Opening their hearts and homes for Beyond 21

Shawna O'Neill, Special to TC Media
Opening their hearts and homes for Beyond 21
Local politicians

APPLE HILL, Ontario – The Fifth annual House Tour and Spring Market for Beyond 21 took place on Sunday, June 17. Eleanor McGrath and her husband Fin Barr McCarthy opened their doors to the public to support the organization. House Tour tickets were $25. 

“It was overwhelming,” said McGrath, who was surprised by the amount of people that walked through her door early this morning. McGrath’s sister opened her doors last year, so she decided she would participate this year. 

McGrath has a cousin who lives with down syndrome. She understands the importance of continued support, and acknowledges that once individuals leave the school system,  supportive organizations aren’t always easy to find. 

“Something like Beyond 21 is so important, and people don’t realize it,” said McGrath. 

Jane McLaren, Program Manager with Beyond 21, emphasized the importance of fundraising and raising awareness because the organization is not government funded. 

“Our average is usually between 175 and 225 (House Tour tickets sold),” said McLaren. “We have people every year that may be driving by and stop off at the fairgrounds, or see one of these house tour signs…So we have participants who come to our program who found us because of this event, and otherwise didn’t know about us.” 

“As one homeowner said, every homeowner should do this at least once — it gives you such a good feeling,” said Tish Humphries, Board President with Beyond 21. 

The funds raised from this event will go towards what McLaren describes as ‘the nuts and bolts’ of the organization, including supplies needed for the Beyond 21 facility and projects. 

Beyond 21 will be hosting one of its biggest fundraisers of the year, Cornwall Food Fest, on Saturday, August 18. The event will be happening between First and Third Street on Pitt Street this year. Humphries and McLaren anticipate a lot of excitement and support, and there will be local food, as well as a car show, dog show and busker event. 

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