Gravenhurst Women’s Centre to receive $5,000 from town’s Terrance Haight fund
GRAVENHURST — A desperately-needed women’s resource centre set to open this spring in downtown Gravenhurst will receive funding from the town’s Terrance Haight community foundation fund.
A number of individuals and community groups are working together to bring a women’s resource centre to Gravenhurst.
On March 18 at 3 p.m. at the monthly town council meeting at the Town Hall, the town will be the latest group to add their support to five other organizations.
The Gravenhurst Women’s Centre (GWC) concept came in response to a Women’s Community Economic Development project initiated by YWCA Muskoka in 2012-13.
In a gender based analysis leading up to the project, Gravenhurst women were found to be at a greater disadvantage than their counterparts across Ontario and within Muskoka.
The GWC, located at 270 Muskoka Road South, is scheduled to open in the spring.
It will offer a safe space for women to gather and share skills, information and resources of all kinds. Workshops offered by volunteers and professionals will provide services that Gravenhurst women traditionally have had difficulty accessing.
The Town of Gravenhurst, through the Terrance Haight Fund, now joins the Muskoka YWCA, District of Muskoka, Habitat for Humanity, Status of Women Canada, and The Gypsy Market Mews in supporting the GWC.
In May 2013, a number of local women joined by representatives from three of the supporting organizations formed a working group. During the past 10 months they applied for grants, secured a location, presented to community groups and obtained support and donations from a variety of sources.
Gravenhurst resident Amy Koskinen, a key volunteer, has taken a lead on the GWC initiative.
“This idea was born over coffee to quickly become the focal point of my volunteer career and in my studies in the social service worker program. As a woman born and raised in Gravenhurst, I am truly invested in the empowerment of our local women.
“The Gravenhurst Women’s Centre is the starting point for many and will be the catalyst that drives our community forward,” she said in a news release Thursday.
Volunteers are needed to staff the Centre and serve on the board. To volunteer, call Penny Varney at (705) 687-2071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Terrence Haight Financial Assistance program was established by the Town of Gravenhurst Council to provide limited financial assistance to communication groups and organizations within the municipality to assist with activities, special events or with an improvement to the organization’s existing assets. This support is in recognition of the value of these organizations to the well being of the community.
Haight was a Bracebride resident who married a Gravenhurst woman and left $1 million to the town.
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