TORONTO, May 29, 2012 – Amid the lush backdrop of the Toronto Botanical Gardens, 220 guests gathered last night for the sixth annual Portage Fresh Start Dinner & Auction to raise awareness and funds in support of the Portage Ontario Youth Treatment Fund. The fund provides much needed access to the Portage treatment centre in Elora, Ontario, where youth come to overcome their struggles with addiction.
Through overwhelmingly generous donations and the purchase of auction items, the event successfully raised over $112,000, which will give twelve youth the chance to change their lives at Portage this year.
“My philosophy is that our children are not a charity, they are the future of this country, whether they have drug problems or not,” stated Michael Howlett, Chair of the Board for Portage Ontario. “Your support this evening helps us protect our country’s future by investing in these children.”
The evening included this powerful address by Brandon, a current resident at Portage. “I started using drugs at age 11, when I was 16, I reached rock bottom. After a month and a half at Portage, I felt better, and eventually I got my phase three. The older guys coached me, I learned about myself, and I had a sense of pride. I never believed I could change, but now I am thinking of going to college. I’m going to do something. My dad is going to be proud of me. I am not alone in my battle.”
Portage is a non-profit organisation which fosters the strengths and skills of substance-dependent persons to enable them, through comprehensive and cost-effective interventions based on the therapeutic community approach, to live lives of sobriety, filled with dignity, self-respect, and accomplishment. In its 40-year history, Portage has assisted tens of thousands of people to take back control of their lives and seek Freedom from Addiction. Portage operates ten drug addiction treatment programs, located in Québec, Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and British Columbia.