Message from Executive Director Jimm Simon:
The water accessible wheelchair is a fantastic thing. I started calling it the floaty wheelchair. The floaty chair gives people who live with mobility issues or who are just unsteady on their feet, the ability to join their friends when we have outings at Quarry Park or Birds Hill Park.
Here’s the thing, the floaty wheelchair costs nearly $4,000. We love the floaty wheelchair, our staff and our clients are very excited about the floaty wheelchair but we don’t have $4,000. There isn’t an extra $4,000 in the budget this year or in the foreseeable future.
So how did we get the floaty wheelchair? In July of 2018 I was approached by some of the staff who work in the day program to tell me how much some of our clients enjoyed swimming and how great it would be if we had a wheelchair that could go into the water. The first thing I want to do is tell you what an amazing group of staff we have. They know we don’t have $4,000 to spare so the staff from our houses and day program spent the winter fundraising and together, through the staffs fundraising efforts, they came up with the first $1,500 for the chair. The second thing I want to tell you about is the Stonewall United Church. For the past 25 years the Stonewall United Church has staged a Christmas cantata. The proceeds of that cantata are donated to local charity. This year they chose to donate to Community Living Interlake. That’s where we got the second $1,000. Third, I wrote a grant, not a federal grant, or a provincial grant but a local grant to the Interlake Community Foundation. Thanks to the foundation for approving our grant and including us on the list of many organizations they support. We were almost there. Last but by no means least I want to talk about an incredible donor. Last year we were approached by Lloyd Jensen. Before her untimely death, Lloyd’s sister Donna used to work for Community Living Interlake. In recognition of Donna’s commitment to CLI and the individuals we support, the Jensen family has set up a fund with the Community foundation that will provide us with a donation every year. This year we used the proceeds of the Jensen fund to help fund the water wheel chair.
Thanks to everyone for their support.