South Frontenac Community Services fundraising for new Community Centre

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South Frontenac Twp. fundraising for new Community Centre
The renovation and expansion of the Grace Centre is expected to cost $2.6M. The Centre's Executive Director says they've raised 75% of their goal – Mar 19, 2023

A $2.6M renovation and expansion is set to get underway in the coming weeks.

Physical Fitness programs, meals on wheels, and volunteers driving residents to medical appointments as far away as Ottawa and Kingston are just some of the services residents can access at the Southern Frontenac Community Centre.

Ken Foster is the executive director and says the construction work is needed to meet the community’s needs for today and the future.

“You can really see the population as it is aging through it is increasing every year and that is just increased what we need to provide,” said Foster.

Accessibility is an issue that will also be addressed when the renovations are complete.

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“We do have ramps to get in and out but it’s not enough we have to increase the size of the doors to accommodate walkers, to accommodate wheelchairs. We have to provide buttons that people are able to push rather than open the doors,” said Foster.

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The food bank also operates out of the community centre. For at least a decade the food bank has been housed in a portable. Stains from water leaks in the ceiling can been seen in the food bank and the portable is too small.

“Our numbers have pretty much doubled in terms of food bank demand,” said Ellen Mortfield the Family Services Coordinator.

The portable also doesn’t have running water.

“Operating a food bank that doesn’t have any running water, really we’re not meeting health standards even,” said Mortfield.

The renovations and expansion will add 2,400 square feet to the facility and the construction work is expected to take about 9 months.

Fund raising efforts have been aided by $250K from the federal government and a further $750K from South Frontenac Township.

Mayor Ron Vandewal says the investment is needed and is one small way of easing the burden on a stretched health care system.

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“The province, health care everybody is strained and if you can keep seniors in their homes and provide a service, it’s important for them so they can stay in our communities,” said Vandewal.

Foster says they’ve raised about 75% of their fundraising goal.

“The people here are just unbelievably generous, with their support they have been volunteering, they’ve been fundraising, they’ve been donating themselves,” said Foster.

With just a little more help from the community Foster is confident they will raise the money they need for the new Community Centre.

A groundbreaking ceremony is slated for April 5.




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