Upcoming EventsUpcoming Events

Dear Valued Member of the Porcupine Dante Club.

As you are well aware, these are trying times. The COVID pandemic has impacted every aspect of our daily lives: It has affected the way we gather and meet; it has blocked our interaction with family and friends; it has harmed our physical and mental health; it has weakened our financial health. The Porcupine Dante Club has not been spared.

Prior to this unprecedented situation, your Dante Club was doing very, very well. The recently received Review of Engagement undertaken by MNP verified and confirmed our positive 2019 year-end and our lofty projections of growth. The Dante Club finished 2019 with a net profit of $59,000. We paid off one of our three loans while the balance was greatly reduced in the remaining two; our debt-to-asset ratio decreased dramatically and was trending in the right direction; we had bookings in the first three months of 2020 (which are usually our slow months); we had a number of large-scale events booked from April to September. The fast start to 2020, coupled with our usually expected busy season of October to December, had the Dante Club in a healthy financial position and heading for a banner, record year.

Everything changed, however, with the COVID pandemic. On March 19, 2020, the Dante Club was forced to close as per Ministry of Health and Government of Ontario legislation, resulting in a significant, negative financial impact. Dante Club executive and management made the quick decision to suspend all operations, lay off all staff and to apply to every federal and provincial loan, grant and wage subsidy program. We worked closely with the Timmins Economic and Development Corporation as well as Scotiabank to seek out every possible stream of funds – and we continue to do so. We are currently negotiating with our insurance company for reimbursement. We have also deferred municipal taxes and suspended all non-essential payments to limit monthly payments to only the essentials. Despite these aggressive measures, our bottom line has taken quite a hit. The Dante Club is a not-for-profit banquet facility – our main source of revenue is derived from large gatherings. The business of the club is aided somewhat by the restaurant, but the main source of income are banquets and, up to now, they have been lost. This loss of business has been tremendous – $550,000.00 projected to the end of August. This is very distressing to both the executive and management.

Despite these negative happenings, the Dante Club has not been idle. Realizing we will be unable to make the “same” money every month, we decided the key is to make “some” money each month. It is important to show the community the Dante Club is still alive and that we still offer the best Italian food in town.

We do not know when this pandemic will end. What we do know is the banquet industry will be the last industry to emerge from this dark shadow but how the new normal will look is anyone’s guess.

The Dante Club must be ready once that time arrives. It must be in the front of everyone’s mind when it comes to banquets, receptions and Italian food.

The strength of this club is its members, especially those who donate of their time and energy to help reduce the financial burden. Without these members, the Dante Club would not and could not exist. This service has continued during this lockdown. We are so lucky to have such giving members who have helped to try to stem the tide. Lasagna and sausage drives have been organized (with proper social distancing) and have been very successful. Sauce and meatballs are available for takeout and a takeout menu will soon start in June.

A big thank you to Dina Licop and her lasagna crew for making more than 300 lasagnas!

Julie Ciarrocca
Armida Ciccone
Olivia Floreani
Alana Loreto
Lizzie Loreto
Kristen Loreto
Katie MacKenzie
Joanne Norkum

Vince Purificati

Milt Smith

Richard Cybulski

Thank you as well to Domenic Colantonio for organizing and overseeing the sausage-making project and to his band of merry men who made 1,000 pounds of sausage last week. Another 1,200 pounds of pork have been ordered for the next drive.

Milton Smith

Milt Workewich

Alfonso Colarossi

Carlo Didone

Alfredo Ciccone

Vito Flaminio

Sam Rizzuto

Rick Cybulski

Chris Loreto

Other members have offered their time in other ways. Darlene Landriault has donated her time in the office while Glenn Sheculski volunteered to renovate the upstairs balcony. A much needed, proper storage area has been created. Soon the walls will be painted and the white sheets removed to make way for proper curtains.

Finally, we have many members who support our larger events through sponsorship dollars. The British Invasion, which had been scheduled for April, and Festa Italiana in July are two such events. Rob Racine of J&B Cycle, Robert Floreani of Northern Mechanical Services, Ryan Taylor of Timmins Honda, Jim Mascioli of Timmins Garage, Mario Ciccone and Chris Loreto have agreed to donate their sponsorship to the Dante Club and have committed to support these events next year. This reflects the importance of the Dante Club to these individuals and to this community.

It should also be noted the Dante Club is also about giving back. Through donations of food to the Timmins and District Hospital Emergency Department and to the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board, we have shown we care about the frontline workers and people in need in our community.

So, what can you the member do to help your club? Firstly, we ask that you be strong, vocal supporters of the club. Spread the word to friends and family: the Dante Club is open for business. Secondly, if you have not paid your past and present dues, please do so. Every little bit of income helps.

We do not know what the future holds, but we can tell you the executive and management have been meeting online every two weeks to help the club rise above this challenge. Your support will help us, whether it is by volunteering, spreading the word on social media or through financial contributions.

The Dante Club has existed for 67 years and has seen its shares of ups and downs. We are currently down again, but with your help we are not out.

Thank you.

The executive and management of the Porcupine Dante Club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on Parliamo Italiano, please go to the Italian Classes webpage

                                   

  • Festa Italiana Weekend
    Postponed until 2021
  • Ladies Dinner
    Wednesday September 2
  • Members Dinner Meeting
    Thursday September 24
  • @ the Lounge
    Friday September 25
  • Ladies NOILA Convention in Sudbury
    Fri. Sat. Sun. Sept. 25, 26, 27
  • La Serata Abruzzese
    Saturday October 17
  • @ the Lounge
    Friday October 23
  • Ladies Dinner
    Wednesday November 4
  • San Martino Chestnut Night
    Sunday November 8
  • @ the Lounge
    Friday November 13
  • Members Dinner Meeting
    Tuesday November 26
  • Ladies Christmas Dinner
    Wednesday December 2
  • Christmas Luncheons Open to Public
    Wed, Thurs, Fri. Dec 16, 17, 18
  • @ the Lounge
    Friday December 18
  • New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance
    Thursday December 31
  • La Befana Family Brunch
    Sunday January 3 2021