Skip to content

From pranks to 'comfort' items, anything goes to raise money for downtown recovery centre

24hr Window Raise-a-thon is 705 Recovery Community Centre's biggest fundraiser; 'Our community needs this,' participant says

From pies in the face to leg waxing, participants are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to help keep the doors of the 705 Recovery Community Centre open. 

Four participants will be spending the weekend in the windows of the centre, located at 56 Dunlop St. W., as part of the centre’s annual 24hr Window Raise-a-thon for Recovery to help support programs in the community assisting those struggling with, or recovering from, addiction, mental health issues and more.

Event organizer Todd Palmer told BarrieToday the event is the centre’s biggest fundraiser, and goes a long way to allowing it to keep the doors open in order to continue to provide much-needed, free services to the community. The goal is to raise approximately $16,000 — which covers about four months of expenses.

“Without that money we’re unsure what’s going to happen because there’s no government funding here. This is all privately funded by the owners and ongoing groups that pay rent here. This fundraiser is very important to us for continuing to be able to serve our community,” he said.

As of 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the event had raised close to $7,000.

Donations will continue to be accepted even after the event is over, said Palmer, adding people can donate online, by calling the centre or by swinging by the Dunlop Street West location. The community can also donate money to help make the participant’s stay more comfortable — including food, water, a walk around the block, or a bathroom break. Or, if they prefer to have a bit of fun, they can donate money for pranks, including a pie in the face.

“Somebody donated money — it was me — for Geoff to have one of his legs waxed,” admitted Palmer.

This is the first year both Kat Chabot and Geoff MacGillivray have participated in the event, and they told BarrieToday they were excited to get involved with what they both believe is a “great cause.”

“During the pandemic a bunch of local musicians created an online Facebook group … and we raised money for local charities. Everyone was struggling with something, especially mental health. I saw my friends do this last year and have so much fun, so I was super excited to be part of it,” said Chabot.

As a recovering addict, MacGillivray said having a place like the 705 Recovery Community Centre is extremely important to those in the community who are struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

“I know the people who opened the centre … I am 10 years clean as of New Year’s and I am a big advocate for mental health. When they asked me to do this I jumped at the chance,” he said. “During the lockdowns a lot of people were big advocates for (services) staying open for mental health to avoid relapses and promote recovery, but now that everything has opened up, I think people have lost sight of that. I urge people to remind themselves what we were going through during those lockdowns is still going on now. It’s still important. Our community needs this. This place serves 300 people a week, so If this place closes … where do they go? It’s imperative we keep the doors open."

The event runs until 8 a.m. Sunday.