(February 17, 2015) – Scarborough Muslims celebrated Family Day on Monday by raising funds to purchase vital signs monitors for Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital.
Donors rose to the challenge by raising over $25,000 at an event held at the Islamic Institute of Toronto. Fareed Amin, President of Islamic Institute of Toronto and Pervez Nasim, Chairman of the Ansar Financial and Development Corporation presented cheques of $5,000 each on behalf of their organizations.
The event was originally planned as a Walkathon at the Scarborough Civic Centre, but a water main break forced a last-minute venue change to the Islamic Institute of Toronto gymnasium.
Undeterred by the cold weather and the venue change, over 200 people showed up to listen to speeches by Muslim leaders and political representatives on what Family Day signifies.
“Centenary Hospital in Scarborough has been a beacon of hope for our community,” said the organizers of the annual event. “It has been rendering life-saving and health promoting services – there is hardly anyone in Scarborough, who can say they do not have a friend or relative who has been touched by these services.”
“Scarborough Muslim Community feels that supporting and appreciating the Centenary Hospital is much needed and is consistent with the teachings of Islam and the example of Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him, who tirelessly worked hard to ease the hardship and for the betterment of the society that he lived in.”
Imam Arshad Sufi of Masjid Jannah reminded the crowd that the family is an Institution that needs commitment.
“Our jobs start when we get home,” said Imam Sufi.
Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid reflected that Family Day means recognizing the importance of those who are family and spending quality time with them.
“It is really great to see the Muslim Community embracing this holiday,” he said.
MPP Mitzie Hunter and Councillor Jim Karygiannis also conveyed best wishes for Family Day.
Answering a question on how he keeps connected with family, Momin Qureishi of 680 News credits his smartphone for ensuring he stays in touch while away from home.
“It really gives me a sense of connectedness,” he said “especially when I have to be away for a long period of time, and I need to connect.”
Muslim Children of North America led the crowd in a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, and children were treated to a reptile show before the crowd dispersed.
“This event does much more than simply raises money,” said the organizers. “It is one way to help our children develop their sense of philanthropy and social responsibility.”
“It helps them see that we’re all connected and that giving to others also makes them feel good about themselves. It is an important message that they will take home.”
This was the third annual Family Day Walkathon organized by Scarborough Muslim mosques and organizations.