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Cornwall Children’s Treatment Centre receives $10,000 from Archdiocese

Pierre Dubé, director of administration with the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, Msgr. Kevin Maloney and the Children’s Treatment Centre president Don Fairweather, on Tuesday December 21, 2021 in Cornwall, Ont. Francis Racine/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network PHOTO BY FRANCIS RACINE /Francis Racine/Standard-Freeholder

The Children’s Treatment Centre (CTC) closed off 2021 with some good news — a $10,000 donation from its longest-standing donor.

The relationship between the former Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall — which recently merged with the Archdiocese of Ottawa — and the CTC goes back to 1996, when the centre first opened its doors.

“The very first donation that was made was made by the diocese,” said CTC president Don Fairweather. “They donated $20,000 to help get the thing launched and they pledged for the next six years after that $20,000 per year.

“Those early donations were the foundation which allowed us to turn to other people in the community and say ‘look, join in’. That really got the ball rolling.”

The CTC is a community based, community supported agency committed to the prevention and treatment of child abuse in Cornwall, the United Counties of SDG, and Akwesasne.

Following its six-year pledge, the diocese continued to donate $10,000 to the centre, on a yearly basis.

“This group has supported the centre from the very beginning and for that, we are very grateful,” said Fairweather.

The CTC can also count of the diocese for more than just a singular donation. According to Fairweather, several members of the clergy are some of the centre’s best fundraisers.

“We’ve had some friendly competitions,” he said. “For example, we had local lawyer Sean Adams and the archbishop had an annual challenge to see who could raise the most money.

“Several of the priests also had friendly competitions to see who could raise the most money when they participated in the Bike-A-Thon.”

The clergy team that participates in the CTC’s flagship fundraising event, the Bike-A-Thon, raise from $35,000 to $40,000 a year, which makes up a major portion of the total funds raised during the event.

“We consider it to be a very important organization in our community,” said Msgr. Kevin Maloney. “It aligns with what the church represents — helping the ones in need.”

The donation comes at a great time for the CTC. Although it has managed to remain afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been difficult.

“We are struggling amid COVID because we aren’t able to offer the regular menu of fundraising activities that we usually do,” said Fairweather. “Offsetting that are two things — the generosity of the community is absolutely outstanding and during a large part of COVID-19, the federal government offered subsidy programs to help defer the cost of wages.

“Those two things have allowed the Children’s Treatment Centre to survive in these difficult times.”

So what will 2022 bring to the centre? Well, the same thing really. The board of directors and its many volunteers will once more set their sights on raising $600,000, the amount needed to run the centre.

“That money is going almost exclusively to pay for the staff members that provide the counseling service, that maintain the office and pay for the rent of the office,” said Fairweather.

“Our goal is also to make sure that no child gets left behind, that any child that needs a service can get it in a timely fashion without a long wait. Over the years, the centre has been very successful in making sure that the wait times are very small.”

According to him, referrals to the centre can be undertaken quite easily. It can be done by calling the centre directly or through a school, the Cornwall Police Service or social services.

As for other fundraisers, the president is hopeful the centre can host its Bike-A-Thon Plus event in the spring, which has been on hiatus since 2019.

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