Don Walker, executive director of Mary Centre in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Photo courtesy of the Mary Centre

Auction helps do Mary Centre’s bidding

By 
  • November 27, 2014

TORONTO - Toronto Maple Leafs fans can go for gold at The Mary Christmas Auction.

Gold tickets — seats located in the lower bowl of the Air Canada Centre — for a hockey game between the Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes are on the virtual auction block to raise money for the Mary Centre, a centre that cares for the develop-mentally challenged. It is auction-ing a variety of event tickets and general home and entertainment items.

“Mary Centre is a faith based organization that provides support to individuals, adults and seniors who are developmen-tally challenged,” said executive director Don Walker.

Mary Centre is located in the Archdiocese of Toronto and is part of the ShareLife and Catholic Charities family of organizations.

In 2013 the centre’s fundraising committee launched the online auction, raising $7,000. This year, they have a goal of $20,000.

On top of the Leafs tickets, Mary Centre will also be auc-tioning off hockey jerseys signed by Leafs’ goaltender Jonathan Bernier, Nathan MacKinnon from the Colorado Avalanche and Jonathan Toews, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks. There is also a one-night, superior ac-commodation at the White Oaks Resort at Niagara-on-the-Lake among the items up for grabs, Walker added, as well as the chance to attend the CHUM FM morning show, theatre tickets to The Heart of Robin Hood presented by Mirvish, and signed posters from musical artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Jann Arden, Macy Gray, Deborah Cox and Liona Boyd.

The auction is live for two sessions, the first from Nov. 21 to 30 and the second Dec. 1 to 10.

“A hundred per cent of the donations are going back to the people supported through the Mary Centre, through our respite programs and our outreach programs,” Walker said.

With respite programs, the centre supports and cares for de-velopmentally challenged adults if and when their family and care-takers need to travel and have no alternative support. For example, if parents are leaving town for a weekend, “family can go away and their son or daughter lives with us for that period of time,” said Walker.

The centre also runs residence programs.

“We have two different types of residential supports. We have people who live in a group living situation within the community, and we have supported inde-pendent living,” said Walker. “Supported independent living is (when) someone could be living in an apartment on their own and what we do is provide a staff person to drop in to make sure that everything is going okay.”

The Mary Centre also does community outreach for seniors.

“We will go in and assist the senior in adapting into the long-term care facility, helping them get established,” said Walker. “Because we’re a faith based organization, we also do faith-based outreach as well.”

Mary Centre staff will make sure an individual’s faith needs are met.

“If somebody wants to go to church, if somebody wants to go to mosque... staffing supports are there to get the people to be able to celebrate their faith.”

To access the auction, visit MaryCentre.com. 

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