Mulgrave unites to support local causes with help from Support4Communities
Houses perch on a hill looking out to the waters of the Strait of Canso. This is the Town of Mulgrave where pride and optimism unite its 700 residents. Each year, the community comes together for Mulgrave Monte Carlo Night, a fundraiser for the Mulgrave Volunteer Fire Department and Royal Canadian Legion Branch #37.
Long-time volunteer Allan George remembers when the legion almost closed its doors for good. “I knew I had to help,” he recalls. The town reached out to the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation to learn about its Support4Communities program and mock casino fundraisers.
“They were really encouraging,” recalls Allan. “We hosted our first event in 2012. They helped us with training seminars for our volunteers, promotional support, materials and sponsorship. It’s a great program that helps a lot of communities.”
Since then, the annual event has become one of the most successful in Nova Scotia. Over the past seven years, it has attracted more than 1,000 people and raised over $86,000, with the majority going to the Legion and volunteer fire department. Allan, co-organizer Evangeline Breen and other volunteers help recruit sponsors, plan games and prizes, advertise, and decorate. They keep things fresh, fun and responsible. “Guests use play money and win prizes. It’s like they are making a donation for two great causes,” says Evangeline.
Funds raised helped the legion purchase a new roof, heat pump, backup generator, and propane tanks. Legion vice president and veteran, Bob Russell, says the improvements have been transformative: “Thanks to the Monte Carlo Night and Support4Communities program the legion is a command centre and comfort centre during power outages and disasters. It’s become a place where people can gather to laugh, talk and share.”
Over at the fire department, fire chief Michael Breen points to a shiny red rescue vehicle. “We respond to medical emergencies and provide backup to nearby communities. Thanks to Support4Communities and Monte Carlo Night we were able to purchase a new frame (chassis) for our rescue vehicle. It’s safer and more reliable for our first responders and people who are in crisis. Now we’re working toward a new fire truck!”
Indeed work is underway for this year’s Wild, Wild West Monte Carlo Night at Mulgrave. The event will kick off Thanksgiving weekend and for the people of Mulgrave and the surrounding area there is plenty to be thankful for!
In 2018-19, Nova Scotia Gaming through its Support4Communities program provided $51,695 in funding that helped 19 communities raise $169,000. More than $1.2 million has been raised for great causes throughout Nova Scotia since the program began. If your community would like to learn about hosting a Monte Carlo night, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.