Last year’s Chief’s Gala in support of Victim Services Toronto (VST) raised a record $413,539.69.
The cheque presentation took place on February 21 at Toronto Police headquarters.
It was the first official event that Chief Mark Saunders attended after undergoing a kidney transplant.
“I knew it was important to come,” he said. “Victim Services plays an integral role in community safety, rehabilitation and helping victims. As we move forward, and it’s so important that if we get it right as law enforcement when we go out and enhance community safety by helping those who are in need. That’s the front end of the journey for many people who we come in contact with. The back end plays a much more important role in helping re-establish lives.”
The money raised from the Chief’s Gala will be used to support and enhance VST core programs.
They include high-risk support services and the 24/7 crisis response, case management, T.E.A.R (teens ending abusive relationships), trauma dog and the vibrant volunteer programs.
“This is a remarkable sum of money which will have a tremendous impact on the lives of victims,” said VST executive director Bonnie Levine. “Thank you for your generosity and support.”
Saunders and Levine thanked the sponsors and volunteers for their unwavering support.
VST provides crisis response, trauma and support services to victims of crime and sudden tragic circumstances 24 hours a day.
Supervised by crisis counsellors, volunteers provide crisis intervention and referrals, assist on the telephone, or attend the scene as requested. They also help with fundraising and other community outreach initiatives.