research and patient care at The Neuro

Take the Reitman Holiday Luncheon quiz!

Can you guess what goes into preparing and presenting this annual tradition at The Neuro?

The Reitman family has been the gracious host of a holiday buffet lunch for The Neuro since 1947---an annual gift of thanks that Ruth Reitman inaugurated to show her admiration for Dr. William Cone, who had successfully operated on her.

The feast in the Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre and Foyer for around 1,200 members of The Neuro is catered by the people at Snowdon Deli and Buffet Il Gabbiano. Three shifts of volunteers coordinated by the Development team and Housekeeping’s David Dass help to serve meals through the day starting at around 11:30 a.m. Joel, Jill and Dorothy Reitman and Neuro staff members will be among the volunteers filling plates.

“The Reitman family have created a wonderful tradition that means a lot for The Neuro’s staff.” says Guy Rouleau, The Neuro’s Director. “We are grateful for their longstanding support and commitment.”

Much effort goes into making the Reitman holiday luncheon a pleasant entry into the holiday season---there are even six candelabras and 30 Poinsettias to create a festive atmosphere.

“Everybody loves this event and looks forward to it. From behind the scenes it really is a full court press with staff from all corners of The Neuro volunteering to make every detail joyful and welcoming,” says Wendy Sculnick, Associate Director, Strategic Events Initiatives, who leads the organizing committee.

“It’s a very special event for us,” says Gisa Ciucci of Buffet Il Gabbiano, the catering outfit that prepares the food the day before the event, delivers it and arranges it on tables. “At this time of year, it’s a big order for a takeout.”

Take this fun quiz to help you prepare for the next time that you invite a thousand people over for lunch. Answers to questions are at the end.

  1. How many loaves of rye bread and French bread are sliced up?
  2. How many litres of beans go into the bean salad?
  3. How many kilos of cucumbers, Feta cheese and tomatoes go into the Greek salad?
  4. How many cans of soda pop are drunk?
  5. How many clementines are served?
  6. How many Christmas logs are cut up for dessert?
  7. How many slices of red pizza (tomato) and white pizza (herbs, garlic, rosemary) are prepared?
  8. How many trays of smoked meat and smoked turkey are put out?
  9. How many people slice and cut the meat, bread, salad and pizzas during the evening before the event?
  10. Who leads the entertainment provided by the Neuro Cosgrove Choir?
  11. What is Dr. Rouleau’s favourite food at the Reitman lunch?

Click here for the answers.

You can join in the Reitman holiday giving spirit by bringing some non-perishable food and placing it in the boxes at the entrance to the Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre. Donations will be distributed to a local food bank and to those in need.


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    The Neuro is a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering the highest quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.