August 10, 2016 23:53 ET

Cesare Della Santina -- Supports Charities at Sami Fruits Foundation Gala

MONTREAL, QC--(Marketwired - August 10, 2016) - Produce importer and founder of CDS Foods, Cesare Della Santina was honored to attend the Sami Fruits for Kids Foundation 2016 Gala in April to help raise funds for children's disability charities in Montréal and Greater Québec. The fourth annual gala focused specifically on raising money for four groups -- the Mackay Centre School, the Philip E. Layton School, Special Olympics-Quebec and Project RAD. The Sami Fruits Foundation Gala was attended by 575 guests at the Le Mont Blanc in Laval, Québec, and raised $125,000 for these four organizations during a night of food and festivities.

The Mackay Centre School and the Philip E. Layton School are a pair of schools in Montréal for disabled children. The former works with children who have hearing and physical disabilities, as well as communication disorders, while the later specializes in education for the blind. The Special Olympics-Québec is part of the global movement to enrich the lives of intellectually disabled through sport. More than 4.2 million special athletes are registered worldwide with over 6,250 taking part in programs throughout Quebec. Finally, Project RAD is a Montréal-based organization providing people with various debilities the opportunity to take inclusive urban dance classes in a warm and safe environment adapted to their needs.

The work of the Sami Fruits Foundation is sponsored by Sami Fruits, a major fruit and vegetable wholesaler in Greater Montréal. Cesare Della Santina is inspired by the company's humble beginnings that date back to a 1910 fruit and vegetable stand in Beirut, Lebanon, and its young 17-year-old owner who dared to have a big vision. "The family-owned Sami Foods, which has grown and given back to the community through its foundation, is helping to show that this line of business is ultimately about supporting the health, wellbeing and happiness of people everywhere," he said. "At CDS Foods, we strive to provide clients with top quality products at a competitive price as well as personalized customer service. Anything we can do above and beyond this to help support specific causes for the community, and particularly where children's health and wellbeing is concerned, is an honor."

A veteran of the produce industry, Cesare Della Santina began his career in retail sales in the late 1980's and then moved into food service and wholesale positions before finally following his entrepreneurial aspirations and founding CDS Foods in 2000. In the beginning the company mostly dealt with garlic, ginger and shallots, but due to an overwhelming demand for additional products, CDS Foods has expanded to include fresh produce imports from Asia, Europe and South America, as well as a full line of specialty products. To date, CDS Foods has import and export agreements with suppliers in China, Spain, Mexico, United States and Argentina to name a few, and is seeking out new growers and partners; It will soon expand to India, Peru, Chile and other countries worldwide. To appeal to adventurous cooks, CDS Foods now offers pomelos, dragon fruit, taro, Asian pears and many other exotic fruits and vegetables.

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