Skip to content

Endowment fund ensures a home away from home for Sunshine Coast seniors

Seniors Activity Centre establishes a fund with Sunshine Coast Foundation

In August 2023, the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre (SSAC) took a significant step toward ensuring its longevity by establishing an agency fund with the Sunshine Coast Foundation (SCF). This move signals a commitment to securing the centre’s financial future and continuing its vital support for seniors in the community. 

To date, the fund has reached $17,000 marking an encouraging start toward its ambitious first-year goal of raising $100,000 by Sept. 1. The Sunshine Coast Foundation has pledged additional support to bolster the fund, offering a $5,000 contribution if the fund reaches $50,000 by the target date, up to a total of $10,000 if the centre achieves its $100,000 goal in full. 

“We promote the SSAC to our members as their home away from home,” shares board president, Richard Ward. “It is a gathering place where people come to meet with their buddies and it helps to reduce social isolation. We want to keep things affordable and accessible to seniors in our community and this endowment fund is a way towards long-term sustainability for the centre.” 

Gillian Smith, SSAC manager, cites the centre’s annual expenses and its growing membership as the primary motivation for establishing the fund. “Our annual expenses are just over $500,000 and we bring that in from the activities, food sales and some event space rentals,” shares Smith. “We want to continue to be able to service our members. When we were looking at plans for long-term financial sustainability, we found that partnering with the Sunshine Coast Foundation made it really easy.” 

“Like so many other community services organizations on the Coast, the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre needs a steady stream of funding to support its charitable work,” says Erin Storey, executive director of the Sunshine Coast Foundation. “Agency endowments provide stable, reliable and unrestricted income to the charities who establish them. At the foundation, we will provide professional investment management and administration of the centre’s fund and each year the income from their fund will provide an additional source of revenue to sustain their vital contributions to our community.” 

The SSAC prides itself in keeping costs affordable for members. They are known for their vibrant activity schedule, which includes the incredibly popular pickleball and yoga. Also on offer are complimentary legal sessions, hearing aid cleaning and a facilitated Memory Café to help people with dementia. Their affordable lunch program attracts many with nutritious meals big enough to feed two and special bus trips take members on excursions to various destinations on the Lower Mainland, such as the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden and IKEA. All of this – and more – is carried out with a small staff of three and one contracted janitor, plus the invaluable assistance from 150 dedicated volunteers. 

When asked what the next 20-plus years holds for the SSAC, Smith explains, “Anything that helps us be accessible to people so they’re not isolated, that is huge. Our vision is to have this place full of activities, from morning to night, responsibly run.” 

Donors have a choice: to make a gift directly to the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre in support of the organization’s mission today or to make a gift to the organization’s endowment fund. A donation to the endowment fund will support the centre’s financial health and sustainability over the long term, which presents an excellent option for donors who want to make a legacy gift through estate planning. 

Your support can help the SSAC reach its goal and secure its future for generations to come! Contributions to the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre Endowment Fund can be made online ( or arranged offline through various methods, including cheque, share transfers, or bequests. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit the Foundation’s website ( or contact executive director, Erin Storey, on [email protected] or 604-741-7360.