L-R: OTF Ann Lapchinski, MPP Jeff Yurek, Robert Jones (seated),|
Mayor Bill Walters, Rev. Ken Taylor, Robert Nemett
September 27, 2013: The Port Stanley United Church celebrated its new fully accessible elevator and
renovated washrooms today, thanks in part to a $46,300 grant from the Ontario Trillium
Foundation (OTF). MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London Jeff Yurek joined OTF representative
Ann Lapchinski in congratulating the Church at its official community ribbon cutting.
"The success of the Ontario Trillium Foundation is its ability to direct funds at
initiatives that enhance the health and vibrancy of communities across Ontario.
I am pleased the foundation has recognized Port Stanley United Church and the need
to make their building accessible to all community members. I would like to congratulate
the church on receiving this grant and thank them for their dedication and commitment
to making our community barrier free," said MPP Yurek.
The construction of the new accessible elevator and washrooms can allow the Church
to cater to a much larger number of individuals and groups needing an accessible
space. The Church, which is also used a community hall, will be able to provide
full access to the building, regardless of mobility. The OTF grant funded the site
preparations and renovations of the elevator.
Robert Jones, wheelchair bound since a hockey injury in his youth, was on hand today
to do the actual cutting of the ribbon. "He was also the first wheelchair waiting
at the door to come the first Sunday after the renovations were completed," laughed
Bob Nemett. These accessibility renovations took just two short years from concept
Port Stanley United Church raised a significant amount of money during their funding
campaign for renovations to the washrooms. In only 2 weeks after announcing the
fundraising campaign, they had already raised over $10,000. The United Church Women
presented Robert Nemett with another contributory cheque at today's ceremony. Through
their dinner socials the UCW raised some $10,000 towards this project. A number
of others had also contributed to this project. A flooring company in London donated
the flooring and then provided the men to install it. Locally, Don McKinnon donated
the electrical work. Many other people donated in-kind gifts of labour for painting,
installing ceramic tiles and more. It seems this project has been a full out community
effort for the church, bringing people together in their determination to remove
barriers preventing active participation by those with mobility issues.
A leading grant-maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the
capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives.
An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.
For more information about the Ontario Trillium Foundation, visit www.otf.ca
Port Stanley United Church is located at 239 Colborne Street, Port Stanley, Ontario.
It provides Sunday services, weddings, funerals, Community meetings, Community dinners,
AA, NA, health unit training, health unit needle exchange, nursing home training
sessions, service club meetings, theatre camps, community choir, family Christmas
dinners, and more.
Drop in this Sunday to see what they've done, you'll be impressed. Everyone