The Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre will benefit from two upcoming fundraisers Cocktails for a Cause and the new Raise a Red Flag community event at the Algonquin College Waterfront Campus. Getting ready for the events (from left) Monique Yashinskie, administrator of the Robbie Dean Centre; Marianne Minns, a member of the Robbie Dean Centre board of directors and organizer of Cocktails for a Cause; Connie Poupore, program co-ordinator office admin-executive program and Kim Lehman, office admin-executive program student and junior project manager for the Raise a Red Flag event.
Tina Peplinskie / Observer and News
As the Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre supports those struggling with their mental health, the community continues to support the organization that depends on donations to keep the doors open.Each year, students in the office admin-executive program at the Algonquin College Waterfront Campus must develop an event or campaign through the project management and event planning learning outcomes components of their program and this year have chosen to partner with the Robbie Dean Centre for the Raise a Red Flag community event.The event, planned for April 27 between 12 and 4 p.m. at the Waterfront Campus, will serve to raise awareness about the mental health supports and services of the Robbie Dean Centre, while also raising much needed funds to support the initiatives provided by the centre, noted Connie Poupore, program co-ordinator of the office administration-executive program.“It is all about the importance of self care and helping people recognize their own red flags,” she added.The event will include a wellness walk along the Kiwanis Way as well as local vendors and booths set up with a focus on mental health and self care. There will also be a community photo opportunity at 1 p.m. as those in attendance will be asked to help raise a large red flag.The students have already raise $2,000 through a successful trivia night and bake sale, but are hoping to increase that amount through the sale of red wristbands for $2 that say Raise a Red Flag. They are also asking local businesses to get involved in the campaign by purchasing sponsorships and displaying red flags in their windows. Anyone who would like to get involved as a sponsor is asked to contact Poupore at 613-735-4700 ext. 2631 or via email at email@example.com.Cocktails for Cause, a major fundraiser for the Robbie Dean Centre, is also quickly approaching on April 26. This year’s event has moved to the Germania Club of Pembroke to accommodate a larger crowd. It will feature six local restaurants – The Nook Creperie, Ullrich’s on Main, the Kitchen Eatery and Catering Company, Pub House by Milano, Courtyard Bistro and Janna and Kerry’s Over Easy Bar and Grill – preparing apps and poutine for guests, with music by Mid-Life Krisis and DJ Big Mike, noted organizer Marianne Minns, a member of the board at the Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre. There are also a number of items up for grabs at the silent auction. The event begins at 8 p.m. There are a limited number of tickets available. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.facebook.com/events/173285643599211/Monique Yashinskie, administrator of the Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre, is thankful for this support and believes that it speaks directly to the centre’s impact in the community. She said the centre is constantly trying to determine if it is meeting the needs in the community and making a difference. With an annual budget of $236,000, which includes paying five fill-time counsellors, every dollar raised helps someone in need. She asked people to consider that just $12 will cover an intake session and help people take the first step in the long journey to getting the assistance they need.When speaking with the students in the office admin-executive program, some said they knew Yashinskie’s son Robbie, who inspired his mother to do something to help others suffering the way he did, or some had attended the centre and found it helpful.“When I hear stuff like that it’s not just stats, it is real proof that we are making a difference and it’s not just numbers on a spreadsheet,” Yashinskie said.TPeplinskie@postmedia.comTwitter.com/TPeplinskie