(Back) Myrna Cronack (L), Diane Plante, Luis Borges, Anne Evans, Vernon Mitchell, (Front) Sylvia Mitchell (L), Jalisa Schaber, Ron Wakita, Avelina Ennis in 2017. Residents and volunteers of Mountainview Lodge used to go on for fishing days with Wakita, with the help of the bus, but haven’t been able to participate in activities like this for several years due to lack of available transportation. (Ron Wakita Photo)

(Back) Myrna Cronack (L), Diane Plante, Luis Borges, Anne Evans, Vernon Mitchell, (Front) Sylvia Mitchell (L), Jalisa Schaber, Ron Wakita, Avelina Ennis in 2017. Residents and volunteers of Mountainview Lodge used to go on for fishing days with Wakita, with the help of the bus, but haven’t been able to participate in activities like this for several years due to lack of available transportation. (Ron Wakita Photo)

New bus coming for Kitimat’s Mountainview Lodge residents

Mountainview Lodge is getting a new bus so residents can start enjoying some fun activities again.

Mountainview Lodge is getting a new bus so residents can start enjoying some fun activities again.

The project will also result in a safe place to store the bus by making improvements to the lodge’s storage infrastructures, to ensure the safety of the residents and employees while entering, exiting, and using the vehicle.

“The Kitimat General Hospital Foundation has taken on a fundraising effort to purchase a bus for the Mountainview Lodge that will benefit the Lodge, Delta King Place, the future Dementia Care Home, and Better At Home,” Cynthia Medeiros, Kitimat General Hospital Foundation office coordinator said in a press release to the Northern Sentinel.

After their last bus was decommissioned three years ago, the quality of life for residents and community members was affected as they were no longer to partake in recreational activities with friends and family. Residents and elderly community members were also no longer able to participate in activities like day trips to Terrace or Prince Rupert and river fishing.

Furthermore, when COVID-19 came along, residents were completely quarantined and unable to go for a drive around the community to see a change of scenery, therefore, Rio Tinto and the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation have launched a campaign to complete the Mountainview Lodge mobility project.

“The Kitimat General Foundation is committed to strengthening health care in Kitimat. Throughout the pandemic, we have all struggled to stay isolated and within our bubbles and the residents of Mountainview Lodge really felt isolated, but it does not stop when the pandemic is over. The residents need this bus to get them out and about in the community and the staff want to take them out and see them thrive,” Julia Wakita, Kitimat General Hospital Foundation president said in a press release to the Northern Sentinel.

With Rio Tinto already making a $70,000 commitment to the project, they also agreed to match additional donations made by employees, retirees, and community members of up to $30,000.

“The last year has been a particularly difficult one for our elders and Rio Tinto is very happy to support this fundraising campaign to promote a better access to recreational and health activities and services for elderly members of our community,” Affonso Bizon, Rio Tinto BC Works general manager said in a press release to the Northern Sentinel.

READ MORE: 60% of Rio Tinto’s eligible workforce have been administered COVID-19 vaccine


 


jacob.lubberts@northernsentinel.com