery.
"I was only happy to help. Tropicana is such a great program," said Martino. "As an industry, we need a trained workforce. If you can't eat, you can't learn to repair cars properly."
In a note of congratulations to Martino, Dualeh wrote: "On behalf of Tropicana Employment Centre, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all your support of our autobody and collision damage repairer course," course coordinator Suad Dualeh said.
"Thank you for everything you do as a sponsor, as a collision industry partner, as an employer, and a community partner. Without you, we would not have these graduates to act as role models for future generations."
For Martino, the biggest reward for his efforts was not the plaque, but the sense-of-purpose he feels for his efforts to work with the Food Bank and Tropicana.
"It is a pleasure working so close with Tropicana Community Services and helping students as they learn and prepare for the workforce. I'm asking the entire community to get involved and help the Parkdale Community Food Bank."
The award was sponsored by the Collision Industry Information Association (CIIA) and 3M Canada.
For information on how to support the program, visit tropicanaemployment.ca/get-
involved/donate, or pcfb.ca Alternatively, repairers can also visit adamhelps.com and voting for Parkdale Community Food Bank. Adam Helps is a Toronto-based app donating $5000 to four charities based on users' ballots.