An annual tradition that coincides with Shrove Tuesday was held at Bingemans to support the Child Witness Centre.

Tuesday’s event, which is in its 25th year, saw more than 430 people come out and raised more than $48,000— which the executive director says will go a long way.

The Child Witness Centre supports children and youth who are victims or witnesses of abuse and crime.

“We know that when we can support children, youth when they really need it most, when it’s really critical we can really get them on the right trajectory in life,” Kim Rodrigues, executive director at Child Witness Centre said. “We know that it can often be a really traumatizing experience what they’ve gone through, and we want to soften that and make it as supportive as possible.”


The centre supports children through an investigative stage, and if charges are laid, through the court process by helping them navigate the system and prepare for testimony and victim impact statements.

The organization said it is seeing soaring demand for its services.

In 2022 the organization had to start a waitlist for the first time in its 40 years in service.

"We want to ensure that going through that court process isn't retraumatizing for them," Rodrigues said.

Last year, about five staff supported more than 1,700 children and youth and their caregivers in Waterloo region and Guelph area.

The children can range in age from as young as two all the way up to 18.

Only about 20 per cent of the centre’s funding comes from the government, so they rely on donations for the remaining 80 per cent.