News Archive

Julio Florez Machu Picchu Challenge for Shelter


Did you know that every night in Canada more than 3,000 women and their 2,500 children stay in a shelter to escape domestic violence? In many cases, these women are literally running for their lives and demonstrating incredible bravery.

In August, 2015 I will be trekking to the lost city of Machu Pichhu in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and raising funds to help these women and children. For 8 days, my friends and colleagues from Royal LePage offices across Canada will be trekking at high altitude, sleeping in tents, and going without running water, electricity and cell service. To be eligible to participate, we each must raise at least $5,000 for our local women's shelter! It won't be easy - I will be preparing physically and mentally for the challenge for months. Each dollar we raise and every step we take will make it easier for women and children to walk safely away from violence.

If you're like me, you know someone who has been affected by violence or abuse, either in their adulthood or as a child. 67% of Canadians say they personally know a woman who has experienced abuse and one in three teenagers have reported dating violence. Thankfully, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is helping to put an end to violence and abuse.

Please click the SPONSOR ME link at the top left side of this page to help me reach my fundraising goal. Thank you for supporting women and children in our community who are rebuilding their lives after violence.

—Julio Florez

Click here to visit sponsorship page

Please note: The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation issues tax receipts in February for all donations of $20 or more made in the previous calendar year.

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Waypoints gets $125K from province

A grant from the provincial government is helping Waypoints inch a little closer to a new emergency shelter.

Fort McMurray MLAs Don Scott and Mike Allen were on hand Saturday to award the society a $125,000 Community Facilities Enhancement Project grant. FMFC executive director Michele Taylor says it’s a huge help as it inches towards its $9-million goal for the new building and expanded services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

“It’s so exciting, because it gets us that much closer to breaking ground on the new shelter,” she said. “We’ve done very very well, but it’s been harder than we’ve thought to get over that finish line, probably because we’ve been fundraising for so long.”

The new shelter will be partially funded by the sale of the society’s current building, according to Taylor, and will feature single, private rooms instead of the current facility’s dormitory housing.

“You can have women coming in the middle of the night with the shirts on their back, not even a toothbrush, and they’re coming into a room where other women are sleeping that they’ve never even met before,” she said. “It’s the best we’ve been able to do at this point, but we’re so thrilled that we’re going to have a level of service that’s far better than that.”

Scott said the work of the society is crucial.

“They do such critical work in the region that we couldn’t be prouder of the hard work that people on the front lines are doing,” he said. “I’m so grateful that they are here.”

It’s the second half of a $38-million project that includes the society’s Compass building, which provides second-stage long-term housing and transitional housing to a greater degree than the emergency shelter.

“The expansion that they have in mind is going to really help ladies who are in abusive situations and really help them deliver the services that this community so desperately needs,” he said.

The projects are currently scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.

Fort McMurray Today
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Andrew Bates, Today staff

Click here to read article at

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MLA Don Scott, Michelle Taylor, Tim O’Rourke and MLA Mike Allen pose for a photo after announcing the Waypoints would be receiving $125,000 for its replacement shelter.


Denim Day - May 30, 2014

In conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Waypoints ran an awareness campaign called Denim Day. FMFCS asked businesses of the RMWB to help us spread the word and raise our collective voices to put an end to sexual assault by allowing staff to wear denim to work on May 30 and to make a small donation to the local Sexual Assault Support Programs & Services.

Denim Day grew out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight Jeans. The judges reasoned the victim’s tight jeans meant that she had to have helped her assailant remove them, implying consent. People all over the world were outraged, and wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.

The local Denim Day Campaign raised approximately $3,000. Keyano College Health Services raised the most money with the Razor’s Edge close behind in second place and Scotiabank finished third.

Thank you to the following participants plus another 26 anonymous businesses not mentioned:

Eagle Ridge Dental, Beacon Hill Public School, Anzac Community School, Janvier Health Centre, Little Cub Head Start, Fort McMurray Victim Services, Keyano College Sports & Wellness Centre, Rogers Insurance North Ltd., Holy Trinity High School, Sangster’s Health Centre, St. Martha Catholic School, Tridon Communications, Belle La Vie Inc., East Village Suites, Little Hero’s Baby Boutique Inc., Mark Amy Treatment Centre, Pastew Place Detox Centre, Diversified Transportation Ltd., HMV, Leather Mix, Coles, Spencer’s Gifts, Cloud 9 Salon & Spa, Hot Gossip Clothing, Campus, Stokes, Street, Peoples Jewellers, Valcom Fashions, Supplement King, Thickwood Heights Public School, Fort McMurray Dental Centre, Razors Edge Hair studio, Lifeforce, Gino’s Pub & McRay’s Classic Café, Black Horse Pub, Westwood High School, Stepping Stones Youth Shelter, Supreme Apparel and Fort McMurray Christian School.

