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First-ever festival brings maple treats to Georgian College

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Event Management Students at Georgian College organized its first-ever Sweet Maple Festival as a class assignment.

The College welcomed hundreds of community members to the day-long event, with the goal of raising thousands of dollars and a dozen barrels worth of food donations for the Barrie Food Bank and Georgian College Food Locker.

"I think as students, we all have had experience with people we know requiring some sort of assistance," said Rachel Sedore, an Event Management student and one of the co-organizers. "So we really wanted to give back that way."

The support comes at a critical time for the Barrie Food Bank, which already went through many of its donations from Easter.

"We're heading into our dry season where the food donations don't keep pace with the demand," said Karen Shuh, the Barrie Food Bank's fundraising manager. "This is very important for us to be able to restock the shelves for the summer season."

The Sweet Maple Festival began with a pancake breakfast in the E-building. The savoury crepes were topped with maple syrup that was tapped on campus by students, and they were served by College CEO Kevin Weaver, MP Doug Shipley, and members of the Barrie Police Service.

"More and More people are using the food bank," said Shipley. "We need to support them, which in turn supports our members of our community as much as we can."

Shipley and Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston were delighted to put smiles on so many faces.

"This is a small way of helping those who aren't as fortunate," stated Johnston. "We all play a small part."

The festival also featured a local vendor market in the N-Building. Over 35 local vendors showcased their handmade art and offered homemade sweets and treats.

"It really shows what the college is all about," said Eve-Ann Rolfe, a Georgian College student and one of the art vendors. "It broadcasts our values and what we want to uphold as we learn here."

The Sweet Maple Festival is Georgian College's last major community event of the semester. Students and staff are hoping to make it an annual event in the future.

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