By Angelica Ingram
With approximately $46000 raised to date the Haliburton Refugee Sponsorship Committee has made significant strides since it was established last fall.
On Sunday April 10 the committee is looking to add to that total with a Community FUNdraiser to be held at Rhubarb restaurant in Carnarvon.
Beginning at 6 p.m. the evening will include hors-d’oeuvres wine local beer and live entertainment provided by Chris Smith and the High Winds Duet said fundraising committee spokesperson Chris Lynd.
“There are amazing live and silent auction items such as a boat cruise package by Highland Boat Tours on the Lady of the Lake a Bonnie View Inn gift certificate an all-you-can eat pizza party for 10 by Into The Blue Bakery a three night cottage getaway on Lake Kashagawigamog tickets to the Ottawa Senators and much more” wrote Lynd in an email to the Times . “Some of the food has also been donated by local businesses and individuals to assist with costs.”
A subcommittee of the HRSP the fundraising committee came up with the idea when Rhubarb owners Terri Mathews-Carl and Chris Carl offered to host an event.
“They were so generous with their offer that our committee quickly jumped on board” wrote Lynd.
Much attention was brought to the refugee crisis in Syria during the fall of 2015 with the Canadian government pledging to welcome 25000 individuals to the country which has since happened.
The media attention resulted in a number of communities embracing Syrian refugees and Haliburton was no exception.
Last fall a committee focused on bringing a family to Haliburton County was formed working tirelessly ever since.
“We are working through AURA (Anglican United Refugee Alliance)” wrote Lynd. “A representative from that organization came to speak with us in the fall and the 60 people present were even more enthusiastic. Since then we have created seven subcommittees to assist with health transportation English as a second language fundraising housing and navigating a new community.”
While the committee is still awaiting news on when a family might arrive that hasn’t slowed down their commitment or progress with $46000 raised to date. Funds from the upcoming fundraiser will go towards supporting a family for one year.
HRSC spokesperson David Barker has visited with all of the local churches and service clubs and has received support from them as well as from businesses individuals and organizations.
“The community has been very generous in helping to support bringing a refugee family to Haliburton County” wrote Lynd.
The committee is grateful to all those who have gotten on board with the initiative and look forward to
what the future holds.
“The Haliburton Refugee Sponsorship Committee find themselves in the same situation as many other community groups as the federal government adjusts to the demands of groups and organizations all over the country who are mobilized financed and eager to welcome one or more refugee families into their communities” said Lynd. “It is a wait and see situation right now but we and our 75 or 80 committed volunteers have not lost our enthusiasm or resolve.”
Tickets to the Rhubarb event are $50 a person and can be purchased by calling 705-489-4449 or by dropping into Rhubarb located at 9201 Highway 118.