Seniors Lodge fund tops $1M

By Geoff Lee

November 22, 2017 1:52 PM

Vermilion area residents and seniors were treated to a tour of the ongoing reconstruction of phase one of the Vermilion Valley Lodge for seniors on Sunday, timed for the kickoff of the public’s turn at fundraising with $1,105,000 already raised toward a $1.5 million goal for furnishings and landscaping. In attendance were major sponsors, Mike Webb representing Webb’s of Vermilion, John Lunty representing Vermilion Rotary, Vermilion Mayor Caroline McCauley, County of Vermilion Reeve Dale Swyripa and MLA Dr. Richard Starke representing the Alberta government which contributed to the capital cost of the $14.1 million project. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Now it’s the public’s turn to contribute to the Vermilion and District Housing Foundation Capital Capital Campaign with a $1.5 million goal that’s within reach.
The funds are the community portion of the $14.1 million cost for the ongoing reconstruction of the Vermilion Valley Lodge for seniors.
A $100,000 donation early last week from Webb’s of Vermilion pushed the total over the $1 million mark with smaller donations from residents to come.
The VDHF Capital Campaign officially launched the public funding phase with dignitaries and donors on hand for a site tour on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Vermilion Valley Lodge CAO, Sheri Heller said the event doubled as an opportunity to thank the major donors who have stepped up to the plate so far for the cause.
“We started the campaign off on the quiet side and have key players in the community like business people—they’ve been going about asking their peers for donations,” said Heller.
“We started off with the county and the town at $130,000 each and the Rotary club came in with $75,000, Agland came in with $75,000 —it’s just been phenomenal.
“It’s wonderful; we will make our goal,” said Heller with the latest total at $1,105,000 revealed during the tour.
Heller is somewhat surprised by the fundraising response knowing Vermilion is a small town of just over 4,000 residents, but she thinks being a small community means everybody knows the seniors’ lodge is key part of the infrastructure in the community.
“And it’s also because they could be here themselves.,” said Heller as residents age.
“A lot of people in the community have had an aunt or a grandparent in through this facility.”
Heller added the Valley Lodge is the only seniors’ residence in town, so they understand the need of having it here.
“If it’s not here, they have to go to other communities and we want to stay at home,” she said speaking for residents.
The VDHF Capital Campaign supports the purchase of interior furnishings and landscaping not covered by the $10.2 million from federal and provincial grants and a $2.45 million loan.
“Residents are getting letters in the mail addressed to friends and family and they are given opportunities to purchase rooms for $2,500 with a naming opportunity,” said Heller.
“They can also purchase dinning room table and chairs or bedroom suite furniture, things like that.”
The kickoff to public funding is time for year-end tax deductible donations and receipts issued.
“That’s partly why the campaign is kicking off now—it’s the giving season,” said Heller who noted the first phase of the two part reconstruction is in progress with the framing done.
“The roof trusses are on, so the roof will be going on” she said.
Visitors were able to tour the first floor in various stages of completion.
The first phase will have 16 rooms including five on the first floor with 11 on the second floor.
The ground floor will house a brand new kitchen that’s double the size of the old one and a dining room to seat about 90 residents.

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