DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Port Perry Refugee Support Group (PPRSG) is looking to help two families, of Syrian refugees who currently reside in Port Perry, reunite with their loved ones. The local group, who in the past have brought a total of four refugee families to Scugog, is looking to fundraise $60,000 to bring two more Syrian families to Port Perry. “The families are both the brothers, their wives and children of two families who arrived here two years ago, and are thriving in Port Perry,” Heather Haliburton-Smith of PPRSG told The Standard in an email. The group has already raised the majority of the funds since starting the Port Perry Refugee Reunification Fund about a year ago, with only about $10,000 left to raise. Ms. Haliburton-Smith said after the last family came in 2017, there weren’t any plans to continue to bring Syrian families to Scugog, but the group decided to start this reunification project after hearing from the two refugee families about the “dire circumstances” their family members were in. “They’re living in a state of wait. They can’t get ahead,” Ms. Haliburton-Smith said, regarding the situation of the families the group is looking to bring over. The group will be holding a carnival of games and a corn roast on Saturday, September 7th at 16950 Old Simcoe Rd. in Port Perry to help raise funds. “It’s a good celebration for the four families that are here. Hopefully we will raise enough through the carnival and community awareness to secure the $60,000,” Ms. Haliburton-Smith said. The event will run from 2 p.m. until midnight, and will include an egg toss, water balloon events, backyard type games, a silent auction, garage sale, corn roast, and both Canadian and Syrian food.
Entrance to the event is $20 per family. The raindate is Sunday, September 8th. Ms. Haliburton-Smith said none of the refugee families have had any negative experiences in Scugog so far, and are “very excited that the community has pulled together” for this cause. The group is looking for student volunteers for the event, as well as garage sale items. For more information, contact Ms. Haliburton-Smith at 905-435-7728 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.