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A Saint John Police Force car. Image: Brad Perry

Raffle items stolen ahead of non-profit’s fundraising breakfast

By Brad Perry Oct 23, 2023 | 2:03 PM

A big blow for a southern New Brunswick non-profit organization preparing for its annual fundraising breakfast

Sophia Recovery Centre said its Saint John location was broken into over the weekend and several items were stolen.

Julie Atkinson, the centre’s executive director, said among the items taken were donations for a fundraising raffle.

“It was probably about $1,200 or $1,300 worth of prizes that we had collected in the form of gift cards and different items,” Atkinson said in a phone interview Monday.

The break-in and theft is believed to have happened sometime Friday night, according to Atkinson, who discovered the missing items and a damaged door on Saturday.

It happened as the centre prepares to host its annual Sunny Side Up Recovery Breakfast in Saint John on Thursday.

Atkinson said the event, which was set to include a raffle, is the centre’s largest fundraiser of the year.

“The response from the community so far has been so encouraging and so lovely,” she said.

“It’s really nice to know that people care about this and understand that the impact on us financially is pretty significant.

Atkinson and her team are working on new ideas to replace the raffle at the fundraiser.

Despite the setback, she said the centre is still very excited to have people come together.

“The event is called Sunny Side Up and that’s how we operate. We always look for the good in every situation and we’re still intent on having a really wonderful community gathering,” said Atkinson.

“We have some speakers who are going to be incredible and we know people are really going to enjoy hearing from them.”

When asked for details about their investigation, Staff Sgt. Sean Rocca with the Saint John Police Force said he could not confirm where the break-in happened for privacy reasons.

Rocca said officers did respond Saturday to ar report of a break-and-enter that had occurred on Hazen Street, which is where the Sophia Recovery Centre is located.

“A number of items were stolen and the investigation is ongoing,” Rocca said in an email.

In the meantime, anyone looking to make a financial donation to Sophia Recovery Centre can do so through their website.

We're sad to share that our centre in Saint John was broken into on Friday night. A number of items were stolen, but…

Posted by Sophia Recovery Centre on Sunday, October 22, 2023