Speedy fundraising drive whips up new ride for Yellowknife seniors

·1 min read

Yellownkife seniors got their Christmas gift a little early this year: a brand new accessible Avens bus that was unveiled Friday afternoon.

"We know improving these day-to-day activities with a trustworthy bus is vital for a healthy mind and body. Our seniors are thankful for giving them a lift in support," Avens CEO Daryl Dolynny said.

The new ride is a result of the Care on Wheels campaign.

Organizers originally set aside five months to fundraise money, but surpassed their $125,000 goal in just over a month.

Chelsea Pukanich
Chelsea Pukanich

"I'm absolutely amazed," Marion LaVigne, president of the Avens Board of Directors, said at the unveiling of the new bus.

"Raising this amount of money in a small community really shows appreciation to the seniors who built this community."

Organizers said the seniors were excited to hit the streets on their maiden voyage after the press conference.

Chelsea Pukanich
Chelsea Pukanich

Replacing the 22-year-old seniors bus, Avens said it was just in time as the wheelchair lift in the old bus stopped working and the vehicle quit starting.

Calling the vehicle an instrumental asset in preventing isolation for seniors, Avens said the new bus will be used to transport seniors to appointments, shopping, banking and visiting.

And the old bus will be put to use too. After some overhaul, Lavinge said the old bus will be donated to a seniors group in another community.