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Town, IGA help pay it forward

Arwen Hunter Photo

Christmas came early for several community groups at the Nov. 27 committee-of-the-whole meeting in Gibsons. Councillors assisted Bob and Susan Hoy, owners of IGA Marketplace in Gibsons and Wilson Creek, to choose recipients for more than $11,000 in donations. In attendance for the presentation:  Susan Hendricks (L) from Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, Nest Lewis from Gibson's Landing Heritage Society, Pat Drop and Paul Clancy from Gibsons Public Art Gallery, Coun. LeeAnn Johnson, Joan Lee from St. Bart's Food Bank, Mayor Wayne Rowe, Coun. Dan Bouman, Janet Genders from St. Bart's Food Bank, Coun. Gerry Tretick, Jeanne Sylvester from Elves Club, Susan and Bob Hoy, and Sandra Cunningham from Sunshine Coast Community Foundation.

Faced with the enviable task of distributing $8,700 accumulated from IGA Marketplace’s long-dormant Community Card campaign, store owners Bob and Susan Hoy called for assistance from Gibsons council to “pay it forward.”

Explaining his reasoning to council in front of a packed public gallery at a the Nov. 27 committee of the whole meeting, Hoy noted, “It is almost 12 months since you folks started your tenure here — a very long 12 months — and during that time Susan and I have quietly watched and been extremely impressed with you folks and your decision-making. You’ve faced a lot of adversity, but each and every one of you has come through that extremely well. So we decided that we would take that $8,700 and ask the mayor and councillors to allocate $1,740 each towards a community need — because they tend to see things we don’t.

“We feel strongly that it’s time to move forward — together — in a positive, cohesive direction for our Town, and we hope this pay it forward request for council’s input symbolizes another step in this important journey.”

Opening the round of pre-Christmas cheer, at the suggestion of Coun. Charlene SanJenko, Hoy presented $500 to Susan Hendricks of Sunshine Coast Community Services Society to purchase tickets for The Nutcracker and distribute them to mothers and daughters who might not otherwise be able to attend, and $1,240 to Nest Lewis of Gibsons Heritage Society for structural repairs to the Heritage Playhouse.

Coun. Dan Bouman spoke to his commitment to water conservation and water metering. On behalf of IGA Marketplace he allocated $1,740 to the Playhouse towards purchase and installation of low-flow toilets.

Citing Sunshine Coast Community Foun-dation’s Vital Signs program (which measures indicators of community health such as job creation and retention, youth opportunities, etc.) Coun. Gerry Tretick presented a cheque for $1,740 to Sandra Cunningham, executive director for the Foundation. Before she could resume her seat, Hoy stepped forward with a $1,600 cheque from the Wilson Creek Marketplace IGA, also earmarked for the Community Foundation.

Coun. Lee Ann Johnson’s commitment to accessible premises grew from her background as a builder of affordable housing.

“Now that the Gibsons Public Art Gallery, which was inaccessible for so long, is now so very accessible in its new premises, let’s make every part of it accessible to everyone,” she said as she handed GPAG president Paul Clancy a cheque for $1,740 to help fund construction of a fully-accessible washroom.

The Elves Club and the St. Bart’s Food Bank both work to help families in need, most keenly felt at this time of year. Accordingly, Mayor Wayne Rowe split his allocation, presenting cheques for $870 to Janet Genders and Joan Lee of St. Bart’s, and to Jeanne Sylvester of the Elves Club. Once again, Hoy stepped forward with an additional cheque from Marketplace IGA, this time in the amount of $1,000 for the Elves Club.

Hoy also acknowledged the Elphinstone senior girls volleyball team and their match to the provincial championships, and that IGA had donated $1,000 to help defray their travel costs.

On behalf of council, Rowe thanked the Hoys and IGA for their generosity and their continuing commitment to improving their community.

— Submitted



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