Portage Ontario Spring 2012
Portage Ontario - Outward Bound 2012

Outward Bound teaching residents about teamwork, leadership, and how to ask for help

Portage Ontario - Outward Bound snowshoeingOutward Bound programming at Portage Elora uses the metaphors that are found in nature to reinforce what the youth are learning throughout their drug rehabilitation therapy at Portage.  From several-day dog-sledding trips in Algonquin Park to activities and challenges at the centre and in the surrounding areas, residents are putting into practice their leadership, communication, and teamwork abilities that they have been working on in therapy.
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A new partnership with Cornerstone 52 Foundation

Cornerstone 52 Foundation Classic Albums LivePortage would like to thank the Cornerstone 52 Foundation for hosting a very successful Classic Albums Live Beatles Concert, which took place on January 27 at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto.  Over a hundred Portage supporters came out to enjoy the music and a private reception following the concert.   The Cornerstone 52 Foundation donated $55,000 of the event’s proceeds to Portage Ontario, to support various programs including the Portage Ontario Youth Treatment Fund, Outward Bound, and the Continuing Care and Family Programs.
Pictured above: Frank Anderson, Founder of The Cornerstone 52 Foundation, croons at the reception.

Cornerstone 52 Foundation Golf Tournament - ThornhillNext Up: A Cornerstone 52  event for those who prefer swinging a golf club to swinging to the Beatles!  Portage is partnering with the Cornerstone 52 Foundation to bring you the Annual Cornerstone 52 Foundation Golf Tournament.  Part of the proceeds will be donated to Portage Ontario.  The tournament will take place on June 18 at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club.
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Portage Ontario welcomes new board members

Portage is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members to the Portage Ontario regional board, Colin Shevlen and Neil King, and a new member to the Portage Board of Governors, Len Crispino.

Portage Ontario Board Member - Neil King“I am looking forward to working with Portage Ontario,” states Mr. King. “During a recent visit to the Portage Elora site I spent a few hours with one of the residents.  I was both shocked and saddened to hear first-hand about the ease with which a 15 year old could get ahold of drugs like OxyContin.  As a father of two young children, this talk made me better understand the challenges that we face as parents, as family members, and as a society to overcome drug addiction and abuse.  More importantly, it made me understand that we can have a direct impact on the lives of these teenagers and their families.”    
Click here to learn more about our new board members…


Portage Ontario Family Day and Recognition Celebration 2012
Portage Ontario will host a Family Day and Recognition Celebration on April 22 at 1:00 pm, at the Portage Elora centre.  Over one hundred people are expected to be on hand to honour the youth who have completed the residential phase of their drug rehabilitation at Portage Elora and are now living positive and successful lifestyles in their community.

For more information, or if you would like to attend, please contact Karen Thomas, Volunteer Coordinator, at 519-846-0945 ext. 271, or at kthomas@portage.ca.

Fresh Start 2012
Please join Portage Ontario at the Toronto Botanical Garden on Tuesday, May 29 for the sixth Annual Fresh Start Dinner and Auction.  Proceeds will go to the Portage Ontario Youth Treatment Fund, which helps youth in need seek drug rehabilitation treatment at Portage. For more information, please contact Sarah Lounsbury, Development Officer, Portage Ontario at 416-531-1333 ext. 225, or by email slounsbury@portage.ca

Cornerstone 52 Foundation Golf Tournament in support of Portage Ontario 
Portage Ontario has partnered with the Cornerstone 52 Foundation for this year’s Cornerstone 52 Foundation Golf Tournament, which will be held at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club on June 18.  To register or for more information about event sponsorship, please contact Sarah Lounsbury, Development Officer, Portage Ontario, at 416-531-1333 ext. 225 or by email at slounsbury@portage.ca.


Portage Ontario - testimonial

Caitlin says she learned to deal with trust issues that stemmed from her abuse while at Portage. “I didn’t like talking about it at the time, but it changed my life,” she admits. Instead of turning to drugs when she’s feeling stressed or overwhelmed, Caitlin says she now turns to her network of good friends to ask for help. “I don’t even think it’s a matter of being sober that’s so important to me now. It’s knowing that things are going to be okay and that I can manage life without the drugs.”

Caitlin’s story of overcoming addiction at Portage Elora

Caitlin grew up in what looked like a picture-perfect home. Though her mother left when she was young, her dad had remarried, and she had an older brother who was close in age. In front of teachers and friends, she appeared happy and social; but at home she was the victim of abuse, leaving her feeling lost and confused.

