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Window of hope: 24-hour event returns to support addiction, mental health services

Window of hope: 24-hour event returns to support addiction, mental health services

The 24hr Window Raise-a-thon for Recovery returns to downtown support facility May 7

Next month’s second annual 24hr Window Raise-a-thon for Recovery returns to the street-side windows of the downtown Barrie centre it aims to help.

From May 7 at 8 a.m. to May 8 at 8 a.m., the windows at the 705 Recovery Community Centre, located at 56 Dunlop St. W., will feature four people fundraising to help support programs in the community assisting those struggling with, or recovering from addiction, mental health issues and more.

Last year’s inaugural event hoped to raise $16,000 — four months’ costs at the facilities  but more than doubled that with $35,000.

Organizer Todd Palmer, who took part in last year’s event, says he was very happy with the response.

“I think the unexpected thing was the businesses coming out and donating food and resources the day of,” Palmer told BarrieToday. “It was great to have many friends and family donate money and just everyday strangers looking to help the cause.”

The idea of the fundraiser is four people sit in their own window for 24 hours and people donate money to have them either do something or have something done to them.

“Last year, we were made to do quite a number of fun things. I took countless pies to the face as did the others. One thing I had to do was pick an egg out of three  where two were hard-boiled and one was not  and crush it on my head. I chose wrong and had egg all over my face,” Palmer said.

“One of the participants was a musician and was made to play songs all night. Lots of fun stuff,” he added. 

People can donate to also make the 24-hour stay comfortable for the participants by donating blankets, food, pillows, walks and bathroom breaks.

This year’s participants are musician Kat Chabot (involved as an ally to those dealing with addiction), Melissa Hart (sober since May 18, 2018), Jake Mathias (three years sober), and Geoff MacGillvary (10 years sober).

As someone who had been dealing with addiction, Palmer says he found the event to be a positive step for him.

“My recovery and sobriety at the time was pretty insulated. I was working the program that I had and those who were close to knew and were aware, but not many outside of that knew,” he said. “There is a certain level of vulnerability that sort of evolves into healing.

“You never know how something is going to affect you until you open up about it, and I think about a month after that I really started to get a real deep sense of healing and OK-ness with what I was going through,” Palmer added. 

While Palmer says addiction and mental health are nothing new, he acknowledges the crucial need for help now.

“Coming out of this social mental-health climate situation that we’re in, the centre is offering (help to) anyone in the community who is struggling or recovering from addiction and mental health issues,” he said. “It has been a great place for those needing help and at a time so many have needed it.”

To donate, go to the event page by clicking here and follow the instructions on how to participate. 

When asked if he would be looking to ensure this year’s foursome have as much to do as he and his partners did last year, Palmer made his intentions clear.

“Now, I’m a compassionate, supportive guy. On that note, yes, I am excited to participate as a member of the community as these folks sit in the windows,” he said. “I’m sure all the participants from last year feel the same and are anxious to help give to the cause.”

More information on the 24hr Window; Raise-a-thon for Recovery as well as a list of all meetings and events can be found at