The Elks are asking for the public’s help to have a new wheelchair ramp built at the Elks’ Hall.
“We have lost a lot of revenue because our wheelchair ramp is not up to code,” says Arnie Zimmerman, Elks Hall manager and regional director for the Elks in northern B.C.
He says Elections Canada used to use the hall as a polling station but that hasn’t happened for the last three elections because the existing ramp doesn’t meet modern day building codes.
The ramp, located on the Yorston Street side of the building, is too steep and not wide enough.
Zimmerman says the Elks have applied for a grant from the B.C. Rehab Foundation but even if they get the grant it likely won’t be big enough to cover the entire cost of replacing the ramp.
In order to receive the grant he says they need letters from the public supporting the need.
“This new wheelchair ramp would be an asset for the Elks and the whole community,” Zimmerman says.
“We are asking the community to write letters of support indicating how important this ramp is to the Elks and to the community.”
He says they have already received letters of support from Mayor Walt Cobb, and MLA Donna Barnett.
“Letters of support from the community would definitely help in getting the grant,” Zimmerman says.
“The sooner I get more letters of support, the sooner I can send our grant application away.”
He says the Elks are also asking local businesses and community members for direct donations to the project which is estimated to cost $27,000.
“Any and all donations would be very much appreciated because there is a good chance we won’t get the whole amount of the grant requested,” Zimmerman says.
He notes the Elks ‘Hall is still the biggest hall in the community for major functions.
It will hold 350 people; 400 with the mezzanine and it has a commercial kitchen.
People can e-mail letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them directly to Arnie Zimmerman at 1165 Moon Avenue, Williams Lake, B.C. V2G-4C1.
He can be reached by telephone at 250-392-5451.
Renting the Elks’ Hall is the Elks major fundraiser to support their many community causes.
The Elks of Canada and their affiliates, the Royal Purple, are a fraternal organization founded in Canada in 1912 and currently has approximately 20,000 members.
The Elks and Royal Purple are dedicated to working for the good and welfare of the community with priorities for the needs of children, senior citizens and many others in need.
Locally the Elks help to fund various hospital projects, sports groups, playgrounds and other community causes.
Their provincial projects are the BC Family Hearing Resource Society, and Elks Recreation Children’s Camp Society.