Photos of Denim Day 2014 patricipants (click on thumbnails to enlarge):

The Blackhorse Pub

Gino’s Pub & McRay’s Classic Café

Girls Inc.

HIV North

Keyano College Sport & Wellness Centre (Winners)

McMan Youth Family and Community Services Association

Pizza 73

Some Other Solutions

Thickwood Heights Public School




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Rotary Interact presents $1,550 to Waypoints

Rotary Interact members Stefan Eybers & Cole Denton presented Waypoints chair Cliff Dimm with a $1,550 cheque alongside Rotary Leader Sheldon Dahl at the FMFCS' Annual General Meeting on June 5.

The money was raised from fundraising efforts this past year by the club. Interact is a club for young people ages 12-18 who want to join together to tackle the issues in their community that they care most about.

Every Interact club carries out two service projects a year; one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Clubs meet at least twice a month and are sponsored by their local Rotary club.

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McMurray Newfoundlanders Club donates to Waypoints

The McMurray Newfoundlanders Club president Tom Knox (right) recently presented $1,000 to Waypoints Director of Communications and Fund Development Tim O’Rourke (left) for operations at the Unity House Emergency Shelter.
Approximately $400 was raised from tickets sold for a special Valentine’s Day Basket Raffle at the McMurray Newfoundlanders Club plus the final tally topped off by the club. The longtime Fort McMurray organization has 40 lifetime club members as well as 60 regular members.

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Scotiabankers at the Thickwood Heights Branch help out local charities

Carlee Strickland, Senior Personal Banking Officer representing the team of Scotiabankers from the Thickwood Heights Branch (left), presented Fort
McMurray Waypoints CA/SE (Community Awareness & Special Events) Coordinator Jenna Longaphie (right) with a cheque of $1500 for operations on March 7.

This year, the Scotiabank Staff Charity Committee from the Thickwood Heights Branch elected to give a portion of the funds raised from a handmade quilt by Manager of Cashier Services Geraldine Connors to four local charities.

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The EPCOR Community Essentials Council is proud to support Waypoints

A contingent of EPCOR officials visited and toured Waypoints' Unity House Emergency Shelter on January 20, 2014.

On behalf of the EPCOR Community Essentials Council (ECEC), an EPCOR cheque in the amount of $20,000 in support of the Translation Services Program was also presented to Executive Director Michele Taylor (left) and Director of Communications and Fund Development Tim O’Rourke (right). Also present in the photo representing EPCOR: Vicki Campbell (Senior Manager, Northern Alberta W & WW Operations EPCOR Water), Marco Braat (Manager Operations, EPCOR Water) and Michelle Hannon (Maintenance Coordinator, EPCOR Water).

The ECEC recognized that the Translation Services Program is an important initiative for Waypoints, which will help make our community a stronger and more vibrant place to live.

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Enbridge Pipelines Athabasca Inc. supports the Child Development Program

Shauna Durelle (middle), Advisor, Public Affairs for Enbridge Pipelines Athabasca Inc. presented a $10,000 cheque to Waypoints' Director of Communications and Fund Development Tim O’Rourke (left) and Executive Director Michele Taylor (right) on January 20, 2014.

Enbridge was pleased to support Waypoints' Child Development Program and recognize our efforts to provide a safe and nurturing environment in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

As stated by Durelle, “Enbridge is committed to supporting communities where we live and work.”

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The Story Teller Art Auction donates $625 to Waypoints

The Story Teller Art Auction was held at the Radisson Hotel (lower level) on September 20. It showcased original art works by local artists from the Wood Buffalo Arts & Crafts Guild; Margie Cunningham, David Ball, Treasure Cooper, Kay Henson, Margaret Payne, Dr. Mary Gerosa, Vera Fustic, Laurie Buell, Terese Diprose, Helen Hendriks, Zoran Knezic and Sarah Reid. The Wood Buffalo Arts & Crafts Guild was formed in 1976 to promote traditional and contemporary arts and crafts.