Up until grade seven, she had a close group of friends to lean on for support; however, when her brother started getting into trouble, the family decided to move to a small town outside Ottawa.

“We were very isolated,” Caitlin says. “I had trouble making friends because I had grown up with the same best friends since kindergarten.”
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Spring Break at Portage Elora

Portage Elora - Spring breakLike the rest of their peers, the youth at Portage Elora enjoyed a Spring Break week off from school at Portage Academy.  The week was full of structured activities, including a hiking trip to see the beautiful Webster’s Falls in Dundas, another to Crawford Lake and the old native village, and an afternoon of outdoor activities complete with a cook-out over the fire at the centre.  Residents also enjoyed a hands-on presentation about organic gardening.  Each resident now has two plants to care for in their rooms. This summer, the plants will be transplanted into the new vegetable, herb, and tea gardens that they are planning to create at the centre.

Sixth Annual Fresh Start Dinner and Auction – Mark your calendars!

Portage Ontario - Fresh StartIt’s that time of year again!  Tickets and tables are now on sale for Portage Ontario’s sixth Annual Fresh Start Dinner and Auction, which will take place on Tuesday, May 29 at the beautiful Toronto Botanical Garden, located at 777 Lawrence Avenue East. The reception will begin at 6:30 pm and dinner will be served at 7:30 pm.  Proceeds will go to the Portage Ontario Youth Treatment Fund, which provides Ontario youth with access to drug rehabilitation treatment beds that would otherwise not be available or affordable to their families.  

Fresh Start is a great opportunity to network with the business community and to learn more about Portage Ontario’s substance abuse rehabilitation centre for youth.  The silent auction will feature exclusive getaways, golf packages, electronics, home furnishings, jewellery, and entertainment packages, to name a few.  Corporate tables of ten are available at $5,000. Individual tickets cost $250. Portage Ontario’s goal is to raise $125,000 through ticket sales and the live and silent auctions.

Click here for the Table and Ticket Order Form

For more information about the Fresh Start Dinner and Auction please contact Sarah Lounsbury, Development Officer, Portage Ontario at 416-531-1333 ext. 225, or by email slounsbury@portage.ca

Portage Canada
Portage celebrates its 39th birthday!

Portage Atlantic - Metamorphosis DayFebruary 14, 2012 marked the 39th anniversary since the first Portage centre in Prévost opened its doors to its first group of drug addicts who were looking to get back in control of their lives. Every year on Metamorphosis Day, Portage centres across the country celebrate the tens of thousands of lives that Portage has touched.
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Portage Canada
The Continuing Care Program at Portage

Portage’s therapeutic community has evolved over the years, from its original approach based on the Daytop model and adapted to the reality of the regions where Portage provides services, to a modern-day approach that has been enriched to continuously incorporate best practices in addiction treatment.  As Portage’s model has evolved, so has its success indicators. In 2009, Portage established the Continuing Care Program to encourage the success of its participants.  Whereas in the past, a client who left Portage without completing all five phases of rehabilitation treatment was considered to have failed the program, with the Continuing Care Program, Portage can now continue to support these people and encourage them to persist on their path to sobriety.
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Portage Elora residents speak at a panel discussion on the Four Pillars Drug Strategy
A professor at the University of Guelph invited Portage Elora residents and staff members to participate in a series of community sessions on the Four Pillars Drug Strategy with her Corrections and Penology class this past fall. In partnership with the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy Committee, these weekly sessions brought together many different community stakeholders – from Police Services, the Crown Attorney’s Office, Public Health, the AIDS Committee, and the Guelph Community Health Centre, to name a few.
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For admissions information, please contact our centre in Elora, Ontario:
Tel. 519-846-0945
Fax 519-846-5703

For the Portage Ontario Board, Campaign, and volunteer activities, please contact:

Jennifer Blunt
Director of Corporate Affairs and Development
Portage Ontario


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Portage is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people who are suffering from substance abuse-related problems to overcome their dependencies and to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Portage is a vital and progressive force in the drug addiction treatment field in North America, with service centres in Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia. Through drug addiction treatment best practices and the therapeutic community approach, Portage helps residents develop their self-esteem, confidence, and the competencies necessary to overcome addiction.

Portage has been operating drug rehabilitation centres in Canada for over 39 years.  Portage Ontario was established in 1985.

Read more about Portage’s mission, vision, and values.


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