Houselink auction offers chance for a "new you"

TORONTO, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - When Houselink, the Toronto agency that provides housing for people living with mental illness, was looking for a theme for the silent auction at their annual Double Exposure fundraising event on April 15, they came up with the idea of "health, wellness and recreation." One of the items donated for the auction is a good example- a lovely four-course dinner, including fine wines, for a party of six, with background music provided by renowned Toronto jazz piano player Mark Eisenman. But when staff stepped back to look at all of the items donated for the auction, they realized they also had on hand all the makings for a "new you" - a new and improved divorced you, in fact.

"We've all been reading about the new attitude toward divorce, that it's not always a pity, but sometimes a chance for a new chapter in life," said Scott Russell, Houselink's Resource Development Officer. "We suddenly realized, hey, here's a chance for some astute bidder to put these items together to create that new chapter in her life."

Donated items that could possibly be grouped in the "new you" category include:

    
    - A no-contest divorce
    - Select yoga and spa treatment
    - A "soft" lift procedure to be done at a facial surgery clinic
    - A "boudoir" photo session
    - A haircut and colour at a Toronto salon
    

"In all seriousness, the real theme of this year's silent auction - health, wellness and recreation - is what our programs offer our members," said Russell. "The proceeds from our silent auction will support employment, community kitchens and social recreation programming at Houselink. These programs are the cornerstone of our integrated, non-clinical approach to addressing health, wellness and recreation. Someone attending our Double Exposure event, for example, might bid on and take home a night out at the Gladstone Hotel. With the proceeds from that, we can rent a van and take Houselink members on an outing to Niagara Falls."

Behind Houselink's formal mission to improve the quality of life of psychiatric consumers / survivors including those who are homeless or otherwise marginalized, there are scores of heart-warming personal stories of Houselink members affected by mental illness, some living for years on the streets of Toronto. At Houselink, they find a home, a community, and an opportunity to rebuild fulfilling lives.

The annual fundraising event, which takes place on April 15, 2010 at Toronto's Palais Royale, will bring together leaders of the philanthropic, business and artistic communities for an elegant evening of photography, wine and music. The main event at Houselink's Double Exposure event is a live photography auction with works donated by local and international artists. The evening will also feature a silent auction, wine tasting by Wines of Chile and entertainment by jazz performer Mark Eisenman.

    
    Auction Information

    Thursday April 15th, 2010, doors at 6:30 pm
    Palais Royale Ballroom, 1601 Lakeshore Blvd West, Toronto
    

About Houselink's Auction 2010

Co-chaired by Stephen Bulger and Carole Tanenbaum, Houselink's Auction - Double Exposure brings together leaders of the philanthropic, business and artistic communities to celebrate the essence of art. Since inception, the event has raised $1 million for Houselink Community Homes to help provide programs for over 500 people living with mental illness and at the highest risk of homelessness. The event helps to address homelessness by focusing attention on the devastating effects of poverty and mental illness and the importance of supportive housing in Toronto. www.double-exposure.ca

Many thanks to our partners and sponsors - CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Wines of Chile, Zenergy Communications, Black and McDonald, NOW Magazine, Century Services Inc., HSBC, JB Smith Photography, Mad Hatter Events, Flight Centre and CNW Telbec.

SOURCE HOUSELINK

For further information: For further information: Tina Lakhanpal, (416) 539-0690 ext 229, tinala@houselink.on.ca

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