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Decorate your face mask and join Mask Off Guelph 2022 in support of youth mental health

All proceeds will be going to The Grove to support youth mental health and well being
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Charmaine Collins, organizer of Mask Off 2022. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday file photo

An event is looking to lift the mask off of mental illness and is calling on participants to decorate their face masks in support.

Mask Off Guelph is partnering with Elinesky Schuett Private Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities is hosting Mask Off 2022 - MASKuerade with a twist.

The event will take place the evening of Saturday, April 9 and will feature cocktails, followed by dinner, guest speakers, a silent auction, live music, and dancing. Instead of typical masquerade masks, this year guests are being encouraged to decorate their COVID-19 face masks to correspond with their formal attire. 

All proceeds from the event will be going toward The Grove, a Youth Mental Health Ontario initiative providing support for youth in Guelph and Wellington County. 

Since launching the summer of 2021, over 6,500 youth have visited The Grove Hubs for wellness support and connection. With seven locations across Guelph and Wellington County, the funding will help in the construction of two new hubs in Guelph, at Woolwich Street and Shelldale Family Gateway Centre. The funds will also support virtual counselling services that will be offered to youth in Guelph. 

“Mask Off is proud to partner with The Grove. After discussions between the Mask Off committee, we strongly aligned with The Grove's mission, goals, and innovative approach to supporting mental health for the youth in our community,” says Charmaine Collins, organizer of Mask Off 2022, in a release from The Grove.

Established in 2019, Mask Off has raised over $120,000 for mental health in its three years of operations. The masquerade theme of the event serves as an anecdote for the purpose of the event: to broaden our understanding of what it is like to live life "under a mask" when living with mental illness.