Half of all the proceeds raised were donated to Waypoints. Wood Buffalo Arts & Crafts Guild President Margie Cunningham recently presented  $625.00 from the Story Teller Art Auction to FMFCS Director of Communications and Fund Development Tim O’Rourke.

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Take Back The Night with Waypoints

FORT McMURRAY - September 12, 2013

Waypoints invites the community to wear neon and attend the September 20th rally and march to "Shine Bright and Take Back the Night". Take Back the Night (TBTN) is a national event on the third Friday of September each year for Canadian communities to stand together against domestic violence and sexual assault.

Scheduled from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Friday, September 20, Wood Buffalo's 21st annual TBTN will kick off with a neon-themed rally at Pond Crescent Park, on Franklin Avenue across from the Centre of Hope. The rally will include empowering guest speakers, including Mayor Melissa Blake, before a two-kilometre Franklin Avenue march. Following the march, there will be refreshments, entertainment and activities for all ages.

“TBTN provides an event to challenge violence and create a safer community by empowering women and educating male allies. It is a great opportunity for community members to stand together and speak out against violence." said Michele Taylor, FMFCS executive director.

“Violence affects every one of us regardless of our  race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, class, sexual orientation, or gender identity. I encourage everyone, of all ages, from all walks of life to attend TBTN and say "NO" to violence in our community!” stated Taylor.

TBTN is an event that began in the 1970's as a response to a series of sexual assaults and murders affecting women. TBTN events are now held internationally in all parts of the world and symbolize a women's right to walk alone safely at night, without fear of violence or harassment.

According to Statistics Canada, police reported data show that in 2011, 173,600 women aged 15 years and over were victims of violent crime in Canada. Women are 11 times more likely than men to be a victim of sexual crime in our country, and it is estimated that only 10% of sexual assaults against women are reported to the police.

Cliff Dimm, President of the FMFCS Board, admits he was impressed with the attendance at last year’s Take Back the Night event, his first, which attracted an estimated 200 supporters.

“I am impressed with how this community supports this event and helps raise awareness of these issues. We want to build on that success and hope even more community members attend this year’s event.”

Wood Buffalo's TBTN includes free refreshments, entertainment by Starlight DJ, games and an open mic portion to support local talent. Anyone attending is also welcome to dress-up for a chance to win prizes for the best neon costume. Admission is free.

For more information contact:

Jenna Longaphie, FMFCS Community Awareness and Special Events Coordinator
780-743-4691, ext. 238

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Fort McMurray Tarsands Lions Club donates $2,500 to Unity House

Fort McMurray Tarsands Lions Club president Laurier Michaud dropped off a $2500 cheque to Fort McMurray Executive Director Michele Taylor on March 11. The money will be used for Operations at Unity House.

Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world every day because they share a core belief - to serve their community.

Thank You Fort McMurray Tarsands Lions Club!


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Royal LePage True North Realty Slo-Pitch Tournament Hits A Grand Slam For Unity House

FORT MCMURRAY, AB (September 11, 2013) – Royal LePage True North Realty’s annual Slo-Pitch Tournament raised a total of $23,100 for Waypoints' Unity House.

This was an increase of $6,250 from last year’s tournament. More than 240 players participated in the 12th annual event from July 19-21 after a rainout washed out the tournament in June at the Timberlea Athletic Park.

“This shows the dedication and spirit of the players and fans alike,” said tournament founder and Royal LePage True North Realty associate broker Jill Kerrigan, “they all came back in full force a month after being forced to stop the tournament due to heavy rain in June to complete the tournament.”

Proceeds from the concession and refreshment stands plus registration fees helped raise this significant total for Unity House.

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From left to right, Royal LePage True North broker/owner Marian Barry, FMFCS Executive Director Michele Taylor, Royal LePage True North associate broker Angie O’Hara and FMFCS Director of Communications & Fund Development Tim O’Rourke

The Canadian Women's Foundation donates to FMFCS

The Canadian Women's Foundation had donated $1,528.00 toward the operation of Unity House. The Foundation raised the money by working with their partners, Winners/HomeSense and Rogers Media by collecting on-line donations and selling t-shirts, bags and decals. The Foundation raised 2.5 million dollars and split half the money among the 450 Women's Shelters across Canada that have charitable status. The other half of the money will fund violence prevention programs across Canada.

