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Wellington North Youth Action Council hosts second big fundraiser

YAC - The Wellington North Youth Action Council is holding a colour race on May 19 to raise funds for an overnight respite youth accommodation program at the New Growth Family Centre in Mount Forest.  Submitted photo

Wellington North Youth Action Council hosts second big fundraiser

by Olivia Rutt

MOUNT FOREST - The Wellington North Youth Action Council (YAC) is hosting its second large fundraiser in May.

The group of 13- to 17-year-olds is organizing a “race against youth homelessness” colour race for May 19.

The run will be in support of the overnight respite youth accommodation program at the New Growth Family Centre in Mount Forest.

The program is designed for youth who may be disengaged from their families, states YAC adult ally Trish Wake.

The goal of the program is to provide immediate connection within the community and to access appropriate support for themselves and their families.

YAC chose this program to donate to because of its connection to youth and to support Aletha McArthur and the New Family Growth Centre, where the group holds its meetings.

“We wanted to give back to her in a way that’s meaningful to the community and meaningful to us, seeing as we are teenagers, and this could all happen to us,” said Riley Wake, one of the youth members.

The colour race will include a 5km walk/run starting at the Mount Forest Agricultural Fair Grounds and an after party by the Fork and Spoon. Businesses can get in on the fun by becoming a sponsor ranging from $100 for a colour to $250 for colour, logo and advertising.

Registration starts at 10:30am and the race begins at noon.

“We tried to do something that would be inclusive to the whole community, giving us something fun and a takeaway,” said Riley.

This event is the volunteer group’s second fundraiser following the haunted trail walk held in October 2017. This event raised nearly $750 and a van-load of donations for the Mount Forest food bank.

YAC also holds youth-centred activities such as fun sports games and get-togethers.

The council, which is for Wellington North youths aged 13 to 24, is a youth-driven volunteer group. Its goal is to make a difference in the community, improve youth resiliency and to advocate for youth issues. All of its members are volunteers.

“It’s really just a fun thing to do, you get a second family from it made of friends that are your age and you’re able to give back to the community with how much it gives to you,” said YAC member Olivia Wegner.

“Your community’s your home and you always want your home to be doing better than it is.”

YAC meets every two weeks. One of the goals is to combat youth stereotypes.

“They get this idea in their head that youth just want to bum around, they don’t want to do anything, hard work that adults (do)... but when it comes to these youth and the youth that we’ve have the opportunity to work with partnering for their different events, we’ve realized it’s not true,” said Trish.

“You just have to find something that they love and they actually ... love Wellington North.”

The students also get hours towards their high school community service hours requirement.

“We don’t want to be seen as kids that don’t do anything for their community or anybody that cares for them,” said Riley.

“We can’t just sit around and do nothing, we need to do something about our community.”

YAC is part of the larger North for Youth group that includes Minto Youth Action Council and Mapleton Youth Action Council. Past activities included a leaf clean up at seniors’ homes, graduation attire swap, North Wellington Youth Connections Day, recruitment fair, youth week, food skills workshop, safeTALK workshop and a teen video contest.

The three action council have 37 youth members, seven adults allies and have completed over 3,000 volunteer hours since forming in 2013. For more information visit yac@wellington-north.com.

April 13, 2018

 
 

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