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Dedication ceremony for Matthew's House

A dedication ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon in Abbotsford in honour of a “little place with a big heart.”

Those sentiments were expressed by Steve Thiessen, CEO of Communitas Supportive Care Society, in a prayer for Matthew’s House – a respite facility for children with severe disabilities.

The facility is part of the Dave Lede Campus of Care project currently under construction beside Abbotsford Regional Hospital on Marshall Road.

The project also includes the Abbotsford Hospice Society’s Holmberg House – an adult hospice – and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

The 4,000-square-foot Matthew’s House will provide a home away from home for up to five kids at a time – ages four to 18 – who have complex physical needs.

The site is named for Abbotsford’s Matthew Froese, who had severe disabilities and passed away in August 2010 at the age of nine, after his parents, Doug and Andrea, had already begun plans for the project.

The couple were on hand for the dedication ceremony at the site, where construction recently began and is expected to be completed in early spring.

Doug thanked everyone who has supported the project along the way.

“It means a great deal, and we’re looking forward to opening the doors,” he said.

Others on hand for the ceremony included Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman, MP Ed Fast and MLA Mike de Jong.

“What a great present to the community,” Banman said.

Matthew’s House is being facilitated by Communitas Supportive Care Society, and $2.2 million has so far been raised toward the $4.1 million goal for construction and operating costs. For more information, visit mattshouse.ca.

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