We sincerely thank the Canadian Women's Foundation for their initiatives to end violence against women!

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Royal LePage True North Realty Makes Generous Donation to FMFCS

Waypoints graciously accepted a cheque for $10,000 from proceeds raised by Royal LePage's True North Realty's Annual National Shelter Foundation Garage Sale on May 11th. On behalf of Unity House, Director of Fund Development, Tim O'Rourke, and Executive Director, Michele Taylor, accepted the cheque at a recent Royal LePage staff meeting from broker/owner Marian Barry.

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Royal LePage True North Realty Slo-Pitch Tournament Hits It Out of the Park For Unity House

FORT MCMURRAY, AB (May 22, 2013) – With summer just around the corner, that means Royal LePage True North Realty, again is hosting its annual Slo-Pitch Tournament with all proceeds to Waypoints (FMFCS) from June 7-9.

The event is in its 12th year and with 20 teams involved, there should be over 240 people participating at the Timberlea Athletic Park as well as concession and refreshment stands available for ball fans from 6 pm-1 am on June 7, 9 am-10 pm on June 8 and 9 am-6 pm on June 9.

“It’s amazing how quickly and to what extent this event has grown,” says tournament founder and Royal LePage True North Realty associate broker Jill Kerrigan, “especially when you consider how it all started with 10 teams the first year and now grown to over 20 teams.”

“This is the tournament that ball players look forward to, as they know all the proceeds are going to a worthwhile cause and the ball community comes out in full force to support this organization (FMFCS). Each team consists of 11-12 players, typically with seven guys and four girls, but last year, we did have an all female team (The Roller Derby Girls) with a male pitcher.”

The cost per team is $450 with a team entry deadline of June 4. Contact Jill Kerrigan for registration at 780.714.1492 or email her at

Last year’s event raised $16,850 for Waypoints' Unity House.

For more information:

Tim O’Rourke, Director of Fund Development
780.750.5617/587.646.0444 cell

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Royal LePage True North Realty Makes Generous
Donation to Waypoints

FORT MCMURRAY, AB (May 21, 2013) – Royal LePage True North Realty hosted its annual National Shelter Foundation Garage Sale and raised $10,000 for Waypoints' Unity House on May 11.

The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation supports women’s shelters and works towards ending violence against women and children. The National Garage Sale event has been running for five years in Fort McMurray, with the help of generous Royal LePage agents, brokers, managers and administrative staff, along with members of the community.

“This was the most successful Garage Sale ever as we raised $8,109.40 but an anonymous donation came forward to make it $10,000 and it all goes to Unity House,” said Marian Barry, broker/owner, Royal LePage True North Realty.

“Kudos to Discovery Moving for picking up all the large donated items and then coming back after the sale to take away all the unwanted items, the Alliance Church for allowing us to use their facility and parking lot, ATCO Gas for the use of their barbecue and all of the Royal LePage realtors, staff and volunteers who gave so much of their time to make this a huge success.”

The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation has raised more than $16 million since its inception and is Canada’s largest public Foundation.

For more information:

Tim O’Rourke
Director of Fund Development
780.750.5617/587.646.0444 cell

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Golfing for a good cause

Waypoints' first annual Tournament of Hope featured four former PGA and LPGA tour members playing at the Miskanaw Golf Club at MacDonald Island Park. The four pros, pictured here, are Dan Halldorson, Gail Graham, AJ Earthorne and Dave Barr. A total 142 players registered and 135 golfers competed in the event on Saturday, which netted $50,000 for the Stop the Hurting, Start the Healing campaign.

Fort McMurray Today
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Trevor Howlett, Today staff

Click here to read article at

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A cause worth putting for

Waypoints fundraiser to help towards a new emergency shelter

Dan Halldorson, CanTour president and former PGA tour member will be in Fort McMurray to play golf at the Tournament of Hope to help out the fundraiser. Photo: Derek Ruttan/london free press.

While local golf enthusiasts may be focused on this weekend’s Canadian Tour’s Syncrude Boreal Open, the president of CanTour will be in Fort McMurray the following weekend as a competitor in Waypoints' Tournament of Hope.

