They say it takes a village to raise a child, and as it turns out, it takes a community to make sure seniors have a place to call home at the Sunnybrae Seniors Hall.
“Seniors are the foundation of our community, they are the ones that have built this community and have put so much into it,” said Alice Hidber, Sunnybrae Seniors Society president.
“In rural communities, community halls … are the centre point, the meeting point in the community and for seniors, it’s even more important for them to have a place where they can socialize, share experiences, pass their time together and enjoy their lives,” said Paul Demenok, Columbia Shuswap Regional District Electoral Area C director.
The centre originally applied for a grant of $7,300 from the Shuswap Community Foundation for upgrades, and they got it. They also got an outpouring of support from the community.
“It’s bloomed to almost $14,000 in charitable donations, labour, expertise and donations. I am so humbled and appreciative of everything and grateful to everyone that has helped us out,” said Hidber.
Donations include discounted labour, topsoil, tree cutting, landscaping, new eavestroughs, flowers, downspouts, paint and more from individuals and companies.
“Owning a business you need to give back. It’s great seeing the seniors’ faces light up today as they were seeing it all,” said Bailey Gremlin, Gremlin Care Landscaping.
“It’s important to donate back to the community,” said Brian Krogstad, Shuswoggy Tree and Yard Services.
The seniors are looking forward to being able to return to the hall for potlucks, dinners, fitness classes, crafting, pool and more once restrictions are lifted.
“They will come back to a nice, refreshed place with new gardens and paint, making it a real joyful place to be,” said Hidber.