Residents of the Don Mills community came together today to actively support the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Through this unique and historic moment in celebrating sport and the Olympic Spirit, the Flemingdon Food Bank, in partnership with the Ismaili Muslim community, invited Don Mills community residents to participate in a food drive to give back those who are less fortunate in our communities. The spirit of giving, caring and sharing during this holiday season is a very Canadian value and is deeply aligned with the Olympic spirit.
Food collected by the Don Mills residents through the drive was donated to the Flemingdon Food Bank. Rev. Helena-Rose Houldcroft, Director of the Flemingdon Park Ministry, on accepting the donation, said, “This will go a long way in ensuring there is joy in the lives of children and families in this holiday time. The smile on the children’s faces is what makes all of our work worth it. We are fortunate that the Ismaili Muslim community has made this their cause and have been at the forefront in helping us help the needy in our community.”
Mr. Mohamed Manji, President of the Ismaili Council for Canada, representing Canadian Ismaili Muslims, was one of the Torch Bearers on Thursday, December 17, 2009.
When asked about the honor of being of the Olympic torch bearers, Mr. Manji said:
“I am deeply touched by this special honor. In today’s world, the Olympic Ideals to serve peace, friendship and international understanding are more important now than ever before. Hope, humility, tolerance, pluralism, the creation of a peaceful and better world through sport, the spirit of volunteering one’s time to help those less fortunate – these are the values of the Olympic Truce and the Olympic Movement; and these are the values that our community lives by, as do all Canadians.”
Present during the pre-Torch event organized by the Ismaili Council were Councillor John Parker and Federal MPs Rob Oliphant and Yasmin Rattansi, who came to show support for the food drive and the Olympic Torch as it came through their neighborhoods.
Also on hand to show support for Mr. Manji and the Olympics were a number of young Ismaili Muslim athletes who had participated in the Golden Jubilee Games in Vancouver (May 2008) and Nairobi, Kenya (June 2008), held to commemorate through sport the 50 years since His Highness the Aga Khan became Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. Remembering the spirit of the Games, athlete Mr. Karim Vallimohamed said, “being here today reminded us of the spirit of the Games – the friendships built, the comraderie and competition, the pursuit of excellence, but most important, above all, the games showed that we can all be united and pursue the goals of peace – very much what the Olympics stand for.”
MP Rob Olpihant welcomed Olympic Torch Relay in conjunction with 4 schools of Don Valley West.