Mel Hernblad and Stanya Watson (left

Mel Hernblad and Stanya Watson (left

JDF seniors wrap up seven year expansion project

Stocked with tables, chairs and new kitchen equipment, the long campaign to build and furnish the addition at the Juan de Fuca 55+ Activity Centre as drawn to a close.

The last major donation rolled in last Thursday, $10,000 from the Peninsula Co-op that will help replace aging machines in the woodworking room.

In all, the year-long fundraising effort brought in just under $50,000, admittedly short of their goal, said Allen Houghton, the volunteer fundraising chair with the JDF Senior Citizens Association. The volunteer fundraising crew had its sights set on $120,000.

“It was the first time we’d gone out to the community to seek support,” Houghton said. “We didn’t get as much as we’d hoped, which is suggestive of the economic climate. It was something of a disappointment.”

The JDF seniors centre opened its $1.4-million, 6,660 square-foot addition last September. Over seven years, the membership raised $540,000 itself, but a $645,000 federal infrastructure grant gave the project the boost it long needed to break ground.

Houghton said the $50,000 will go far to buy and replace what’s needed at the busy seniors centre. As it always has, the membership will come through with the funds for any extras that are needed, he said.

“We haven’t lost anything and we brought in $50,000 that we wouldn’t have had,” Houghton said. “In that respect we are very pleased with the results. We’ll just need to sort out our priorities. Whatever is needed, they will find ways.”

A consequence of the public outreach was drawing in 300 more members, Houghton said, bringing the wintertime membership to 1,200. “When the snowbirds return, we’ll end up with 1,500 people here.”

The Juan de Fuca 55+ Activity Centre at 1767 Island Hwy. See www.jdfseniors.shawbiz.ca.