Joe's Place benefits from $60,000 in charity

Justin Crann
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Community, national, international organizations kick in

Joe Dueck, founder and executive director of Joe's Place, speaks during a WestJet Fly for Free fundraiser event. The fundraiser generated almost $23,000 toward the second phase of heating renovations at the youth centre.

Joe’s Place is the beneficiary of a considerable outpouring of support for a project to install $60,000 worth of heating equipment.

“We had done heating phase one, which was to put rooftop units up to pump heat in to the main room and allow us to turn off the boiler in the basement and save us the money from running a boiler as inefficient as that one was,” said Joe Dueck, founder and executive director of Joe’s Place. “But we didn’t have the funding to run ducts to the side offices ... (and) it also left the basement with no heat at all.”

“After phase one, we launched phase two, which was to put furnaces in the basement and run ducts to the side offices,” he added.

The project, which was estimated to cost $60,000, ultimately cost the youth centre nothing, with Lennox Canada -- who had supplied the rooftop heating units -- providing $9,000 worth of furnaces, Connexus Credit Union and the Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation kicking in substantial donations, Busse Plumbing and Heating offering a discount on labour to install the units, and WestJet Canada providing two round trip tickets to anywhere they fly for a fundraising contest.

“It was just overwhelming to see where the support came from,” Dueck said. “Not just local companies, but also national and international companies got on board. It was very encouraging for us as a non-profit ... we’re not capable of taking on a $60,000 project willy-nilly, and this was quite a miracle.”

For more, pick up tomorrow's Times-Herald.

Organizations: Connexus Credit Union, Lorne and Evelyn Johnson Foundation, WestJet Canada

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