BY ERIN FAWCETT
Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe is on the move. With generous donations from the community, officials with the organization announced yesterday they will move into the Kent House (5103 49 St.) later this summer.
“Today is a very exciting day,” said Crystal Zens, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lacombe. “Since September we have been on a mission to find a new home since the City purchased the provincial building (BBBS’ current location) and has some exciting plans for this site.
“We put an offer on the Kent House and today is a very remarkable day where our plans are becoming a reality.”
Last January, BBBS made a presentation to the Gord Bamford Foundation.
“They quickly jumped on board as our naming sponsor of the house. Our first option was the Kent House and we used to be in there with FCSS in the 1990s so it is coming full circle,” said Zens, adding the possession date of the Kent House is Aug. 1st.
She added BBBS first put an offer on the Kent House and they had to make their down payment by June 30th. “We are very, very close to that goal,” Zens added. “Ideally we would like to be mortgage free by September 1st. That seems like a lofty goal but the community has really stepped behind us and is doing an amazing job. It is going to take a whole community just like the old saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ That is true in this case.”
A cheque presentation was held yesterday at the Kent House where the Gord Bamford Foundation presented their first cheque in the amount of $40,000 to BBBS. Title sponsorship will be paid out in a couple of years.
A sold sign was also put on the lawn of the Kent House as well.
“It is a historical moment in our world because we have never owned our own building,” said Zens. “It’s a really inspiring moment as to how the community came together to help us reach this goal so quickly.”
A number of community donations were given to BBBS for the purchase of the Kent House including from Eastside Eatery, Dancer’s Edge, RBC, the Lacombe Rotary Club, Central Alberta Christian High School, among others.
“This will really put our future and our destiny into our own hands. We are going to be able to expand programming – we’ve always wanted to do certain programs but we have been limited because of office space in our current situation,” said Zens. “We’ll bring more awesome mentoring programs to Lacombe and area and we’ll be able to serve more kids in more unique ways.”