From pranks to ‘comfort’ items, it’s all good to raise money for downtown recovery center
24hr Window Raise-a-thon is the 705 Recovery Community Center’s largest fundraiser; “Our community needs it,” says a participant
From face pies to leg waxing, participants are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to help keep the doors of 705 Recovery Community Center open.
Four attendees will spend the weekend at the center’s Windows, located at 56 Dunlop St. W., as part of the center’s 24hr Window Raise-a-thon for Recovery to help support community programs that help people struggling with, or recovering from, substance abuse, mental health issues and more.
Event organizer Todd Palmer said BarrieToday The event is the center’s biggest fundraiser and allows it to keep its doors open to continue providing free and much-needed services to the community. The goal is to raise approximately $16,000, which covers approximately four months of expenses.
“Without that money, we don’t know what’s going to happen because there’s no government funding here. This is all funded by the landlords and permanent groups who pay rent here. This fundraiser is very important for us to continue to be able to serve our community,” he said.
By 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the event had raised nearly $7,000.
Donations will continue to be accepted even after the event ends, Palmer said, adding that people can donate online, by calling the center or through the Dunlop Street West site. The community can also donate money to help make the participant’s stay more comfortable – including food, water, a walk around the block, or a bathroom break. Or, if they prefer to have a little fun, they can donate money for pranks, including face pie.
“Someone donated money – it was me – to get Geoff to have his leg waxed,” Palmer admitted.
This is Kat Chabot and Geoff MacGillivray’s first year at the event, and they said BarrieToday, they were excited to get involved in what they both believe is a “great cause.”
“During the pandemic, a group of local musicians created an online Facebook group…and we raised money for local charities. Everyone was struggling with something, especially mental health. I saw my friends doing this last year and having so much fun, so I was super excited to be a part of it,” Chabot said.
As a recovering drug addict, MacGillivray said having a place like the 705 Recovery Community Center is extremely important for members of the community who are dealing with addiction and mental health issues.
“I know the people who opened the center… I’ve been clean for 10 years since New Years and I’m a big advocate for mental health. When they asked me to do it, I jumped at the chance,” he said. “During the lockdowns a lot of people were big advocates for maintaining mental health (services) to prevent relapses and aid recovery, but now that it’s all opened up I think people have lost sight of that. . I urge people to remember that what we were going through during these lockdowns is still going on today. It’s always important. Our community needs it. This place serves 300 people a week, so if this place closes… where do they go? It is imperative to keep the doors open.”
The event runs until 8 a.m. Sunday.