Ever since I moved my office into the downtown core, a group of ladies caught my attention. Every now again, I would drop into Fast Eddies diner and I would notice posters listing events held there in the evenings, after hours. Almost every time I went in, there was something going on. I finally got the courage to ask one of the waitresses what the heck were all these fundraisers for and why, as a newspaper, we never heard about them. I was curious.

So I sat down with Lauraine Meunier, who seemed to be in the centre of things, and asked her about what they were up to. Here’s what I found out.

They are a small group of women who meet once a month and make plans on how, or what, to fundraise for next. They call themselves the Secret Sisters. It all started years ago in one of their homes. At that time, they were seven, and they would have a pot luck together, spend the evening laughing, chatting, or just lending an ear if one of them had problems. They started creating outings for themselves, and, each time they met, they would put two dollars into a pot, to have a Christmas party at a restaurant of their choice, so no one had to cook.

Somewhere along the way, over the years, the group evolved into fundraising. It began by each one of them bringing a toiletry item, every time they met. By the end of the year, they had collected enough to donate to a local women’s shelter. From there, they began asking simple questions. “Who else can we help, and how to raise the money?”

So they began planning yard sales, card games, bake sales, craft sales, spaghetti dinners, paint nights, etc., and the money raised all year was put in a kitty. At the December meeting, they vote on who to donate to. All this they did, through Fast Eddies Diner, with the owner’s permission and free use of the space, after hours.

Some of the money they raised went to places such as the Women’s Shelter, Shepherds of Good Hope, I Am Alive Animal Rescue, The Respite House, Self-funding Cat Rescue Lady, a legally blind 10 year old, for computer software for his specially modified piano, the annual Angel Tree (a girl, a boy and a Senior), and they have also supplied sandwich platters for funerals.

Before parting with Lauraine, she mentioned that the group is not for everyone.

“Sometimes, it’s all work and no play; but we are left with a great feeling, knowing we are helping others and having fun at the same time”.

So, now I know. North Grenville, as I say over and over again, is such a generous community. This group may not raise thousands of dollars, but what they do raise comes from the heart, and, thanks to Fast Eddies diner, they have a larger audience to draw on for their fundraisers.

Thanks you ladies, for all that you do, it was a secret, but now I have given it away.

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