The success of this summer's Constant Comfort Fort McMurray Food Festival raised $28,000 for Waypoints, a Fort McMurray organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The festival was held from July 27- 29 with several local restaurants and vendors participating. The different events included the Taste of Fort McMurray, “Destination Vegas” Patio Party, #WeLOVEYMM Largest Ever Outdoor Patio Party and the Best Pub Food Club.
Waypoints works towards ending domestic violence, sexual assault, abuse and homelessness in the region. Established in 1982, it was formerly known as the Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society.
"Waypoints really wants to thank the food festival committee co-chairs, Krista Balsom and Clarence Buchanon, for all the amazing work that went into such a successful set of events," said Michele Taylor, executive director at Waypoints.
The $28,000 will go towards Waypoints community services association.
"We are a fairly large charity in the region and have an extensive amount of programs and services," Taylor continued.
"It's the net profits from the four events that went to Waypoints."
A number of programs and services will benefit from the funds raised, such as the emergency shelter for women and children and the second stage housing program. The shelter is accessible 24 hours a day throughout the week and is open to women with or without children where they can stay for 21 days.
The second stage housing program is a transitional housing program which caters to women and children who are ready to leave the emergency shelter and require housing with subsidized rent.
There are support staff on the premises as well as a child-minding centre. Women and children can stay up to two years.
"The money raised is going towards people in their most vulnerable stage."
With November being domestic violence awareness month, Waypoints will have a number of different activities dedicated to that cause. They will also be collaborating with Theatre; Just Because early next year, for the third year in a row, at the annual February Dinner Theatre event.
Waypoints has received donations and support from residents through fundraisers and campaigns such as the Tree of Life campaign with Shoppers Drug Mart.
"We've always had a lot of support from the community."
Waypoints has started work on a new emergency shelter, The SedarSage Centre, which should be open in about 14 months, Taylor said.
The shelter will be the region's first sexual assault and abuse healing centre and will be located in Timberlea on Prospect Drive.
Through this $28,000 donation, the social services that Waypoints offer are going to be able to do more to meet people's needs, Taylor said.
"It's the gift that keeps on giving."