In addition to his role as CanTour pres, Dan Halldorson is a former PGA Tour member and earned over $1 million in prize money. The 60-year-old Winnipegger is no stranger to Fort McMurray and has competed locally several times over the years, but next weekend he’ll be playing for fun.

“We’re trying to entertain the people and raise money for charity and that’s our goal,” said Halldorson.

“We’re available for autographs and photos as well, all of that stuff. We’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can raise a lot of money.”

Halldorson will be joined by former PGA tour player Dave Bar, LPGA golfer turned PGA caddy A.J. Eathorne as well as two-time LPGA tour winner Gail Graham.

Earthorne is excited to visit Fort McMurray for the first time and thinks it should be a great event.

“It sounds like a great event and the people love golf up there (in Fort McMurray) so it’s great to play when people are excited about it,” said Earthorne.

“I’m looking forward to it, it’s a place I always wanted to visit. I hear it stays light up there pretty late, so that should be good we’ll have a longer party and a longer event.”

This is the first year for the Tournament of Hope Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Miskanaw Golf Club and the fundraiser will benefit the Stop the Hurting Start the Healing campaign to bring a new emergency shelter to Fort McMurray.

In addition to the tournament there will be clinics for amateur adult golfers to learn from the pros on Thursday evening, Friday afternnon and Saturday morning. There will also be junior clinics on Friday morning. All in all it should be a fun weekend for both pros and amateurs.

“It’s going to be a fun weekend. The golfers themselves are excited about partaking in this event and they are excited to be helping our capital project,” said FMFCS board member Ramona Morrison.

“It’s going to be a relaxed fun tournament. We’re very fortunate to have guys like Dan Halldorson willing to work with us and we’re encouraging people right now to join up, because it’s definitely not too late.”

The tournament starts on July 7. Those interested in participating can register by contacting Rob MacGregor at the Miskanaw Golf Club.

Fort McMurray Today
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Trevor Howlett, Today staff

PDF Click here to download PDF of article.

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Waypoints receive a cheque for $16,850 from Royal LePage

Waypoints Community Awareness and Special Events Coordinator Mary Thomas and Executive Director Mary-Ellen Proctor receive a cheque for $16,850 from Royal LePage Directors Marian Barry and Jill Kerrigan. The donation is the result of two recent fundraising events organized by Royal Le Page: a garage sale and their annual baseball fundraising tournament.

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Tournament to raise awareness of Waypoints

First they got the Harley Davidson crowd. Then they got the softball players. Now they’re coming for the golfers.

Waypoints is hoping to expand awareness of its programs by hosting the inaugural Tournament of Hope golf tournament.

“We’re trying to bring attention to all different people of different interest groups,” said Mary Ellen Proctor, the society’s executive director. “This is just about reaching out to different groups—our main focus is the awareness…”

The tournament, which will feature professional golfers and the opportunity for some lucky players to play their round with them, also serves as a fundraiser for the group’s expansion project.

The two-phase project will see a first phase with 78 secure long-term housing apartments for victims of domestic violence of any age.

The second phase will contain 50 emergency apartments as temporary shelter for those needing to get out of a dangerous situation. This phase will also be home to a full clinic with a doctor, nurse, dentist and pharmacist as well as a preschool/daycare.

“We’re creating a space where we can do a one-stop service,” said Proctor. “Our intention is to end domestic violence. Until then we need to be looking after these families.”

To make their goal a reality, the society is holding its inaugural Tournament of Hope and inviting the public to have the opportunity to golf with four professional golfers: Dan Halldorson, Dave Barr, A.J. Eathorne and Gail Graham.

Halldorson, who lives in Illinois, said he has been to Fort McMurray a number of times and says golf is a great way to raise money.

“Golf in North America brings in more charity dollars than more sports combined,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what community it is.”

Halldorson’s golf career has spanned several decades and he won one PGA tour and placed second five times. He also won nine times internationally and was a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Tour.

Those interested in learning from the pros can participate in adult amateur clinics throughout the weekend and a player auction will afford some the chance to play their round with the professionals.

The event isn’t just for adult golf enthusiasts.

Junior clinics with the pros run June 29 at 9 a.m.—those who call and register at the Miskanaw Golf Club will get to golf with the pros free.

The Tournament of Hope takes place July 7 at 1:15 p.m. at Miskanaw Golf Course and there is a banquet at 7:30 p.m. To register, contact the course at 780-790-1812.

