Riverside Park will have some extra visitors this summer, thanks to Riverside Place Executive Director Helen Frederick, and Regional District of Bulkley Nechako Director Jerry Petersen.
Aware of the isolation and loneliness that senior citizens often face, and recognizing Riverside Park as a community gathering place, Frederick spearheaded a campaign to raise funds for a Club Car. (A large golf car that seats eight people, or six people with their walkers and wheelchairs).
“Many of our seniors are unable to navigate their walkers and wheelchairs across Riverside Park’s lawn and on the gravel paths, and must watch park gatherings and events from afar”, says Frederick about her vision.
RDBN Director Jerry Petersen was immediately on board, providing a grant-in-aid of $6,800. His donation gave the project momentum and from that point on, Frederick knew she would be able to accomplish her goal. The District of Vanderhoof was quick to grant permission for Club Car use in the park, and excitement grew amongst area seniors, already planning trips to the Farmer’s Market and picnics in the covered area.
A very generous “in memoriam” donation towards the project was made by the family of the late Jean Giesbrecht, a former tenant of Riverside Place. A recent donation by Pacific Northern Gas leaves the project $2,000 short of its goal.
Over the next few weeks a group of supportive citizens and seniors will begin canvassing local businesses raffle prize donations, with a raffle to complete the project happening soon after.
In addition to prizes, canvassers will be making requests to local businesses and philanthropists for the donation of a shed or materials and labour to build a shed, which will be used to store the Club Car when not in use. Without such a donation, a further $2,300 will be needed before the Club Car can be purchased.
If you would like to make a donation to this worthy project, please contact Helen Frederick at 250-567-5344, or mail a cheque payable to Nechako Valley Community Services to Box 680, Vanderhoof, B.C. V0J 3A0. Nechako Valley Community Services, a registered charity, operates Riverside Place.