Microtel opens contest for non-profits ahead of grand opening

The Microtel Inn and Suites is scheduled to have its grand opening June 18, 2015, in Fort St. John.

A trio of local non-profit groups are in the running for a $5,000 kitty of cash from a new hotel set to open its doors to travellers later this month.

MasterBuilt Hotels, which is wrapping up construction of the Microtel Inn & Suites at the Alaska Highway and 93 Street, has announced it will make the donation as part of its grand opening ceremonies June 18. It is calling on Fort St. John residents to vote on which group will receive the money.

In the running are the North Peace branch of the BC SPCA, the Association of Community Living, and Kidsport Fort St. John.

“We looked at a lot of options, it was not an easy choice,” said Donna Fahey, sales and marketing director with MasterBuilt.

The company has made similar donations to groups in nine other Canadian cities where it has built a Microtel, including Blackfalds, Red Deer, and Whitecourt in Alberta. The funds have gone to support hospitals and food banks in the past, according to Fahey.

It’s the first time, however, the company is turning to the community to decide who gets the money, Fahey said.

“There’s a lot of needs in every community,” she said.

Candace Buchamer of the SPCA said a $5,000 influx for her organization would go to meet the needs of the animals relying on the shelter today, and who will need the shelter in the future.

Funds would support a range of services from spays to neuters to vaccinations to emergency surgeries, Buchamer said. It would also help support building upkeep, she said.

“First and foremost, (the money would go to) anything that will deal directly with the animals,” said Buchamer.

“(Then it would support) renovations and upkeep so we can make sure have our doors open for those animals that don’t have a place to go.”

Cindy Mohr, executive director with the Association for Community Living, said her organization would use the funds to support a wide range of programs and services, from a cooking program to equipment and tools that will help clients be more independent in the community.

“The cooking program allows them to eat healthy, provides social interaction, and gives them some extra meals,” she said.

The agency supports about 55 residents in the community, and others who rely on the organization for drop-in services.

Residents have until 11 a.m. Pacific Time June 15 to cast their vote at www.microtelcanada.com/commonground.

Only one vote is allowed.

MasterBuilt will present a cheque to the winning organization June 18th during a grand opening ceremony.

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