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012
Holly Hashimi

Click here to read article at

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Events in pictures

Click on the images below to view a selection of photographs taken at our recent Community Engagement and Sod Turning event and the Royal Le Page Annual Baseball Tournament Fundraiser:




Royal Le Page Annual Baseball
tournament fundraiseR

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Society working toward new facility

(From left) Mary Ellen Proctor of Waypoints, Marleen Gray of FMFCS, Dennis Parsons of the Fort McMurray Public School District, Ramona Morrison of FMFCS, MLA Don Scott, Ben Dutton of the Casman Group, MLA Mike Allen and Bryan Lutes of Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corp. at the sod turning event for the FMFCS. Photo: Lindsay Ducharme

Waypoints was facing a crisis of their own, when the size of their current facility, Unity House, was making it impossible to help all those in need.

Unity House is a safe haven for women and children fleeing violent and unsafe situations.

In fact, on average they were forced to turn away 103 women and children seeking help in recent years, due simply to lack of space.

The choice was clear; they must build a new, bigger facility so they would never again have to turn away those seeking help.

“It was in 2008 that I had the privilege of becoming the executive director of Waypoints,” said Mary-Ellen Proctor.

“Within my first week I found out that we had water issues, we had electrical issues, the list went on and on. I’m thinking no problem; we’ll just fix everything. The engineer came in, and when he was done it was going to cost us more to fix it then to it was for us to build a new building.”

They created a “Stop the Hurting, Start the Healing” campaign to raise awareness and funds for the building costs of the new facility.

The project consists of two components: affordable housing and an emergency shelter.

The affordable housing aspect of the project will contain 39 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units and 15 three-bedroom units for a total of 76 units all furnished and containing full kitchens.

The emergency shelter will contain 12 bachelorette units, 16 one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units, two two-bedroom units with full kitchens, eight three-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units with full kitchens making up a total of 50 units.

There will also be a support area which will include an exercise facility, commercial kitchen, pre-school day care centers, a medical area, a large central outdoor courtyard and administrative offices.

When all is said and done the project will cost just over $50 million.

Waypoints has already raised almost 45 per cent of their goal due to generous donations from many members of the community including a $6 million gift-in-kind land donation from the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation.
The most touching donation was from 10-year-old Neave Spargo who requests money instead of birthday gifts so that she may donate to a worthy cause.

“This year I received a call from the mother of a young lady, that for the last four or five years has been saving the money that she gets at her birthday party. This young girl, at the age of 10, figured out something that most people take a lifetime to figure out, that it’s truly about community, and it’s truly about giving back, that’s what counts,” said Paul McWilliams, director of marketing, communications and fund management for Waypoints. “She’s taken that money and donated it to the Waypoints and this year she was able to donate around $250.”

For more information or to donate visit

June 15-21 edition
Lindsay Ducharme

PDF Click here to download PDF of article.

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Stop the Hurting and Start the Healing on Shaw TV

Shaw TV report by Bianca Jade on how Unity House is asking for the entire community of Fort McMurray to come together and help Stop the Hurting and Start the Healing.

Click on play to watch




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Denim Day party 12-17 yr-olds at Boys and Girls Club

Join the Denim Day party 12-17 yr-olds at Boys and Girls Club 1-4 pm Saturday May 12, 2012

jeans1 in every 4 girls and 1 in every 6 boys are sexually assaulted by the age of 18. Join FMFCS along with other nonprofit organizations, community leaders, youth groups, and RMWB to observe the 2012 "Denim Day FMM" event, raising awareness about sexual violence. 

"Denim Day" began 12 years ago in response to an Italian Supreme Court justice that overturned a rape conviction on grounds that the victim must have helped her attacker remove her skinny jeans (thus implying consent). The wearing of jeans has become an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.

Winners of a Poster Painting competition across the Junior and High schools and denim creations and most creative jean on sexual assault awareness will be awarded prizes. There will be a discussion on the topic and open house for students to ask questions. The event closes with Sock Hop, pizza and pop.

Be apart of events organized by Waypoints to raise awareness about sexual violence among teens and to support victims of rape and sexual assault so that never again will a teen feel unsafe in our community. 

