Domtar reunion to raise money for United Way

Former Cornwall Domtar employees Debbie Fraser, Deric Latour, Mitch Fobert-Irving and Bill Makinson gather at the Army Navy Air Force Club on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 to unveil details about an employee reunion to benefit United Way. The former workers haven't had a get-together under happy circumstances since the mill closed in 2006. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – After a decade since the Cornwall paper mill closed, a group of former Domtar workers are hoping to resurrect a time-honoured tradition while raising money for the United Way.

“We decided to make a 10 year reunion. We lost a few of our coworkers and close friends and our biggest meeting place was the funeral homes,” former Domtar employee Mitch Fobert-Irving reflected during a news conference Wednesday.

“It time to have happy times together rather that visiting the funeral homes with everybody,” 20-year employee Debbie Fraser added.

The plant used to have an annual picnic, which ended with the closing of the Second Street West mill in 2006.

So the group decided to put this spaghetti dinner social together while benefiting the United Way.

The employees decided to hold a news conference in order to get the word out, as many former employees have fanned out across the country. It’s believed there are just over 500 employees out there (that left the mill in 2006).

The tickets for the event will be $15 and there’s a maximum of 300 tickets.

So far, the party is only open to the former paper mill employees and their spouses but Fobert-Irving suggested that could be open to others.

It’s estimated the ticket sales plus a silent auction will raise around $4,000.

Former worker Bill Makinson added that this will be a way of giving back, as Domtar used to donate over half a million dollars to the United Way between 2000 and 2006. “You can see the impact that the Domtar employees and the company had on the United Way campaign,” Makinson said.

Richard Filion – a foreman at Domtar – will be providing the music for the event.

The party is Sept. 30, 2016 at 5 p.m. at the Army Navy Air Force club on Marlborough Street.

For more information and to get tickets you can email, visit the United Way office on Fourth Street, the Army Navy Air Force Club (Tuesday through Friday) or the Former Domtar Employees Facebook page.