GUELPH – Mask Off Guelph held the “MASKuerade with a twist” event on April 9 with proceeds going to The Grove Hubs, a Youth Mental Health Ontario initiative providing mental health supports to area youth.
Guests arrived at the black tie event dressed to the nines with decorated masquerade masks, a symbol of the experience of living under a mask with mental illness.
“It’s about trying to take that mask off,” said The Grove chief development officer Jeffrey Hoffman.
The evening was presented by Elinesky Schuett Private Wealth Management and kicked off with cocktails followed by dinner; guest speakers Charmaine Collins, a Guelph real estate agent and Mask Off Guelph organizer, and former Guelph Storm hockey player Ryan Migliaccio; a silent auction of donated goods; live music; and dancing.
In under an hour tickets for the night were gone, with 320 sold.
The event raised $50,000 – what Hoffman said are “desperately needed” funds – and facilitated conversations around mental health.
According to a press release, over 73,000 youth aged 12 to 26 in Guelph and Wellington County are in immediate need of mental health services.
Hoffman hopes some of those youth will be helped with proceeds from the night going toward music programming at a future Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington children’s mental health services building on Woolwich Street, scheduled to be completed by early 2023.
With five sites in Fergus, Erin, Palmerston and Guelph, The Grove Hubs welcomed close to 9,000 youth since last fall, according to Hoffman.