Wood Buffalo Culture Blogspot
May 11, 2012
Posted by the Culture Coordinator

Click here to read article at

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Official denim day proclaimed

Denim Day has received a boost with Mayor Melissa Blake officially recognizing the day in Fort McMurray.

“May 12 is officially Fort McMurray’s Denim Day, the day when we commemorate those who’ve been assaulted sexually and also try and help prevent this happening, so this will be the awareness day for people to find out information,” said Mary Thomas, community awareness and special events co-ordinator with Waypoints.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is recognized nationally each May, with many cities and towns across Canada recognizing a particular day of awareness.
Blake’s proclamation reads that the recognition comes in light of the FMFCS drawing attention to “the fact that sexual violence is wide spread, has public health implications for every community member of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo...that one in five women will have experienced sexual assault by the time they complete college...and whereas there is compelling evidence that leadership,dedication and encouragement can reduce sexual violence in the community through prevention, education,increased awareness and holding perpetrators responsible for their actions,” amongst a myriad of other reasons.

The proclamation will serve as annual reminder that acts of sexual violence and aggression are not tolerated in the municipality or the country as a whole.

Fort McMurray Today
May 4, 2012
Amanda Richardson

PDF Click here to download PDF of article.

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Donning denim against sexual assault

Shining a light on the reality of teenage sexual violence and taking a stand against sexual assault, Waypoints is hosting the 2012 Denim Day event.

Mary Thomas, the community awareness and special events co-ordinator with the FMFCS, says there is a long history to Denim Day, beginning with the overturning of a court case in Italy in 1998.

“There was an Italian court which got a case overturned based on the fact that the 18-year-old girl that was raped must have given consent to the man because she was wearing tight jeans at the time and he couldn’t have taken her out without her consent,” explained Thomas. “That’s when people started protesting against this idea that dress is what can lead to something like the rape of a teenaged girl.”

Thomas hopes an event like this will help to bring awareness to local girls who may not realize the prevalence of sexual attacks.

The student event will be held at the Fort McMurray Boys and Girls Club with a poster painting competition, a quiz and a creative denim decorating contest that is being facilitated by both the public and Catholic school districts. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the three competitions. The event will also include discussions about sexual assault violence and opportunities for the students to ask questions.

The day will culminate in a dance open to teens between 12 and 14.

For more information, contact the FMFCS at 780-743-46914.

Fort McMurray Today
May 2, 2012
Amanda Richardson

PDF Click here to download PDF of article.

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Julio Florez donates $15,000 to the campaign


Julio Florez, a realotor with Royal LePage presents a Cheque for $15,000 to Waypoints' Executive Director Mary-Ellen Proctor and Director of marketing, communication and fund development, Paul McWilliams, for their new campaign Stop The Hurting, Start The Healing on Tuesday April 10, 2012. Proceeds from campaign will be used for the construction of a new Affordable Housing & Emergency Woman’s Shelter in Fort McMurray.  

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Decadent Pink donate $10,000 to the campaign

Decadent Pink

Waypoints Executive Director Mary-Ellen Proctor receives the donation of $10,000 from Decedent Pink organizing Committee – Candace Sturgess, Donna Fetzko, Stefarie May, Deborah Lindenberger, Katherine Czerlay-Lima, Mucharata Minog and Chelsey Hart.

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Crisis centre adds golf to capital campaign

Golf SponsorWaypoints introducing fundraising golf tournament this summer

Waypoints is giving local golfers a chance to golf with the pros as the organization is bringing some of golf’s big names to Fort McMurray for a fundraising tournament this summer.

The tournament is in support of the Stop the Hurting Start the Healing campaign aimed at bringing a new family emergency shelter to Fort McMurray.

This is the inaugural Tournament of Hope Celebrity Golf Tournament and it will take place July 4-7, 2012 at Miskanaw Golf club at MacDonald Island Park. Waypoints Executive Director Mary-Ellen Proctor said the organization is “very lucky” to be having some of these pros attend the event.

“We’ve been able to secure four legends of golf in Canada and these are four individuals who have really made their mark in the world of golf, not just in Canada, but on the PGA and the LPGA tour —they’re all tour winners,” said Proctor.

Amongst Fort McMurray’s local golfers, A.J. Eathorne, the 1997 Canadian Ladies Amateur champion and LPGA tour member, David Barr, two-time PGA tour winner, Dan Halldorson who has one PGA Tour win and 28 top 10 finishes and Jim Nelford, ESPN golf commentator and two-time PGA tour winner, will all be in town for the tournament.

