Thousands raised for Family Transition Place through Ice Cream and Dessert Festival at Orangeville Fairgrounds

August 3, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A local vendor market handed out sweet treats while generating donations to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse. 

The Hometown Market held its ice cream and dessert-themed event on July 22 at the Orangeville Fairgrounds, raising money for Family Transition Place (FTP), a local not-for-profit that supports women fleeing domestic violence. 

The Hometown Market’s goal of raising $1,000 was substantially exceeded as they collected $4,199 through the fundraiser.

“We were really happy with the turnout, we weren’t really sure what to expect, but to raise over $4,000 was so emotional,” said Melissa Shea, organizer of the Hometown Market. “This is going to help a lot of women and children, and will go towards very useful resources that will make positive lasting impacts on lives.” 

The donations were raised for Family Transition Place through admission fees, which after paying, attendees were allowed to shop at the variety of vendors’ stands or grab something to eat at the food trucks. 

One hundred per cent of the proceeds raised through the admission fee were donated to Family Transition Place and Heidi’s Walk for Hope. 

“We were really blown away by the amount of support that the community provided through this event, I think it’s pretty remarkable to have and they’re supporting a really fantastic cause,” said Brennan Solecky, director of development and community engagement at FTP. “Proceeds from events like Heidi’s Walk go directly back into facilitating our programs and by educating the future generations, which we can do, we can essentially end the cycle of violence.” 

Heidi’s Walk for Hope is an annual memorial walk in honour of late Orangeville resident Heidi Ferguson, who tragically died in September of 2009 following a domestic dispute with her estranged husband. The incident occurred shortly after Heidi filed for divorce. 

In 2012, the Ferguson Memorial Walk (2012-2018) was started by Heidi’s parents, Gus and Penny Bogner, as a way to honour their daughter’s legacy. Now hosted by Family Transition Place, the event is known as Heidi’s Walk for Hope and aims to raise awareness of violence against women. 

Funds raised through the event go towards Family Transition Place’s programs and services, such as the youth education program, an eight-week lesson designed to teach kids about healthy relationships to eliminate violence. 

“[Domestic violence] is something we don’t talk about enough in our community and it’s so common. Family Transition Place is a pretty impactful organization in our community and they provide essential services and support to individuals, women and families who have experienced domestic violence. We need to make sure that everyone is aware that it is available to them if they need it,” said Shea.

The Hometown Market will be hosting another vendor event in September, where 100 per cent of the proceeds, including vendor fees, will be donated to Family Transition Place. 

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