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Grand Parade marches past $20K fundraising goal for CONTACT

Donations still being accepted online following Saturday's events in Bradford and Alliston
File photo

CONTACT Community Services is thrilled to share that it has exceeded its goal of fundraising $20,000 for local seniors with the Grand Parade this past Saturday in Alliston and Bradford.

The day was an uplifting one, with the sun shining and residents of all ages out to raise money to support south Simcoe seniors in need. The event kicked off in Bradford with Zumba in Da House and tai chi in Alliston by Tecumseth Peaceful Warriors to get participants warmed up.

“The day would not be possible without the incredible support of our volunteers, residents who cared enough to ask their family and friends for donations, and our elected representatives at all levels of government,” states Emily McIntosh, executive director, CONTACT Community Services.

In Bradford, York-Simcoe MP Scot Davidson was there to help kick off the walk with his usual enthusiasm and said, “This event showcases how the community comes together to help our vulnerable seniors, the people who built this great country. Thank you to all the walkers and donors and a special shout-out to all the small businesses and local organizations who sponsored, donated food and items to give away to attendees. The business community is the very fabric of the community and their support of fundraisers like this one are invaluable. Congratulations, CONTACT team.”

In Alliston, CONTACT had the privilege of hosting Ontario’s minister of seniors and accessibility, Raymond Cho, MP Terry Dowdall and MPP Brian Saunderson. Minister Cho highlighted just how critical programming and support are for seniors.

“Social isolation is public enemy No. 1. That is why it is so important to create ways for seniors to get together, get active, get into their communities and stay socially connected.”

He also had the crowd laughing and participating in the “big belly laugh” to keep everyone feeling younger.

MP Terry Dowdall spoke to the importance of seniors to the community.

“Seniors have given to our country and our communities throughout their lifetime,” said MP Dowdall. “This is the time in their lives when the community and the government can give back to ensure they have happy and healthy golden years. The money raised here today is going to help achieve that objective.”

The message was echoed by MPP Saunderson.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to support our seniors. Those are the people who have given to our communities throughout their lifetime and this is a point in their lives when they should be able to rely on their community and the government for support to make sure they have the support services they need and the activities they need to make sure they have healthy senior years … The money that you raise here today is going to do a great amount to make sure that seniors have the supports and services they need.”

With over 150 participants, the event also garnered support from south Simcoe municipalities, including the presence of Mayor of Essa Sandie MacDonald and Mayor of Bradford West Gwillimbury James Leduc. Both noted how important this cause is to their residents and the overall health of the community. Coun. Mark Biss from New Tecumseth touted he raised the most money out of any of the CONTACT teams through a friendly competition over the last two months with the organizers. CONTACT Community Services had the greatest number of teams registered compared to any other organization in Canada.

“This is about meeting people where they are and ensuring they have access to supports to meet basic needs, support mental health and foster social connection,” shares development and engagement officer Brenda Pufek. “This cause is near and dear to the heart of us all.”

All funds will go directly to supporting seniors in need. For those members of the public still wanting to make a difference, donations can be made at