Special to The Record
A fitness centre and a new dishwasher have significantly enhanced the quality of life for residents of Denman Island thanks to grants from the Comox Valley Community Foundation.
Several years ago the Denman Island Seniors & Museum Society began the development of a fitness centre. While they had raised a considerable sum of money it was not until the Community Foundation provided them with a grant of $10,000 that the project really got underway.
This afforded them the opportunity to seek other sources of funding such as through the Comox Valley Regional District, hold fundraisers and begin selling memberships. These activities allowed them to complete the project, which has proven to be very successful.
In the first year, out of a population of approximately 1,000, they signed up close to 100 members. In addition, the gymnasium, which was previously underutilized, is now a hub of recreational activity. After three years of operation, the Fitness Centre generates a surplus, which contributes to the overall operating costs of the centre.
While a dishwasher may not sound like a very exciting project to seek grant money, having one that meets the Society’s needs goes a long way to ensuring the community is well served.
Being a multi-purpose facility, the DSMS relies heavily on rentals to cover their basic operating costs. Their kitchen plays an essential role in helping them to achieve their goals and having two old residential models were not helping their cause.
Last year’s grant from the Community Foundation allowed them to buy a commercial grade dishwasher. It may not sound like much but to the Society it was a significant improvement. It not only sanitizes the dishes – an important consideration to those renting the facility – but it is also extremely fast, efficient and quiet.
Dishes could now be done in three minutes with the machine, making little noise, so that dishes could be washed during an event rather than having them stockpiled and cleaned once the event was over. In the past, waiting for long dishwashing cycles often meant coming back later to put on another load.
Two small projects but ones that have a big impact. Sharon Clarke, president of DSMS, said that these grants are much appreciated and the assistance the Foundation provides makes a big difference in a small community.
“The Comox Valley Community Foundation is proud to have been able to award these grants,” said Andrea Rowe, Foundation president. “Our mission is to be able to provide financial support to a variety of charitable organizations in the Valley, from the smallest to the largest they all contribute to our quality of life and that is the purpose of the Foundation … to enhance the quality of life in the Comox Valley.”
If you would like to find out more about the Community Foundation visit the website at www.cvcfoundation.org