On the evening of June 8th, 190 guests gathered for the 4th annual Portage Ontario Fresh Start Dinner & Auction in the lush Rosedale garden of Dr. Peter and Mrs. Susan Schaal to raise awareness and funds in support of the Portage Ontario Youth Treatment Fund. The fund provides access to the Portage Elora drug addiction rehabilitation treatment centre for adolescents. Through incredibly generous donations and the purchase of auction items, the event successfully raised over $110,000. This total far surpasses Portage Ontario’s goal of $85,000, an amount that would give ten Ontario youth the chance to change their lives at Portage this year.
The evening included powerful addresses by Sarah, a teenager who began struggling with addiction at the tender age of eleven and who has since come through one of Portage’s treatment programs, and her mother, Fran. After sharing the history of her battle with addiction, Sarah told guests, “I’m going on four months clean, and I don’t think I would have been able to do it without Portage’s help. Portage saved my life, and the lives of many other addicts who suffered just as I did. I will always be grateful for that.” Fran followed in thanking Portage: “Without her rehabilitation at Portage, no doubt Sarah would be on the street or in her grave. Portage gave her back to us. I want to thank Portage for helping us write a triumph, not a tragedy.”
Read Sarah’s complete testimonial LINK
Peter Howlett, President of Portage’s Board of Directors, was overcome by the touching stories shared by Sarah and Fran; “I think that Sarah is a courageous, gutsy, and intelligent young lady. She represents well the people who go through Portage. Her story does not stand alone.”
Chief of Police Bill Blair spoke about the value of Portage, stating, “I have come to know that what we need to do is to make sure that our children have the opportunity to receive treatment, and to receive care. Portage delivers that return. It is an investment that saves lives, and that puts young people back on their feet.”
Portage Ontario took advantage of the event to present its new promotional video, featuring residents, staff, graduates, and Board Members. The video paints a clear picture of what drug rehabilitation treatment at Portage is all about. Click here to view the Portage Ontario video.
Portage Ontario thanks all those who attended and who helped make the event a success.
Pictured here: Sarah, a graduate of Portage who spoke at the event, with Police Chief Bill Blair; and Sarah’s mother, Fran, who also addressed the guests.