October 3, 2019 would have been Ruth Wilensky’s 100th birthday. In her honour, Wilensky’s Light Lunch held a fundraiser/food drive for Sun Youth onthat occasion. Mrs.Wilensky, who passed away in 2018, ran Wilensky’s Light Lunch with her husband Moe Wilensky, who died in 1984. The restaurant, opened in 1932, was immortalized in Mordecai Richler’s 1959 novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz(and subsequently in the 1974 movie of the same name) and is one of the icons of Jewish food in Montreal withits signature sandwich, its hand-mixed sodas and its immutable establishment. The restaurant has always been a great supporter of Sun Youth and its 85thanniversary in 2017 was also host of a food drive for Sun Youth with Mrs. Wilensky cutting the cake for Wilenskyâ€™s 85 candles.
Wilensky’s fundraiser food drive for Sun Youth
On October 3rd, each person who donated money and/or non-perishable food was eligible to win a prize such as a free meal at Wilensky’s and some of the restaurantâ€™s memorabilia. As a result, while donations are still coming in on the Sun Youth website, over $ 4100 was raised, including a donation from the Wilensky family in honour of their late mother, and dozens of food items and hygiene products were collected for the Sun Youth Food Bank. Sharon Wilensy, Ruthâ€™s daughter had this to say: It just seemed natural to put the two events together. We had Sun Youth here at the 85thand she almost threatened not to come if Sid Stevens wasnâ€™t there. She really felt that attachment. I know she would have liked that.
The organization would like to thank the Wilensky family and the many donors for their generosity. For sure Ruth Wilensky would have been proud of this gesture!
Feature image: The Wilensky family presenting their donation to Sun Youthâ€™s Ann St Arnaud. Photo: François Turgeon