Montréal, November 2, 2008 – This fall, graduates of Portage in the Greater Montreal Area get a fresh start in life along with an opportunity to take their lives into their own hands after having completed the various stages of the organisation’s drug addiction treatment program. Freed from dependency and ready to reintegrate society, they celebrated their accomplishment with the friends and family that have supported them throughout this painstaking process.
The Recognition Ceremony took place this afternoon in Théâtre Maisonneuve de la Place des Arts and was presided over by Alban D’Amours, Past President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group and Corporate Director, and was attended by Portage President, Peter A. Howlett, and several Portage Governors. Alban D’Amours declared in his address to the graduates: “At the end of your journey, you have found hope and rediscovered your potential and for this, we congratulate you and hope you will achieve your most cherished dreams”. Mr. Howlett commended the efforts of the adults, adolescents and mothers who successfully completed their respective programs. “It is heart-warming and rewarding to celebrate your victory today which brings the promise of a better life” he said. “We’re proud of all our residents.”
This ceremony also provided an opportunity to highlight the work of four young Portage graduates who took part in the Walking into the future project. It involved youths producing a stage play and taking part in each stage of the creative process to help them apply, absorb and build the numerous skills learned in the Portage program aimed at finding employment or reintegrating the school system. Today each received a $1,500 bursary for their participation and determination in carrying out the project.
Maggie, 17 years old, is part of the graduates today. She is very proud of her accomplishments and has many plans for the future. Maggie would like to resume her CEGEP next fall and eventually pursue a university degree in psychology. The Portage adolescent program gave her the necessary tools and confidence to pursue her dreams.
Launch of the 2008-09 fundraising campaign
On Tuesday November 4, Portage will launch its annual fundraising campaign at Club Saint-Denis in the presence of Alban D’Amours, chairman of the campaign, cochairs and the members of the cabinet. In order to help Portage pursue its humanitarian efforts, a target of $1,850,000 has been set. It is foremost thanks to the support of its benefactors that Portage has experienced sustained growth over the years. Each donation is a concrete action to overcome addiction and give hope to all those who want to redirect their lives and live drug free.
Since 1970, Portage has helped over 30,000 people conquer their dependency. The organisation offers a multitude of services tailored to the needs of its residents, including adults, teens, mothers with young children, pregnant women and those suffering from mental health problems. Portage graduates can also benefit from the MIRE program (Mouvement pour l’intégration et la rétention en emploi) created in partnership with the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon.
Portage operates eight drug addiction treatment centres across Québec: in Montréal, Beaconsfield, Prévost (the Laurentians), Québec City and Saint-Damien-de-Buckland (Chaudière-Appalaches). Two others serve Ontario and Atlantic Canada.