Brockville women’s shelter receives $1,720 for programming

The Leeds and Grenville Interval House receives a $1,000 donation on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 from the organizers of the second annual Harvest Moon Festival. Pictured are Interval House's Kimberley Wright with Harvest Moon Festival music coordinator Jeanette Johnston, events coordinator Dagmar MacDonald and treasurer Francine Metcalfe. Absent are site coordinator Shelley Gallagher, sponsorship coordinator Dan DeLuis and volunteer coordinaor Gwen Priestley. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

BROCKVILLE – Two large donations have come into a Brockville shelter, which helps abused woman and children in Leeds-Grenville.

The Leeds and Grenville Internal House received a cheque Friday (Oct. 21) for $1,000 from the organizers of the second annual Harvest Moon Festival.

The wellness and music festival was held in late September at the secluded and tranquil Lamb’s Pond Nature Retreat in New Dublin.

The festival includes yoga, crystal bowl meditation and various workshops.

“We had a vision for the festival and we wanted to pick a charity and Interval House was our charity last year and we wanted to expand on that. We just felt it was an important cause to participate in,” festival treasurer Francine Metcalfe told Brockville Newswatch.

“A lot of our clients are women so it’s women supporting women,” Metcalfe added.

The ladies organizing the Harvest Moon Festival are already planning for 2017. “The festival is all about healing…healing with nature, which is the big theme. Being outdoors and being able to assist with that,” events coordinator Dagmar MacDonald said.

Interval House Community Development Coordinator Kimberley Wright said the shelter will use the money to provide innovative programming.

“We don’t have a budget to offer creative extras. So, when we have this kind of support from the community it allows us to be more creative and come up with other ways to meet women’s needs,” Wright said.

Some of those programming extras include skills seminars on topics such as self-care and budgeting.

The Leeds and Grenville Interval House receives a $720.95 cheque on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 from the fifth annual A Mind, Body and Spirit Fair. Interval House Community Development Coordinator Kimberley Wright, left, receives the donation from New Leaf Wellness owner Stephanie Forgues. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

The Leeds and Grenville Interval House receives a $720.95 cheque on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 from the fifth annual A Mind, Body and Spirit Fair. Interval House Community Development Coordinator Kimberley Wright, left, receives the donation from New Leaf Wellness owner Stephanie Forgues. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Minutes later, the shelter was receiving a cheque for $720.95 from the fifth annual A Mind, Body, Spirit Fair, put on by New Leaf Wellness.

New Leaf Wellness Owner Stephanie Forgues felt driven to donate to the shelter because her business is about personal empowerment.

Women who come to the shelter have taken “such a courageous step” to get out of a bad domestic situation, she explained.

In the last fiscal year ending in March 2016, the six-bedroom shelter has helped 258 women through its non-residential outreach program and hosted 79 at the shelter.

Thirty-two children have been hosted at the Cowan Avenue shelter and 44 have been helped through non-residential outreach.

The crisis line has taken 367 calls in the last fiscal year.

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