Erin O’Toole recognizes talented constituents at Constituency Open House


Bowmanville, ON: Today, Erin O’Toole, the Member of Parliament for Durham, welcomed two talented and thoughtful constituents to the Bowmanville Constituency Office as part of an Open House reception. MP O’Toole displayed photos of Afghan children who received teddy bears made by Darlene Read and her team of volunteers from the Durham area. They were surrounded by newly unveiled paintings by local Bowmanville artist Matthew Doughty.

One year ago, Ms. Read presented the Honourable Peter MacKay with several handmade teddy bears knit by Ms. Read’s team and asked that they be given to children in Afghanistan.  Over the ensuing months, MacKay and Durham MP O’Toole had the bears delivered to Afghanistan and followed up to see who received them.  Today, Ms. Read’s group will get to see the amazing impact of their gifts on the other side of the world.

“I applaud Darlene Read and her group of volunteers for their passion and dedication to children a world away. In a world where children are caught in the crosshairs of violence and poverty, the bears from Ms. Read’s group bring a smile and glimmer of hope to children in desperate need of both,” said MP O’Toole.  “Darlene Read and her group of volunteers represent the best elements of our community.  They give their time and talent, and help spread hope and smiles from Canada to people around the world.”

The bears were given to children in the kindergarten class at a women’s shelter in Kabul.  Shelters like this are made possible by Canada’s commitment to Afghanistan and the gift of the bears demonstrates that Canadians from all walks of life can make an impact on that country.

MP O’Toole’s office also unveiled paintings by Matthew Doughty for the occasion. Mr. Doughty is a local Bowmanville artist who will be the first Durham artist to have original works displayed on the walls of O’Toole’s constituency office in the historic Balmoral Building in Bowmanville.  The office will display original artwork from talented Durham residents throughout the year to showcase the talents found in our community.

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For further information, or for additional comment from MP O’Toole, please contact:

Sheryl Greenham
Executive Assistant to Erin O’Toole, C.D.
Member of Parliament —Durham
1-866-436-1141 or  905-697-1699 | erin.otoole.c1@parl.gc.ca



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