One brick at a time

By Geoff Lee

February 23, 2017 12:00 AM

ANOTHER BRICK Wendy Plandowski, CEO of Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, has launched a fundraising blitz to raise the remaining half of a $2 million goal for Pioneer House seniors' care. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

$1 million still needed to fund Pioneer House

All in all, it’s more than just another brick in the wall.
The Lloydminster Region Health Foundation is set to blitz the region to raise the final $1 million of a $2 million goal to fund Pioneer House extended care home for seniors.
“It’s actually close to completion which is why we are on this final push to complete the fundraising campaign,” said Wendy Plandowski, CEO of the Foundation.
The Foundation will go door to door along with a mail campaign to complete sales of its Brick & Leaf campaign started last year.
“We would love to have a strong finish on the campaign and have it all wrapped up by summertime,” said Plandowski.
Virtual bricks are being sold for $500 for a half brick or $1,000 for a full brick or $250 for a leaf among many options.
Buyers get a numbered commemorative brick as a keepsake with their name to be added to a block at Pioneer House.
“They can be paid monthly over a year or split into smaller payments as well,” said Plandowski who said it’s a regional campaign, as many residents at Pioneer Lodge are from outlying communities.
People can also buy a brick on behalf of someone who has been a resident of the Pioneer Lodge.
“We’re also going to be looking at grants and other opportunities for funding to help us get to our goal,” said Plandowski.
Pioneer House will add 44 extended care beds to meet the demands of a growing and aging population.
The expansion is led by the Alberta government through three grants totalling $14 million with the final grant contingent on the community raising $2 million to cover the $16 million cost.
Joyce Bell, administrator at Pioneer Lodge is confident the money will be raised by the Foundation with the facility due to open as early as April.
“I don’t even want to think of what this project would have been like without their help and support right from the get-go,” said Bell.
“Wendy Plandowski and her team came in here and they saw what we were trying to do and they got behind us 100 per cent.”
Bell said the provincial government is an 80 per cent granter and so the community really does need to meet that $2 million figure to meet the commitments.
Pioneer House will be a level 4D care facility compared to the Lodge,  which is a housing facility.
“We’re basically an apartment block with some services,” said Bell.
That new wing will be an extended care facility with admission based on assessment and need.
Bell calls it a step in the right direction to meet the demand for extended care beds.
Several large donors have stepped up to purchase naming opportunities at Pioneer House over the course of construction.
Confirmed donors include $500,000 from Pim Page and family for naming the Vern & Violet Page Dining Hall & Atrium and $250,000 from the Fred North Foundation for the donor wall recognition feature.
Sellers RV also donated $100,000 toward the donor wall in addition to Webster Foundation (Quebec) with $25,000.
“We’ve had several really incredible leadership gifts and now we are really in the thick of the public campaign that lots of people can get involved with,” said Plandowski.
“Our Brick campaign is really meant for people to get involved.”

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