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Friendship Fundraising Dinner
Coming Together Under One Roof for Women Fighting Addiction
The 17th annual Friendship Fundraising Dinner presented Ann Dowsett Johnston (seen left with John Neufeld, executive director) . The award-winning journalist is well respected for her expertise in higher education, alcohol addiction and public policy relating to both. For 14 years, she oversaw
two bestselling projects: the Maclean's university rankings and the Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities.
Most recently, Dowsett Johnston spent a year researching the issue of Women and Alcohol as part of the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. From this research she developed a series of articles that were printed in the Toronto Star and are available here for you to read.
Beyond her focus on education and addiction, Dowsett Johnston has written on a wide variety of subjects, from the arts to mental health. Her personal writing was anthologized in the bestselling Dropped Threads: More of What We Aren’t Told.
Dowsett Johnston has won numerous awards for her work, including five National Magazine Awards. She is also the recipient of a Southam Fellowship.
Feisty and outspoken, Dowsett Johnston champions the need for for political leadership on alcohol policy, a reduction in the stigma around addiction, and greater accountability in public education.
At the Dinner, Ms Dowsett Johnston spoke about alcohol use amongst women:"Our Love Affair with Alcohol: How a Fairy-tale Romance Blinds Us to the Obvious". The event was sold-out in advance and there wasn't a spare seat to be had in the hall. Over 330 guests heard a poignant tale of a love affair gone wrong. Ann's message was powerful and insightful, leaving no doubts about the need for progressive public policy on alcohol use and the need for adequate and appropriate treatment services for those suffering from addiction.
Proceeds of $24,000 from the Dinner benefitted House of Friendship's $2 million capital campaign, Under One Roof, which aims to transform women's addiction services by bringing programs under one roof.
Throughout, and at the end of the evening, guests were also treated to a muscial performance by The Dixon family; three young brothers who dazzled us with their violins and cello. Many thanks to guests, sponsors and volunteers for making it a very memorable evening.