Montréal, October 25, 2009 – Today, the Théâtre Maisonneuve de la Place des Arts welcomed 150 men, women and adolescents who can say with pride that they have conquered their substance addiction problem. They celebrated this great success together with their loved ones, who have been present since the beginning of their treatment in one of the Portage program substance abuse treatment centres in the greater Montréal region.
The Recognition Ceremony took place this afternoon and was presided over by Honorary President Lise Thériault, Delegated Minister for Social Services of the government of Québec, and was attended by Portage President Peter A. Howlett, Portage Executive Director Peter Vamos and several governors. “The accounts that you have given us of your personal paths are truly inspirational. You are revealing precious lessons of determination and courage.” declared Mrs. Thériault in her message to the graduates. The organization’s president commended the efforts of the adults, adolescents and mothers, who successfully completed their respective programs, while adding: “I can’t find the words to express how proud I feel to see you, together to celebrate this brilliant victory in one of the most significant struggles of your life.”
Nicolas, one of the Portage program graduates, wanted to “pass something on” by describing his experience. Working as a journeyman electrician since leaving the program, he loves his job and is already busy with a ton of projects!
Bursaries will be offered by Bell Canada to six Portage graduates to highlight their participation and determination when they took part in the theatrical project La Rive. This project’s objective was to help the young people to reinforce the numerous skills acquired during the Portage program and it was ultimately aimed at their socio-occupational reintegration.
Launch of the 2009-2010 Fundraising Campaign
On Wednesday, November 4th, Portage will launch its annual fundraising campaign in the presence of Mr. Alban D’Amours, the chairman of the campaign, along with co-chairs and cabinet members. In order to allow Portage to pursue its humanitarian work, a target of $1,850,000 has been set. It is through the support of its benefactors that Portage can continue its mission. The money raised and the actions of volunteers have a concrete influence on those who want to take back control of their lives. Thus, the Mother and Child Program now benefits from an entirely renovated daycare and the Saint-Damien-de-Buckland Centre will move to Saint-Malachie at the beginning of November.
Since 1970, Portage has helped over 34,000 substance abusers to conquer their dependency. The organisation offers a multitude of services tailored to the needs of its residents including adult and adolescent substance abusers, substance-abusing mothers with young children, substance-abusing pregnant women and mentally ill chemical abusers. Portage graduates can benefit from the MIRE program (Movement for integration and retention in employment) created in partnership with the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon.
Portage operates eight substance abuse treatment centres across Québec: in Montréal, Beaconsfield, Prévost (the Laurentides), Québec and in Saint-Damien-de-Buckland (Chaudière-Appalaches). Three other establishments serve the populations of Ontario, British Colombia and Atlantic Canada.