FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Rotary Club of Fort St. John raised $22,917.17 from this year’s Drive-Thru Breakfast and donated it towards senior programs and projects.

The four non-profits receiving funds are the North Peace Seniors Housing Society, the Salvation Army Fort St. John, the Fort St. John and Area Senior Care Foundation, and Fort St. John and Area Better At Home.

“Our members focused on giving back to as many organizations as we could this year to help different seniors and families in need,” says Vince van Wieringen, President, Rotary Club of Fort St. John.

“Making sure our seniors have food and a helping hand that sustains their nourishment, healthy living, and social interactions is important to us all in Fort St. John. We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters for their tremendous generosity to enhance the quality of life for seniors in our city today, and for generations to come.”

The Housing Society is receiving a good chunk of the fund brought in from the breakfast, with a $13,000 donation to upgrade and build a washroom in the Solarium at Apartment 2.

“We at North Peace Seniors Housing are trying hard to promote a community style of living, not just apartments. By fixing up this Solarium, it gives them one more place to gather with friends, family, or with fellow tenants,” said Gail Weber, president of the Housing Society.

The Salvation Army is receiving $5,000 to support meals for six seniors through the Food Bank for a year in 2022.

“Just a week or two ago, a 68-year-old emailed me and said, ‘I can hardly pay for my rent. Are you able to help out?’ It was someone who had never come here before and now is reaching out in a new way. Absolutely we can help. We said, ‘Don’t just come get a Christmas hamper but sign up for the food bank and come access our services regularly so you can still keep paying rent.’ Those aren’t uncommon stories. When a person has worked as hard as they have and as long as they have, that shouldn’t have to be their situation, but there are so many different circumstances that get them there. You get older, you have higher medical costs. Do you pay for food, or do you pay for medication? We’re that safety net. We’re there to make sure that people aren’t left on their own,” said Jared Braun, executive director for the Salvation Army.

The Senior Care Foundation is receiving a $3,300 donation that will feed 10 seniors for a month through the Meals On Wheels program.

“For our commitment right now, we have approximately 8,800 meals a year to a figure of $96,800 annually because of inflation and the high cost of food. Our needs vary as our numbers fluctuate. Every dollar we get is a dollar we don’t have, so we’re grateful for every one of them,” said Roxanne Chmelyk, president of the Senior Care Foundation.

Just over $1,500 went to Better At Home to provide 10 seniors with four snow removals from their homes this winter.

“We are grateful for Rotary’s support. We have a lot of seniors who are still in their own homes so this makes them capable of staying longer with the help of snow removal, lawn care, and keeping our seniors actively living the best life they can. Rotary definitely helps contribute to making that happen,” said Brook Goulet, service coordinator for Better At Home.