On June 2, Heritage Village long-term care facility was greeted by a generous group of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Chilliwack who came bearing benches. The new seating has been installed in the facility's Healing Garden, where many residents walk or wheel along the winding pathways and relax in the sunshine.
Heritage Village, owned and operated by Fraser Health, opened in August 1993 and there are currently 100 residents.
Kevin Davey, Resident Leisure Services Coordinator explains the layout, "the residence is made up of five neighbourhoods, named after various areas in Chilliwack." Each neighbourhood has its own dining room and outdoor patio, with a pathway leading to the Healing Garden.
Helen Siemans, a resident for six years, knows the Healing Garden well. "I walk through there every day" she says. With her fellow residents, her visiting daughters, or on her own, she really enjoys relaxing in nature on the new, comfortable benches.
Audrey Stad also enjoys spending time in the garden. She says it's a great space for her to write poems.
The donated benches are valued at $2,000 each, made of recycled plastic boards and guaranteed to last 30 years.
"They knew we needed a couple benches," says Davey, as he points out an old, small metal bench which is being removed. "The [old] benches were in very poor condition," adds Sharon Blaker, Past President of the Rotary Club.
When the Rotary Club, led by Past President Wayne McAlpine, came to install the benches, they also provided a BBQ lunch for all of the residents, staff, and volunteers - a gesture which was appreciated by all.
The Rotary Club has been involved with Heritage Village for quite some time. In addition to the benches, the Rotary Club has also donated time, effort and resources to build and maintain the beautiful landscaping in the Healing Garden.
Blaker explains that the funds for the new benches were made possible through a Rotary District grant and the generosity of Rotary Club members. "We will certainly continue to support local projects over the years," she adds.
The residents and staff at Heritage Village extended their heartfelt thanks to the Rotary Club for its generosity now and over the years. The ongoing support is integral to the well-being of the residents, they say, and is very much appreciated by all.