Open­ing their hearts and homes for Be­yond 21

Seaway News - - News - SHAWNA O’NEILL, SPE­CIAL TO TC ME­DIA

AP­PLE HILL, On­tario - The Fifth an­nual House Tour and Spring Mar­ket for Be­yond 21 took place on Sun­day, June 17. Eleanor Mcgrath and her hus­band Fin Barr Mccarthy opened their doors to the pub­lic to sup­port the or­ga­ni­za­tion. House Tour tickets were $25.

“It was over­whelm­ing,” said Mcgrath, who was sur­prised by the amount of peo­ple that walked through her door early this morn­ing. Mcgrath’s sis­ter opened her doors last year, so she de­cided she would par­tic­i­pate this year.

Mcgrath has a cousin who lives with down syn­drome. She un­der­stands the im­por­tance of con­tin­ued sup­port, and ac­knowl­edges that once in­di­vid­u­als leave the school sys­tem, sup­port­ive or­ga­ni­za­tions aren’t al­ways easy to find.

“Some­thing like Be­yond 21 is so im­por­tant, and peo­ple don’t re­al­ize it,” said Mcgrath.

Jane Mclaren, Pro­gram Man­ager with Be­yond 21, em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of fundrais­ing and rais­ing aware­ness be­cause the or­ga­ni­za­tion is not govern­ment funded.

“Our av­er­age is usu­ally between 175 and 225 (House Tour tickets sold),” said Mclaren. “We have peo­ple ev­ery year that may be driv­ing by and stop off at the fair­grounds, or see one of these house tour signs...so we have par­tic­i­pants who come to our pro­gram who found us be­cause of this event, and oth­er­wise didn’t know about us.”

“As one home­owner said, ev­ery home­owner should do this at least once — it gives you such a good feel­ing,” said Tish Humphries, Board Pres­i­dent with Be­yond 21.

The funds raised from this event will go to­wards what Mclaren de­scribes as ‘the nuts and bolts’ of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, in­clud­ing sup­plies needed for the Be­yond 21 fa­cil­ity and pro­jects.

Be­yond 21 will be host­ing one of its big­gest fundrais­ers of the year, Corn­wall Food Fest, on Sat­ur­day, Au­gust 18. The event will be hap­pen­ing between First and Third Street on Pitt Street this year. Humphries and Mclaren an­tic­i­pate a lot of ex­cite­ment and sup­port, and there will be lo­cal food, as well as a car show, dog show and busker event.

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