Salem Home Foundation is embarking on one of its most ambitious fundraising campaigns to greatly expand the facility.
CEO Sherry Janzen says by 2034 they will need over 235 PCH beds, currently they operate 135.
"We know that we need them," Janzen says, to keep up with the aging Baby Boomer population and the influx of people moving into the Winkler area. However, she notes with the healthcare transformation at the Provincial level, future funding is uncertain.
In the mean time, the foundation kicks off fundraising this fall with the second annual Building for Tomorrow Dinner with guest speaker and former all-star running back Michael "Pinball" Clemons. The Grey Cup winning coach and President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts is expected to speak on how his upbringing shaped him, along with his steadfast faith and commitment to team and community.
Salem Foundation Chair Arlen Hildebrand explains last year's event raised nearly $100,000, making it their largest fundraiser of the year. He notes tickets are only available in person at the Salem Home Business Office, 165-15th St. in Winkler.
"There's no set day we want to put a shovel in the ground, but we realize it's a large project and we need to start focusing on it," he says. "We need to get funds in place so when we get the opportunity we can move forward."
However, he says the community has continually shown strong support for the vision of Salem Home. This spring, officials turned sod on a new $325,000 dining room, raising $307,000 in just five months.
"We live in an amazing community, it's unbelievable the support we've had," he says.
Salem Home revealed preliminary plans last year for a proposed 60 bed expansion. A number of properties have been acquired over the years along 14th St. to expand the facility eastward. So far, Salem Home has amassed seven properties along the West side of 14th St. including another property on the South side of Salem Crescent.
Phase One would include the construction of two additional buildings. Phase two would add a third structure, with another 30 beds. However, the project still hinges on funding approval from the Provincial government and Manitoba Health.
The expansion would also create approximately 25 new jobs. Currently Salem Home employs over 300 and has budget of over $12 million.