McWilliams told the Today this will be one of the campaign’s largest summer events, adding he hopes it will give people a chance to support and raise awareness about a worthy cause, but also meet some new people within the community.

“The old saying goes, ‘A bad day at the golf course beats any good day at work’ and that’s the kind of mentality we have here,” said McWilliams. “Golf in Fort McMurray is an experience; it’s a true event.”

He continued, “For those, like myself, who are scratch golfers, when I go out on the links, I know I’m not going out to chase any records, but I’m going out there to socialize and network with people and some friends, so it’s just a wonderful time,” said Proctor. “It’s going to be a fun, sociable event, but at the same time it will also raise awareness of an important issue in our community and that issue is family violence,” said Proctor. “Our community is in desperate need of a new facility for those victims.”

Alongside the tournament planned for this summer, the FMFCS has already managed to collect a solid chunk of funds through donations from local businesses including $75,000 from NorthStar Ford, roughly $44,000 from Royal LePage, True North Reality, $150,000 from Syncrude Canada, with the most recent donation of $10,000 coming from the Decadent Pink event.

Proctor explained the FMFCS has close to 50% of its phase one goal of $26 million, saying the phase two goal is roughly $24 million, adding the need for a new FMFCS is critical, as last year the organization had to turn away 103 women and children in need, simply because of lack of space.

He explained further that the FMFCS is still looking for sponsors for the tournament July 4-7 and those interested can contact Mary Ellen Proctor, Executive Director at (780) 743-4691, or e-mail:

With early bird registration tickets to the event are $225 per-golfer if you book before May 1st and $250 per-golfer after May 1.


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One step closer

NorthStar Ford general sales manager, Jeffrey Watson, and Dennine Giles, owner of NorthStar Group Fort McMurray, present a cheque of $ 75,000 to Waypoints' director of marketing, communication and fund development, Paul McWillliams, for their new campaign Stop The Hurting, Start The Healing on Thursday. The $75,000 will be distributed over the next three years in increments of $25,000.


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Waypoints starts drive to $ 50 million for facility

Family Crisis Centre gets donation to kick off drive

Waypoints got a donation of over $ 44,000 from Royal Lepage True North Realty for its Stop the Hurting, Start the Healing campaign and organizers say the donation is a good start for the drive.

Agents from Royal Lepage True North Realty present Mary- Ellen Proctor, the executive director of Waypoints, with a check for over $ 44,000.

The Stop the Hurting, Start the Healing campaign hopes to raise $ 50 million to fund the future expansion of the FMFCS as their current location is consistently at max capacity.

“This is one of the first that officially has come on board for the Stop the Hurting campaign,” said Mary- Ellen Proctor, executive director of the FMFCS. “One of the main pieces is awareness. A lot of people don’t even know our organization exists, or what a huge need there is in this community or the high volume of domestic violence that exists right across Canada.”

Proctor said the first step in any campaign is to raise public awareness on an issue, saying getting the word out is extremely important.

“Once people are aware, then you can actually do something about it,” she said.

Proctor said the donation is enough to house an entire family for a year, saying this kind of donation makes a difference, adding the amount not only supplies shelter, but security.

“When you think of it, that’s housing for a family for a year ... that’s a nice safe place where you don’t have to worry about someone coming in and kicking down the door in the middle of the night,” said Proctor. “So you can have that time to pull your life to better and start a new path, or heal what’s going on.”

“It’s phenomenal,” she said.

Marian Barry, broker owner of Royal Lepage at True North Realty, said participation in the drive was 100% with 38 agents from Royal Lepage donating funds to the FMFCS and it’s a commitment Royal Lepage Canada has been fulfilling for roughly a decade.

“It started out with nine bedrooms for nine clients, and we know the need has probably tripled, quadrupled and more, so the facility is not adequate anymore. So we’re there to help to try and make things better,” said Barry.

She also said the donation is suiting for Royal Lepage because the goal of its agents is to secure a home for their clients, adding that the FMFCS does the same for its clients.

“It connects with what we do,” Barry explained. “We sell homes, we want homes to be safe for everybody, so it’s a nice tie into that. We just truly believe in the concept of this new building.”


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A community free of domestic violence and abuse, sexual assault and abuse and homelessness.


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