BASS: Be cool: One click a day and good deeds are on the way
Earlier this month, before voting online was in effect, KTW ran a story with local projects crying for money from the Aviva Insurance Community Fund.
Last year, the People in Transition meals program at Kamloops United Church won in its category, giving it needed money to buy new equipment to help the many volunteers feed more than 100 homeless, marginalized and at-risk people every Sunday.
The program, known more commonly as the PIT Stop, got a much-needed boost toward the end of the final round of online voting when the folks at the Pavilion Theatre, also in the running, realized they had no chance of winning and urged all their supporters to vote for feeding the hungry.
So, of course, this year the organizers of the PIT Stop have asked all their supporters to vote for Pavilion Theatre and its project to upgrade a facility that is showing signs of age.
Its condition — and the announcement of Aviva’s annual competition — led one Kamloopsian to call last week, wondering why the theatre company is having to resort to the generosity of an insurance company to fix up a building that is owned by the city.
This was news to me, so I checked with Barbara Berger, the city’s culture and heritage manager, who confirmed the ownership.
Lest anyone think the city has allowed the building on Lorne Street to languish, Berger explained the deal between Western Canada Theatre and the city, made decades ago, gives the thespians the place for $1 a year.
The caveat to that deal is WCT is responsible for repairs and upkeep.
And, as anyone who has ever bought a decades-old house knows, through the years, things start to fail.
However, the arts have seen massive cuts to funding from the government, so that makes it hard to stage plays and still have money to keep the theatre in tip-top shape.
That’s why my votes have been going to the Pavilion project.
There are three other projects in the city vying for some of the Aviva cash.
In the same category as Pavilion — grants in the $50,000 to $100,000 category — is a project by the Child Development Society to create an area for kids to play and interact with nature.
The folks there do amazing work.
Our youngest went there for a couple of years and the incredible dedication and skill of the staff, two in particular — Kelly and Anne — helped him learn so many of the basics we take for granted that autistic kids just don’t get.
In the $50,000 to $100,00 category are two projects — a mentor program at the Pregnancy Care Centre of Kamloops and the Westsyde water park for kids.
I’m rarely in Westsyde, but I know how incredible Centennial Park is and am keenly aware that area of the city could use some more public play areas for kids.
And, a water park?
How cool would that be?
I’ve done a few stories on the pregnancy-care centre and have changed my mind about it.
When Shirley Bosman first talked about her plans to create the centre, my initial reaction was that it would be nothing more than a pro-life front.
They do some great work there helping women deal with issues surrounding pregnancy that a lot of us have never had to confront.
The mentor program would provide a new volunteer opportunity for those of us in what our kids refer to sarcastically as the golden years, while helping at-risk youth learn skills to create stronger families.
They’re all worthy projects but, right now, none has a chance of making it to the second round of voting.
This is where you all come in.
It doesn’t take long. All you have to do is go to the company’s fund website, avivacommunityfund.org, register with your email address, find the project you want to support and click the “vote now” button.
Once you’ve done it once, it takes even less time the next day.
One click a day and you could be helping your community — and that’s cool, too.