To commemorate its 60th anniversary, The Gardens on Tenth Board of Directors has launched a $500,000 fund raising effort. 

As reported earlier, the Board has embarked on a significant renovation project to update the suites in The Manor and The Units built in 1973 and 1965, respectively. The proceeds of this latest fund raising campaign will be directed toward this project. 

The overall plan is open up each suite, making each one fully accessible. This includes installing walk-in showers, raised toilets, updated cabinets and induction cook tops for safety, as well as widening doorways and updating lighting and flooring.

The intent, explained Board Chair John Falk, is that Gardens on Tenth will eventually be able to expand its Pathways Services program, a self and family managed home care option for residents. 

"We heard after the last census that the 85-and-up age group is the fastest growing age group (in Canada), and that within the next ten years, the 65+ age group will make up 25 per cent of the population. So for those reasons, we feel that we have a need for more services for elderly people that we can take care of them in the community where they can live and have rooms that will suit them," added Falk, noting the expectation to meet those needs has also increased over the years. "It's important for people to be able to stay in their they have their family members, their friends are here. So, it's important for them to be able to stay."

The renovations, and the required funds, won't all happen at once. Falk says the plan is to have donations and pledges come in over the next three years.

"We're only renovating two or three suites at a time as we have open suites," he explained. "What will probably happen is that tenants will move from one of the older suites into one of the new ones, leaving their suite open for renovations...we still need people in the building because we need the income from the rent that we're getting."

While it would just be easier for the Board to borrow the money required to get the work done, Falk says going that route would for them to raise rent to the point where it would no longer be affordable. 

By now, most people in the area have received a letter in the mail outlining the project and the fund raising effort, accompanied by a pledge form. Those interested in making a donation or a pledge can also contact the Gardens on Tenth office. 

So far, just over $90,000 has been raised. Part of that is thanks to a resident who lived in the new independent living complex, Gardens on Tenth, before having to move to The Apartments, a 24/7 supervised and assisted living facility on the campus. 

"The the new building (Gardens on Tenth), we always ask people to give us a loan for their suite which we pay interest on," explained Falk. "And then when they move on, they can have their money back. But this person decided to have their money donated back to The Gardens on Tenth for capital use, so we're using that money for the renovations."