A new fundraising campaign to restore the Davis Bay Wharf is taking shape through the major gifts committee, which is tasked with finding $300,000 for the $600,000 project.
The Wharf Rats took up the cause to restore and improve the public wharf last year and they’ve committed to raise $50,000 for the project. Currently they have about $36,000 in the coffers.
The District of Sechelt has committed $100,000 to the project and they’re seeking a $150,000 grant through the Island Coastal Economic Trust to assist as well.
“That leaves $300,000 that needs to be raised through the major gifts appeal,” said committee member Greg Giles.
The committee, which consists of two other members, John Sutherland and chair Jane Darling, formed after hearing about the Wharf Rats’ plan earlier this year.
Giles, who now lives in Roberts Creek, used to be involved in a major fundraising campaign in Australia.
“It was a multi-million dollar redevelopment and I was chairman of the community appeal and so when I heard about the Wharf Rats, I contacted them and said I had some ideas and might be able to help them raise some funds,” Giles said, noting Sutherland came forward at around the same time offering further expertise in major fundraising.
The Wharf Rats welcomed the help.
Giles and Sutherland searched for someone recognizable in the community to chair their group and found the perfect fit in Darling.
“So now we’ve broken it into the community appeal and the major gifts appeal,” Giles said, adding the Wharf Rats will continue to fundraise toward their $50,000 goal through the community appeal. “So obviously we’re just approaching major corporations and individuals who have the capacity to give.”
Signs alerting the public to the campaign have now been placed at the Davis Bay Wharf and the committee is ready to take donations, although they won’t have a full scale launch of the major gifts appeal until likely October, when most people are back from their holidays, Giles said.
At that time the committee will actively seek givers who can donate more than $5,000. Gifts of $5,000 and less will be handled through the community campaign, Giles said.
Major funders will be honoured with a commemorative plaque at the entrance to the new wharf.
Giles noted that if anyone wants to give to the major gifts appeal before October they should go to www.davisbaywharf.com and fill out the contact information form.
“Someone will get in touch with them right away,” he said.
The Davis Bay Wharf was built in 1923 and has been a major landmark and popular feature in Davis Bay since that time.
In the 1970s the wharf was deemed unsafe, but in 1983 a petition resulted in the rebuilding of the wharf.
Now the wharf is in need of restoration once again and the Wharf Rats want to make the platform larger by building on the pilings off to the side of the dock, make the walkway wider to allow access for emergency vehicles, erect a gazebo on the platform and attach a year round float to the dock for public use.
The original cost of the project was estimated to be $560,000, however extensive preliminary investigation on the pilings and other dock structures was needed, pushing the cost up to $600,000.