Chalk the Walk: Celebrate 20 years of SASS at free BBQ

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - For two decades, victims of sexual abuse have had a shoulder to lean on in Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG) and Akwesasne.

Bright lines of chalk scribbled across the Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) for Women of SDG&A parking lot are in stark contrast to the dark moments faced by many of their clients.

Meanwhile, Angela Vinet, SASS executive director, and Trudy Watt, SASS counsellor and volunteer coordinator, are shedding light on the local agencies' years of accomplishments at a new event.

SASS is marking its 20-year anniversary with a free BBQ lunch/Chalk the Walk on Tuesday, August 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event is taking place at the SASS building located on Amelia Street between First and Second streets.

"This is a fun family-friendly event," said Watt. "Chalk the Walk is all about positivity, creativity and community."

There are currently 140 active SASS clients. The demand for their services varies each month.

"Many of our clients have self-blame, low self-esteem, re-victimization, lack of awareness of services in the community, feelings of isolations, socio-economico disadvantages," said Vinet.

SASS consists of two counsellors, one full-time volunteer/public education coordinator, executive director, and one PT office assistant.

"We’ve grown a lot over the years, women are accessing our services and the topic of sexual abuse is not so taboo anymore," said Vinet.

Watt hopes the event boosts more awareness for SASS.

"We're here to help survivors of sexual violence in our community," she said.

SASS applauded the event's key sponsor Cornwall's M&M Meat Shops for their constant support.

Watt and Vinet are also representing SASS at tomorrow's Heart & Stroke Dragon Boat Races. They're part of the Throbbing Hearts community team racing at 9:55 a.m.

For more information on their services or volunteering, visit or join

Organizations: Sexual Assault Support Services

Geographic location: Cornwall, Akwesasne

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