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Community group raising funds for new addictions centre in Waterville

Participants practice sketching as a part of paint-a-thon fundraiser hosted in support of Hadassahouse April 14.
Participants practice sketching as a part of paint-a-thon fundraiser hosted in support of Hadassahouse April 14. - Ashley Thompson

NEW MINAS - Work is underway to transform the old Waterville schoolhouse into a centre offering a one-year residential experience for women recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

“We’re very excited about the transformation process, plus being able to turn a building in our community into something that’s going to be useful again,” said Hadassahouse founder Denise Rochon-Young.

The non-profit organization is tasked with raising $1 million to complete the restoration work at the building purchased from the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre for $20,000. The restoration efforts will include electrical work, as well as insulation and drywall replacement.

“It’s a huge project,” said Rochon-Young, who noticed the demand for a wide range of services for women struggling with addiction when she started her own journey to recovery 20 years ago.

The goal is to have the centre, which will accommodate 10 women at a time, ready by 2020.

“If we continue to get the community support like we have, we may be able to do that,” said Rochon-Young.

“We’re just going to keep going until we accomplish (our goal).”


The first of what could be an annual paint-a-thon fundraiser for Hadassahouse, also known as Ourhouse, was held at the Louis Millet Centre in New Minas April 14.

Local artists Eileen Boyd, Twila Robar DeCoste, Colleen Gerritts and Ron Hayes volunteered to lead art classes at the event. Participants created four masterpieces they were able to take home at the end of the day after completing sessions in acrylics, water colour, mixed media and sketching.

The Waterville-based centre will be an option for women who are in need of a program that gets them out of their current living environment and is available to them regardless of their financial circumstances, Rochon-Young said.

“There’s no set price for their admission. It will be on a case-by-case basis.”

She stressed that the non-profit organization is thankful for the donations received thus far, and will require continued support from the community as the residential centre takes shape.

“Every loonie counts. Every toonie counts,” she said.

“It makes a big difference.”

In the meantime, Rochon-Young recommends individuals suffering at the hands of an addiction reach out to a 12-step program for support.

“For the people who cannot afford the treatment that’s available out there, or they find that there’s a long waiting list in order to get into a government 21-day program, reach out to a 12-step program,” she said.

“Find somebody in the rooms of a 12-step program to walk alongside of you. There are so many people that are willing in the 12-step program to lend a hand, to reach out and help another suffering woman.”

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