Aid to Women is the only pro-life crisis pregnancy counseling center located directly beside an abortion facility in Canada. Located beside the Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic on Gerrard Street in downtown Toronto, more than two decades Aid to Women has saved babies and mothers from the horrors of abortion by providing life-affirming counseling and material support to expectant mothers considering abortion.
The staff and volunteers first job is to convince women to change abortion-minded women to choose life and for many women living on the margins of society that Aid to Women serve, there are expenses from baby formula and diapers to, sometimes, rent and groceries. That costs money and whatever is available after paying the rent and modest staff salaries goes directly to material support for women and their newborn children.
To increase their coffers, Aid to Women is holding a fundraising event, Artists for Aid to Women, at El Mocambo on 464 Spadina Ave. in Toronto on Dec. 8. Artists, musicians, poets, and photographers are lending their talents to support to Aid to Women’s life-saving and life-affirming work.
Aid to Women board member Elena Repka told The Interim that her organization is borrowing ideas from benefit concerts such as Farmer’Aid and even the feminist Lilith Fair (featuring female musical acts) and considering the success of the innovative first effort last year, they are attempting to make it an annual event.
The idea originally came from former employee Julie Abernethy, who also worked part-time at El Mocambo. “It was a natural development with her connection to her two places of employment,” Repka explained. “The generosity of the el Mocambo to donate their space and time cannot be overstated.”
In their first effort, the event raised $4,000 and they hope to replicate that amount. Because artists and the venue are donating their services, all “all money we raise will go to assisting mothers in need of our services.”
Local musicians such as instrument guitarists John Rugosi and Luc Rinaldi are performing as is pop vocalists Adrien Breda and singer/songwriters Susan Hookong-Taylor and Ana D’Costa.
Niagara Region painter Hugh McDonald’s work focusing on icons will be showcased as will urban photographers Jonathan Castellino and Mike Helmer. Flamenco dancer Sophia Gudino will also be performing.
Repka said, “We’d love to fill the venue because it is a highly visual and musical event, and we’d like to raise the profiles of the musicians and artists that support us.” But, she said, people who cannot make the event “can certainly support Aid to Women through financial or material donations.” She explained that while “We are always in need of simple items such as newborn diapers,” it is “best to check with our staff of the most immediate needs.”
Tickets for Artists for Aid to Women are available for purchase in advance for $20 ($15 for students) or $30 at the door. There will also be a silent auction of some exciting and different items as well as a live auction. The silent auction will include a beautiful copy of August Macke’s ‘Landscape of Munich’ painted by one of our loyal supporters, Deacon Doug McManaman and Christmas cards created by another talented artist, Martin Rebello.