Advocates of the Care-A-Van, a mobile medical unit that assists homeless people in the Comox Valley, are trying to secure money from the annual Aviva Community Fund competition.
That campaign is offering $1 million to support community initiatives across Canada.
Hub International is supporting the local drive to fund the Care-A-Van dentistry program.
The first round of the competition did not garner enough votes for the Care-A-Van to move onto the next round, but there is a second chance.
The public is encouraged to vote every day until Nov. 5. Visit www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf13852.
Votes can also be cast on Facebook.
“We’re hoping to get as many people in the community aware of the ability to vote,” said Dorothy Tolsma, branch manager at Hub International Barton Insurance Brokers in Courtenay.
The Comox Bay Care Society operates the Care-A-Van. Volunteers help marginalized individuals by looking in ears, taking temperatures and blood pressure, and maybe even stitching or cleaning wounds. There is also a counselling component.
Twelve winning ideas from last year’s competition included a bear rescue facility in Smithers, an education youth camp in Quebec, a skateboard park in Saskatchewan and a seniors’ gym in Ontario. Launched in the fall of 2009, the Aviva competition has provided more than $2.5 million to 31 charities and community groups.
New to the competition this year — and within the $1 million in funding — is a prize up to $150,000 for groups that support homeless and at-risk youth programs.
Also within the $1 million is up to $150,000 for initiatives supported by insurance brokers.