Delta Agricultural Society pledges $250,000 to REACH
The fundraising campaign to find a new home for the REACH Child and Youth Development Foundation took a big step forward Monday morning (June 18).
That's when the Delta Agricultural Society pledged $250,000 towards the foundation which plans to re-locate from its current facility near Boundary Bay Airport to the site of Kinsmen House in Ladner.
Cost of the project has been pegged at $4 million.
Peter Guichon, president of the agricultural society his group was approached by REACH about two years ago.
"We think it's a really worthwhile project," said Guichon. "We donate money to the hospital, the Delta Farmland Wildlife Trust is our biggest recipient of funds year in year out. But this is also a very worthwhile project and our members really support it."
Irene Forcier, Chair of the foundation said the agricultural society's help, when coupled with the Corporation of Delta's donation of the land at the Kinsmen House site accounts for a substantial part of the project.
"Right off the bat with the land, that was worth about $1 million," Forcier said. "And what we're looking to raise now is $4 million to build a state-of-the-art facility for children with learning disabilities."
The current site on 72nd Street may be situated in the heart of beautiful farmland, but its remoteness can make it difficult for families to travel to since it is not on a bus route.
"It's also timely now that we build this facility when so many children are being diagnosed with autism—one in 88 children," Forcier said. "It's an incredible number and is growing exponentially. So, we are trying to get ahead of the curve a little bit and the facility here is outdated and hard to get to."
Forcier added that REACH is absolutely thrilled with the Agricultural Society's assistance.
"This donation, they (society) is taking a very serious leadership role in our fundraising and will show the way for other people."
The $250,000 pledge is to date the single-largest made to REACH's project. Currently, just over $600,000 has been raised.