Building a Stronger Community

Open Your Hearts For Durham Children’s Aid

By Lynn Wayling
Chronicle Staff

It’s time to put down your little leftover candy hearts and get ready for a Big Heart celebration. Valentine’s Day may be over, but the Hearts of Durham charitable organization is just beginning its Big Hearts campaign to raise money for the Durham Children’s Aid Foundation. From now until March 15, 14 restaurants across Durham Region will be spotlighting items on their menu and donating a portion of the purchase price to the children’s charity.  The participating restaurants are: Mr. C’s, Nice Bistro, Sauter’s Inn, 22 Church Steakhouse, Pimentos, Bella Notte Ristorante, On The Rocks (Whitby and Oshawa locations), Chatterpaul’s, El Stavros, Hot Rocks Diner, Shrimp Cocktail, Burbs Bistro & Bar, Havana Nights and Makimono Japanese (in Pickering and Ajax). For a full list of the featured dishes, you can contact Hearts of Durham or the individual restaurants.  The restaurant drive is part of a larger fundraising effort by Hearts of Durham that includes a fashion show on March 29 and a gala benefit on April 18. The organization is made up of volunteers dedicated to supporting and reinvesting in the community. Since 2006, Hearts has raised over $123,000, which has been distributed to various charities across the region.  Dana Baltovich, chair of the organization, is enthusiastic about this year’s fundraising campaign, hoping to surpass the $58,000 raised last year. To help do so, Hearts of Durham has been determined to get out its message.
“We are a doing a multi-media blitz - e-mail, posters, ads in newspapers, asking people to go to the restaurants,” said Baltovich.  The restaurants, for their part, have been eager to participate. Shrimp Cocktail manager Chris Neshevich says his restaurant is always willing to help raise money for local charities and organizations. We do whatever we can to give back to the community that we work in and live in and that helps us.”
So now it’s your turn to give back to the community. Why not continue the Valentine’s Day celebration, take your sweetheart out to dinner and help raise money for children in need.
More information about Big Hearts can be found at or at 905-655-0651 x 1.