By Jenny Burr –
The cedar wood has been located, the carpenters have been chosen and an artist has created a bench design. Now all that is needed is to raise the money for the benches that will be placed inside Golden Manor’s new gazebo. Each of the benches cost $1,000 and the plan is to have five, eight- foot benches installed.
Golden Manor – located at 445 Richmond Rd. – is an Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) building in which there are 239 units for seniors and people with disabilities. The property is beautifully landscaped and enjoyed by the tenants and neighbours of Westboro. The gazebo was completed last summer and has become the tenants’ pride and joy.
To raise funds for the gazebo, the Golden Manor Tenant Circle hosted yard sales, garage sales, bake sales, applied for grants and asked the community for assistance.
“While our fundraising efforts never raised a great deal of money, it did knit us together and connect us with the community,” says Lois, a tenant and member of the Tenant Circle. Lois, who didn’t want her last name mentioned in this article, says it took 4 ½ years for the funds to be raised and for their dream of a gazebo to become a reality.
Sharon Wright, a tenant of Golden Manor and part of the gazebo project contributed by writing grant applications. PCL Constructors’ Hard Hat Heroes Fund – a partnership between PCL employees and United Way Ottawa that supports capital projects in Ottawa – awarded OHC with a grant of $35,000 towards the gazebo and some landscaping.
Next on the fundraising list: gazebo seating.
“Golden Manor’s Tenant Circle looked at the benches being offered but nothing was quite what we wanted,” explains Lois. As it turned out, the perfect design was right in front of them all along. “We have benches in our lobby which have been here for 50 years and are comfortable and work well for all body types. These benches became the basis for our prototype.”
Each new bench will have a metal plaque bearing the name of the firm or individual who has made the donation.
“Kitchissippi Ward Councillor, Jeff Leiper, has already donated the funds for our first bench,” explains Lois. “All we need now is to raise $4,000.”
It is the Tenant Circle’s hope to have the funds raised for the benches as soon as possible so that the wood can be bought and the benches built and installed for immediate use.
For more information and to contribute to the bench fundraiser, please contact Lois at 613-722-6759.