Two École Secondaire Notre Dame High School students joined forces with Cilantro and Chive’s chef to design a burger to help raise $40,000 for the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation.
Grade 12 students Lily Forsyth and Allyne Simonot helped design the “Big Smile” burger. Throughout May, for every Big Smile burger sold $2 will be donated to the foundation named after Notre Dame graduate Lindsey More. The fundraising drive is part of the high school’s grad service project.
“The Class of 2021 agreed that in light of COVID-19 mental health should be a priority now more than ever,” said Simonot. “Lindsey More was, like us, a Notre Dame graduate. After she tragically took her life in 2015, her family began Smiles Thru Lindsey.
“She was a regular happy girl, nothing seemingly wrong. She was involved in the school community through sports and the grad service project of 2011. We knew that our school community would connect to her and her story as easily as it has,” she said.
“This cause is actually very personal for me, it is another way for me to support my friends who are struggling, a way to communicate to every person who is willing to listen that they are not alone,” said Forsyth. “That everyone is feeling or has felt a toll on their mental health and that there are resources and people out there to help.”
The burger was designed featuring some of More’s favourite ingredients. The Big Smile features marinated chicken breast, bacon, a sunny fried egg, arugula, tomato, balsamic glaze and a lime avocado aioli on a brioche bun and is served with hand-cut fries.
“In a year of such uncertainty, I am so proud of how our students have found such unique ways to fundraise and create awareness for mental health,” said Notre Dame principal Rose McQuay. “Through their dedication and creativity, they have been able to partner with some amazing local businesses allowing the entire community the opportunity to be part of our quest to end the stigma surrounding mental health.”
Cilantro and Chive owner Rieley Kay said “in just over four years we have been able to give back over $80,000 to local charities and organizations in our own backyard.