Exterior rendering of the preferred concept of the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre so far

Exterior rendering of the preferred concept of the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre so far

Halfway to Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre fund goal

Community efforts to gather funds for the first pool in Vanderhoof, also serving nearby communities, are well underway

Vivian Chui

Omineca Express

 

$223,000 has so far been raised to go towards the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre’s construction.

The amount is almost halfway to the $500,000 goal set by the Stuart Nechako Regional Pool Society, which was formed to help raise awareness of the project in the area through community fundraising efforts.

“It’s been less than a year and they raised a pretty good chunk of money,” said Tom Clement, the District of Vanderhoof’s Director of Community Development. “It can only be called a success.”

The society will continue to hold regular fundraisers, with the next event coming after the summer, Clement said.

Past activities to encourage donations included entertainment nights involving comedy or live bands, dance and silent auctions, family fun days, and an ongoing campaign in seeking contributions from individuals and companies.

“Building a pool in Vanderhoof is Council’s top infrastructure priority,” said pool committee chair and District Councillor Steve Little. “We have worked diligently to pursue funding opportunities through grants and large corporate donations.”

Contributions from the community have included, among others, $25,000 from both Stephen Brother’s Contracting, and Drs. Nicole and Sean Ebert.

The most recent commercial donations came from Prince George, with $10,000 from Lo Elliott Orthodontics and Northland Dodge.

An online crowdfunding campaign for the aquatic centre, hosted by InvestLocalBC.ca that ended on Aug.1, has also gathered a total of $5,103 from various backers.

“The Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre will provide enormous social and economic benefits to Vanderhoof and region and will play an important role in the overall wellness of our residents,” Mayor Gerry Thiessen said. “The work and the effort that the Stuart Nechako Regional Pool Society is conducting is appreciated by all residents of the Nechako Valley. This is another great example of what can be accomplished by a few committed individuals with the support of our amazing community.”

The aquatic centre’s final engineering designs will be commissioned in the next six months, with a goal to begin construction in 2017.