Residents of Edinburgh Heights in the hills of Aberdeen will soon have some new neighbours.
RJ and Ninder Toor submitted the winning bid for the 2018 Wings Above Kamloops house, a fundraiser for the Cooper Family Foundation to benefit the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home expansion project.
The house at 2676 Bentall Dr. is a 3,840-square-foot fully-furnished rancher valued at $925,000. Prospective owners submitted offers through the month of June and the foundation accepted the best offer in a sealed silent bid process.
Nelly Dever, president and CEO of the Cooper Family Foundation, said she was happy with what the fundraiser received in terms of the number of bids, but does hope for more next time.
In total, the foundation exceeded its goal and raised $1.3 million in its inaugural year. That figure includes the sale price of the home and contributions from the project’s 36 sponsors, which were matched by the Cooper Family Foundation.
Dever said it’s been a short time frame to build the house and establish the foundation itself, noting a lot has happened quickly. The foundation itself was formed in September 2017.
After achieving charitable status and getting the foundation’s board together, work began on the first Wings Above house — something Dever said was a challenge with the harsh winter they encountered in Aberdeen.
That work coincided with the hospice expansion project, the beneficiary of the fundraiser and another project by the Cooper Family Foundation, which broke ground on July 18.
Dever said the hospice was an “easy first pick” for the foundation due to the Coopers’ — the same family behind the Cooper’s Foods grocery stores — past history there. The family saw it as a chance to give back as both Ron Cooper Sr. and Ron Cooper Jr. were staying at the Kamloops hospice when they died.
"The hospice affects all of us at one point or another, so to be able to give back is amazing,” said RJ Toor. “We’re blessed to be able to be a part of this and be able to help. We just did our part, which was a really small part compared to what everybody else did to get it to this point.”
The Toors’ successful bid means the family, which includes RJ, Ninder and their children, ages 18, 20 and 23, will soon move from their current home — also in Aberdeen, about 1.5 kilometres away — into the rancher, where they may one day be joined by Ninder’s parents, who would live in the house’s secondary suite.
“For us, it works out really well with the suite because then that’s a place for Ninder’s parents. We’d like to have them today, but they’re not ready yet — that will be down the road,” RJ said.
The family moved to Kamloops in 2010 and fell in love with the community. RJ, a realtor, and Ninder, a city employee, both come from immigrant families and said the space is ideal for them to have family around.
Initially, they planned to build their own home, but saw the Wings Above house up for bids and decided it was a good fit. They were among 700 people to tour the home.
“It’s exactly the plan that we imagined we would build,” Ninder said. “It’s perfect and the location is beautiful.”