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Steveston’s Arts Connection Record Donation for PJ Project

Steveston's Arts Connection Record Donation for PJ Project

Pictured L-R: Gary Menendez, Vice President of Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence, Donna Gillette, President of Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence and Linda Shirley, CEO and Head of School of Steveston’s Arts Connection presenting $2,000 in cash donations and 283 pairs of pajamas.

A record number of pajamas and cash donations were raised through Steveston’s Arts Connection’s 7th Annual PJ Project thanks to the efforts of its generous community of families and staff. At a parent appreciation pancake breakfast held today at The Arts Connection, Linda Shirley, Steveston’s Arts Connection’s CEO and Head of School, was proud to officially present 283 pairs of pajamas and $2,000 in cash donations to Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence, president, Donna Gillette, and vice president, Gary Menendez. The PJ Project is The Arts Connection’s annual fundraising initiative in support of Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence. The Foundation distributes pajamas and basic necessities to a dozen transition homes in the lower mainland that provide safety and support for women and children fleeing from domestic violence including one transition home; Nova House in Richmond. The school community is deeply passionate about this organization inspired by its personal ties; founders Gary Menendez and Donna Gillette are the father and aunt of a late teacher, Jennifer Menendez, who tragically passed in a car accident. She advocated fiercely against domestic violence after losing her nephew to it. “At The Arts Connection and Renaissance Kids, we believe that in addition to education and the arts, it is important for our young students to develop empathy and an understanding of social issues within our community,” said Linda Shirley. “This year, we decided to take the PJ Project on with extra momentum. We try to keep Jennifer’s memory alive and support this organization which is so important to us and was so dear to Jennifer’s heart.”

Donna Gillette and Gary Menendez were both touched by the large contribution and in a speech to the attendees, explained that every pair of pajamas distributed to transition homes were lovingly packaged with a moving poem addressing victims of domestic violence who seek refuge in these transition homes:

“Our wish for you: We wish you might, the courage to get through today, hope for a better tomorrow. Know that we care; you’re special and loved.”

Pictured L-R: Gary Menendez, Vice President of Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence, Cheryl Duval, Marketing Director of Steveston’s Arts Connection, Donna Gillette, President of Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence, Linda Shirley, CEO and Head of School of Steveston’s Arts Connection with Renaissance Academy Class of 2020.
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