Whitby Mayor’s Gala raises $140,000 for community organizations

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Published September 13, 2023 at 3:46 pm

Numerous community organizations; including hospitals, food banks and victim’s services, have received thousands of dollars in aid thanks to the Whitby Mayor’s Gala fundraiser.

The Gala is one of two fundraisers the town puts on annually to support the Mayor’s Community Development Fund which gives grants to area charities and aid groups. The latest Gala was held on Sept. 9 and pulled in $140,000.

The fund offers two types of grants; lead grants worth up to $25,000 and community grants up to $5,000. The largest lead grant of $25,000 went to the Lakeridge Health Foundation, which oversees fundraising for the hospitals in Oshawa and Whitby. This funding is meant to directly help Whitby residents’ health needs including for the potential new hospital.

Lakeridge Health selected a site near the intersection of Hwy. 407 and Hwy. 412 in Whitby to build its sixth hospital in January 2022. It is set to feature the only trauma centre between Toronto and Kingston and a neonatal ward. However, the project stalled when provincial development funding was not included in later 2022 or 2023 budgets.

Another lead grant, this one of $15,000, was sent to Melly’s Workplace, Café and Market. Melly’s is a non-profit which employs and supports people with developmental disabilities. Their mission is to “elevate and promote the many skills, talents and passions of people of all abilities and provide a space for the community to shop and support them,” per their website.

Their grant will help fund their “A Part of Life” program which trains people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The town previously held a golf tournament for the Development Fund which raised $15,000 each for Feed the Need in Durham food banks and Victim Services of Durham Region. All these grants are among the 27 cheques issued to various organizations in town such as; the Royal Canadian Legion, the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region, We Grow Food, Sunrise Youth Group, and Therapeutic Paws of Canada. Collectively the fund has provided $83,000 total in 2023.

Feed the Need’s grant is going into a “marketplace model” foodbank with evening and weekend hours to support working people and families. The Victim Services grant is going to their new Teen IRL Empowerment and Prevention Program, which teaches youth about violence prevention, healthy relationships, consent, cyber-safety, and human trafficking.

Local organizations can apply for similar grants online.

 

 

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