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Weekend fundraiser more than doubled its goal to help downtown recovery centre

24-hour window raise-a-thon for recovery collected upwards of $35,000 and will help keep the doors open at The 705, says event organizer

Todd Palmer may have had some egg on his face this past weekend, but it definitely wasn’t from embarrassment.

Palmer was one of four members of the recovery community who spent 24 hours sitting in one of the windows at The 705 Recovery Community Centre in downtown Barrie as part of The 24-hr Window: A raise-a-thon for recovery.  

The event was to raise money and awareness for the centre, which is located on Dunlop Street West.

Palmer, who organized the event, said their initial hope was to raise between $12,000 and $16,000, enough to cover three months rent.

But by the time the 24 hours was done at 8 a.m., Sunday, they had actually raised twice that amount. And with other donations continuing to trickle in after the event was done, they are now estimating they raised upwards of $35,000.

“It’s remarkable and it’s beautiful the fact the community was willing to come forward so generously and, through donations, recognize the need for the centre, the free services it offers and to the community it supports,” he said.

The money raised will help cover the cost of keeping the doors of the centre open.

“All of the services offered at the centre are free to the community, so the money goes to... rent, bills, utilities, cleaning supplies and other necessities," Palmer added. 

In order to create some fun, people could donate money to give participants an extra bathroom break, a walk around the block, or some food. They could also donate money to make them more uncomfortable, something Palmer says people really seemed to enjoy.

“I had multiple pies in the face, had an egg cracked on my head. … That was part of a larger thing because I got to choose. … Two of the eggs were hard boiled… and, of course, I somehow chose the one that wasn’t,” said Palmer. “The joke’s on him, though, (because) my skin was a delight afterwards!”

Palmer also had to go live on Facebook and do his own make-up.

“It was good. The community came through and gave me good tips on how to properly apply the eye shadow and the blush so that was nice. I needed that,” he said.

All jokes aside, though, Palmer says every dollar raised was much-needed and will help them keep the doors open. 

“It’s a place where like-minded people can come together in a community and support each other and get the help they need. These kinds of free services, in the current time we are going through, are very important,” he said.

“This has helped us raise money for eight months, but we see a long-term investment in this area and we’d like to do what we can to be here for a while, so ongoing donations help, too.”