Heritage Centre looks to donors for help with aging infrastructure

The board of directors of Niverville Heritage Holdings Inc. (NHHI) is daring to dream big this year. They’ve set a lofty fundraising goal to help restore some of the aging infrastructure at the Heritage Centre.

The ask is for just over $151,000, with the wish list focused on improving the life of seniors in the Heritage Life Personal Care Home (HLPCH) and Niverville Credit Union Manor.

“The PCH is ten years old this year,” says Anne Eastman, director of the NHHI. “The Manor is 16 years old. There’s a lot of capital expenditure replacements that we want to undertake.”

For starters, she says, the shingles on one side of the assisted living manor are in need of replacement this year. That alone comes with a price tag of more than $55,000.

Four personal care home beds have also seen better days. Their replacement comes to nearly $11,000.

The priority list continues, including Hoyer lifts and blanket warmers for the personal care home as well as door closers, laundry machine upgrades, paint, and repairs due at the Manor.

It’s a long list, and if the fundraising goal proves overly optimistic, the board will apply what is received based on priority. Indeed, it is more than double what was raised last year at $66,000.

“This community is very generous and I think if you don’t tell them what you need, they won’t respond,” Eastman says. “They will respond when they realize the need. At least that’s my hope.”

The majority of this generosity, they hope, will come to the fore at this year’s Heritage Centre annual fundraising gala, planned for November 4.

The keynote speaker for this event is none other than Jon Montgomery, Canadian Olympic gold medallist and host of The Amazing Race Canada.

Eastman’s thrilled at the prospect of Montgomery’s attendance and describes him as an incredibly engaging speaker based on other events where she’s heard him speak.

Eastman was also a visitor to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where Montgomery took home a gold medal in skeleton. He won over the crowd with his wit and charm even then, she says.

“When he won, he walked through Whistler Village with a [pitcher] of beer in his hand, celebrating,” laughs Eastman. “He made his own parade.”

Not long after that win, Montgomery made appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Juno Awards, where he used his vocal talents to auction off singer Justin Bieber’s cell number.

Growing up in Russell, Manitoba, Montgomery now makes his home in Calgary.

Another highlight for the board this year is the anticipation of an exciting menu.

“We have a new Red Seal chef at the Heritage Centre and he’s developed a wonderful meal for the gala,” Eastman says, alluding only to the fact that the headliner of the dinner will be a delectable Berkshire pork.

The overriding theme for this year’s gala is the phrase “at the centre of it all.”

“That [describes] our residents, right?” says Eastman. “They are at the centre and it’s why [the Heritage Centre] exists.”

To purchase tickets or donate, contact: or call 204.388.5000 ext. 210

Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Niverville Citizen