Tireless East York volunteer Justin Van Dette is toasted

It was a remarkable turnout for Justin Van Dette Thursday. He’s a young man (one source says he was 17 in 1996) who has built a large community of loyalty and affection for his tireless commitment to East York and the good works that are done there. This night it was the AIDS Committee of Toronto which benefited. Notables like Premier Wynne, PC leader Patrick Brown and Mayor Tory joined “roasters” including Mel Lastman, Don Cherry, Brian Burke, Gail Nyberg, Bill Saundercook, George Smitherman, Anthony Farnell, Ken Reid, Tyler Currie and yet more friends of Van Dette at EG3 at 77 Peter Street. It was said that at least 170 people had committed to the event. Like many men of accomplishment and promise Van Dette is a low-key personality with a mannerly style. So East York. Day to day he can be found working on Community Relations at the Michael Garron (Toronto East General) Hospital. His politics are conservative but his social style is distinctly unaligned. In an amusing column Friday Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun suggested that Van Dette is known among his intimates as The Shaker. This may be. Although we are not told the principal talent of this distinction it seems likely to be similar to that of a rainmaker.