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Gala supporting youth going through their darkest days

A musician performs at the 2023 Tender Hearts Gala benefiting the Seasons Centre for Grieving Children (Jonathan Guignard/CTV News Barrie) A musician performs at the 2023 Tender Hearts Gala benefiting the Seasons Centre for Grieving Children (Jonathan Guignard/CTV News Barrie)

Dozens of people came together in Barrie Friday evening, all with the common goal of helping children going through their darkest days.

The Season's Centre for Grieving Children held its annual Tender Hearts Gala at Liberty North. The charity works towards providing support to youth going through a challenging loss.

"One of the things with children is people think grief is just not something they understand, and they kind of push it off to the side," said the organization's executive director Rowley Ramey. "But their grief and their emotion is not unlike an adult."

The organization supports youth suffering the loss of someone close to them, like a parent or sibling, by bringing them together and providing a sense of community.

The idea was Raney's after the tragic loss of his two daughters.

"We came to realize that there was a lot of support for adults but very little support for children," said Ramey. "So we started a charity to provide grief support for children who lost a sibling or a parent."

Ramey says in addition to raising funds, which are critical as the organization does not receive government funding, Friday night's fundraiser also serves to spread awareness. Despite operating for decades, he says many need to learn about the organization, with some estimates suggesting thousands of youth that could be helped don't know to reach out.

Since its inception, Ramey estimates at least 18 million dollars has been raised. On Friday, they were hoping to bring in another $100,000.

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