YARMOUTH – There will be a new vehicle at Veterans Place, thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the legions in Zone 12 that has hit its target.
The new van will replace one that is 17 years old.
“We’ve had the (existing) van inspected and the results weren’t that favourable, so we’re trying to get this order in as soon as possible,” said Don McCumber, chairman of the van campaign.
The new van will cost just over $106,000.
“With money that we have raised to date and money that has been sitting in an account – trust account – held by Nova Scotia Health Authority ... we have, at present, $106,260,” McCumber said. “The quote for the 2019 (van) is $106,200.”
Like the old one, the new vehicle will be used to bring residents of Veterans Place – a long-term care facility located adjacent to the Yarmouth Regional Hospital – on outings and to various activities or events.
“In the summer we try to be on the road at least two or three times a week, whether it be going on a picnic or just a lunch outing,” said Carol Cottreau, recreation facilitator at Veterans Place.
The vehicle also is used to take Veterans Place residents to Remembrance Day services, funerals and the like.
The new van will have more room and be able to accommodate more wheelchairs than the old one, Cottreau said.
The old vehicle – a 2002 model – only had 31,000 kilometres on it, but while the motor was fine, the problem was the body, Cottreau said.
McCumber says they are looking at perhaps having a shelter built for the new vehicle to help protect it from the elements. With this in mind – and with the cost of other van-related things such as painting the vehicle – McCumber says more funds will be needed.
“If donations can still come in, that would be great, and they’ll go into the Zone 12 van fundraising account,” he said.
The Zone 12 legion branches are Yarmouth, Wedgeport, West Pubnico, Cape Sable and Lockeport.
McCumber acknowledges there are many groups holding fundraisers – and many worthwhile causes for people to support – and he admits there is only so much money to around.
McCumber, who is district legion commander for District E (covering 14 branches from Yarmouth to Chester), said those involved in the Veterans Place van campaign are grateful for all the support.
“I do want to offer thanks to those people who have contributed,” he said. “Special thanks to Mary Lloy, (who) did an online auction for us.”