Keeping Our Sisters Safe 

International Women’s Day Event Raises $5,000 in Support of Guelph YMCA-YWCA Safe Sisters Program   

GUELPH, May 27, 2020 – The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day Guelph-Wellington (IWDGW) event held in March was “Keeping Our Sisters Safe.” After hosting the event for yet another successful year, Innovation Guelph and the IWDGW committee is generously donating proceeds amounting to $5,000 in support of the Guelph Y’s Safe Sisters program.  

“The committee decided to pivot this year’s eventshifting the focus from supporting entrepreneurs to supporting all women in our community,” said event co-chair Diana TrainFacility & Event Manager, Innovation Guelph. “We believe all women deserve to feel safe within their environments and we are pleased to direct event proceeds to a program that helps do just that!” 

Safe Sisters is a weekly dropin program for grade 7 and 8 girls from Guelph’s Shelldale neighbourhood. The program is designed to provide a safe space for young girls to discuss safety and well-being in terms of their community, their own body and social media. Each week, participants cook a nutritious meal together and once a month they participate in a physical activity outdoors or at the Guelph Y gym. 

For many participants, the meal provided at Safe Sisters is the only hot meal they have in a week. In 2019, between 15 and 20 girls participated in Safe Sisters each week, over a 40-week period. Due to the realities of COVID-19, the Guelph Y staff have adapted this program by staying connected to participants virtually and via phone. 

“We are so grateful for this generous donation from Innovation Guelph and the IWDGW committee,” says Geoff Vogt, CEO, YMCA-YWCA of Guelph. “Providing safe spaces is at the core of what the Y does and our Safe Sisters program provides such meaningful support at such an important time in the lives of our participants.” 

It is thanks to generous donations like this that the Y is able to provide this service free of charge. As a charity, the Y is committed to serving our Guelph community. Today, more than ever, the Y needs your help to continue serving our community. Donating to the Y will enable more creative programming, allowing the Y to show up even while physical locations are closed. To learn more or pledge your gift visit ThisIsY.ca. 

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Media questions or requests: 

Janet Wakutz
Senior Communications Officer, Innovation Guelph
janet.wakutz@innovationguelph.ca 

Shum Attygalle
VP Marketing & Communications, YMCA-YWCA of Guelph
shum.attygalle@ckw.ymca.ca 

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