Muskoka To-DAILY

Summer celebrities help to raise $45,000 at Lake Rosseau ‘dock party’ for Covenant House in its fight against sex trafficking

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com

TORONTO — Summer celebrities helped raise $45,000 today at a Lake Rosseau cottage dock party and bike ride to fight sex trafficking.

Olympian Curt Harnett and Real Housewives philanthropist Joan Walker chat at this afternoon's fundraiser to help Covenant House in its fight against sex trafficking.

Olympian Curt Harnett and Real Housewives philanthropist Joan Walker chat at this afternoon’s fundraiser to help Covenant House in its fight against sex trafficking.

Three hundred participants took part in Saturday afternoon’s inaugural ‘Commission Yourself,” fundraiser for Covenant House in Toronto, said  co-founder Melony Jamieson Saturday afternoon from the dock party.

Proceeds go to Covenant House Toronto’s $10-million anti-sex trafficking initiatives, including enhanced victim services.

Olympic medalist Curt Harnett kicked off the day with a 30 km Pro-Am cycle ride from The Rock golf course to the crossroad, then to the Lake Rosseau island cottage of photographer Tamara Bahry and her partner financial services executive Rob White for a dock party.

They’re on the Royal Muskoka Island on the site of the once former grand Royal Muskoka Hotel, which burned in 1952. Out of its ashes has risen their beautiful black cottage.

They were joined by supporters for waterfront activities, gourmet food and entertainment.

Muskoka cottager and Shark Tank panellist Kevin O’Leary and Real Housevives of Toronto star and philanthropist Joan Walker were among the business and social elites who bought tickets and “rocked the dock.”

Said Walker: “Today’s ‘Commission Yourself’ event to end sex trafficking shares a goal that matters to me, and to everyone who came here today. We are doing our small part to raise awareness and funds to help the victims of this enormous and disgusting problem. This should not be happening in this enlightened and educated world.

“Hats off to the event organizers and Curt Harnett, for an inspiring and successful event in Muskoka.”

Jamieson said the guests bought the $150 tickets because it costs $150 per day per person at a new facility Covenant House for programming to help the girls and women after they’ve escaped the sex trade.

The cottage of Tamara Bahry and Rob White was the site of a dock party fundraiser Saturday afternoon on Lake Rosseau to help Covenant House in its fight against sex trafficking.

The cottage of Tamara Bahry and Rob White was the site of a dock party fundraiser Saturday afternoon on Lake Rosseau to help Covenant House in its fight against sex trafficking.

And because it’s Canada’s 150, added Jamieson.

“We are thrilled with the support we’ve seen for this day of benevolence launch event. We hope it will inspire others to commission themselves to do something that will make a difference for victims of sex-trafficking,” says Genevieve Roch-Decter, event co-founder and a prime mover in Toronto in the campaign against the sex trade.

“No community is immune from this terrible crime,” adds Roch-Decter in a release Saturday morning.

“As a father of a daughter I am honoured to join this group to raise funds to stop sex trafficking. I hope this becomes a large movement and sex trafficking ends soon,” said Harnett.

“It’s not a foreign problem,” said Jamieson, “it’s right here in Toronto.”

Largely a domestic problem, sex trafficking is the most common type of human trafficking. Ninety percent of victims are female and most are Canadian girls, as young as 13 and on average 17. Ontario is a trafficking hub in Canada with the largest number of cases. The agency estimates that it costs approximately $150 a day to provide crisis support for sex trafficking victims.

Covenant House Toronto is Canada’s largest agency serving at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth – as many as 250 youth daily. It is a national leader in the “hands-on” delivery of services and support to young female victims of sex trafficking.

“We can’t make a dent in the capital building, but we can help with the programs,” said Jamieson.

Among the other celebrities were cyclists Reid McGregor and Michael Breech, who were part of the record-smashing 8-man cycling team from Toronto that in June won coast-to-coast race across the U.S. to raise money for True Patriot Love Foundation, a charity for veterans, military and their families.

World Canadian Record Holder team @raceacrossamericaare gearing up for our Pro-Am led by Champion Curt Harnett July 15th STOP TRAFFICK They just raced 5000 kms in less then 6 days across the continent and are coming to inspire us! The inaugural “Commission Yourself” action-packed day of benevolence on beautiful Lake Rosseau, Muskoka in support of Covenant House’s “Just Like a Girl You Know” $10M anti-sex trafficking campaign.

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=28153

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