MCSS celebrates 40 years of helping the community

A barbecue is happening Friday at the Junction Mall

Mission Community Services Society is celebrating its 40th birthday with a  barbecue Friday.

The non-profit organization supports seniors, families, children and those in need.

MCSS was incorporated Feb. 11, 1972, and like many organizations, the idea grew from a kitchen table conversation about how to address the needs of Mission residents, said executive director Tony Lapointe.

Glen Barkman was the first director and Barbara Wightman was the assistant director/secretary. The first services included emergency transportation and Meals on Wheels. The food centre and Christmas Bureau were added later that year, said Lapointe.

Today, the organization runs more than 20 programs.

The original MCSS home was on the second floor of the Recreation Centre. The group moved into the old hospital in 1965 before finally settling in at its current location on Second Avenue in 1999.

MCSS expanded over the years, but still maintains its focus to help its neighbours.

MCSS is now a $4-million organization, and although 75 to 80 per cent of the business is contract work, the rest of the funds need to be fundraised.

Contributions to the Christmas Bureau have decreased over the last few years, said Lapointe, adding the annual centre will open next month.

Lapointe says the target is to raise $400,000 this year to run the Christmas Bureau, seniors and children programs.

In addition to applying for grants, MCSS is also hosting a James Bond-themed casino night fundraiser on Nov. 2. Tickets to the event are $75 or $100 each, depending on how much “funny money” you want to play with. The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. and will feature professional dealers, comedians from Stand Up For Mental Health, a buffet dinner and many prizes. Tickets are available at MCSS or by calling 604-826-3634.

The celebration barbecue on Oct.19 runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Canadian Tire parking lot at the Junction.

Enjoy a Mr Mike’s burger with a minimum $5 donation to the Food Centre. Other activities on site include a Kids Zone, the Tim Hortons Community Cruiser, displays from funding agencies, such as United Way, and information about MCSS programs.