Thanks to the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, the new patio at the Bulkley Lodge took a big step forward.
“This is amazing,” Margaret Burns, whose mother was a resident of Blueberry Ward at the lodge, said of the $5,000 donation.
Residents in the Blueberry Ward need a little more attention and with just one care worker on the ward, it’s difficult for them to find time to take each resident outdoors for a spell.
Consequently, the residents typically rely on family members to bring them outside.
The deck, Burns said, will make it much easier for staff at the lodge to bring residents outdoors in a safe environment.
“It’s something we wanted to do for our families and for other families down the road,” Burns, whose mother, Dorothy Lewis, was a resident in the Blueberry Ward at the lodge, said.
“The deck will allow some residents to get outside safely.”
For Bill Parker, whose mother, Helene Parker, lives in the Blueberry Ward, the deck is an important part of the quality of life for several residents.
“Some of the residents don’t have many opportunities to get outdoors and get some fresh air,” he said.
“The deck is going to change that for them, it’s going to make it totally great for them.”
At a cost of $30,000 the Bulkley Lodge family council had to do some serious fundraising and the BVCU helped them take a big step.
For the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, making a donation towards the cost of the deck fits perfectly with their mandate, BVCU board member and chair of the Smithers Community Support Committee Klaus Mueller said.
“This is a project we were absolutely thrilled to be a part of,” Mueller said.
“Any project that enhances the quality of life of the residents in the Bulkley Valley is something that we’re happy to support.
The committee, Mueller said, receives more than 100 requests for funding each year and the majority receive at least some funding.
The mandate of the committee is to focus on projects directed at youth, education and/or community, Mueller explained.
Funds to support the various projects come from a percentage of the profit generated by the BVCU.
Some of the profit is redistributed to members of the BVCU and some goes to Community Support Committees for distribution to various community projects, Mueller explained.
“That’s what we’re about,” Mueller said.
“Making sure the money goes directly back to the communities.”
Other projects receiving funding from the BVCU include the Telkwa Bandstand project for their centennial celebrations later this year, the Midsummer Music Festival, Bioblitz and the Smithers Entrance project.
“You’ll seldom find a community project where we’re not on the donors list,” Mueller said.
The amount of money BVCU returns to the community is nothing to sneeze at.
Last year alone, the BVCU returned more than $1 million to members and community projects across the Bulkley Valley.
For more information on the BVCU and Community Support Committees visit www.bvcu.com.
The family council is still accepting donations and donations can be made to their account at the BVCU.