PA Chat King, aka Matthew Schlar, can always be seen with a smile on his face when he’s volunteering at Netivot. “There’s so much negativity in this world; it’s such a strange place to be living in at this time, and if you don’t smile you’re living to the stigma of the time. You have to smile. You don’t know what someone is going through and that smile can have a positive impact. If I see somebody, I smile. If I see somebody, I’ll say hello. You only live once, make the best of it.” Matthew’s ‘Montreal famous’ Bubbie z”l, – the short blonde lady with a smile on her face behind the counter at Montreal Kosher bakery influenced his outlook on life. As her first grandson, Matthew and his Bubbie had a very close and unique relationship despite the distance between Toronto and Montreal. He has special memories of his visits, and observed her kindness and cheer as she gave treats to kids when they came into the bakery, “She would smile and light up the room.” Matthew takes after his Bubbie in his outlook and determinations; “As a Holocaust survivor, she had to overcome many hardships and struggles and that is so inspiring to me. Everything I do is for my Bubbie, in honour of her.” Matthew has experienced his own challenges; he was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12 and recently with diabetes. “It is something I live with, but I don’t let it determine who I am or define me.”
Matthew did an outstanding job as his son’s JK class parent last year, and was asked by the PA to run the schoolwide PA chat this year. When asked about his role as ‘the chat guy’, Matthew reflects, “Any way a parent can get involved in the school is a good opportunity. School is a commitment, and I think every mother and father should get involved in some way, even if just a small way – coming to a coffee and conversation, or an event.”
It won’t be surprising to learn that the ‘happiest place on earth,’ Disney World, is Mathew’s happy place. He has enjoyed bringing his family to Disney and looks forward to more trips in their future. When he isn’t posting on the chats, he works as an insurance claims advisor for TD bank. Matthew is married to Cynthia; they have 2 children in Netivot.