It’s been a while in the making but the $12 million swimming pool facility in Vanderhoof is no longer a vision. It’s finally becoming a reality.
And the Nak’azdli Band in Fort St. James is determined to help make it so.
A cheque of $50,000 was presented to Zoe Dhillon, chair of fundraising for the District of Vanderhoof on Feb. 17.
This is the largest community donation received towards the project so far.
“We are so overjoyed that Nak’azdli sees the value in this project,” Dhillon said. “It’s wonderful to see the community and surrounding communities come together to make this happen.”
The aquatic centre will be located next to the Vanderhoof Arena. Fundraising began in September 2014 and according to Dhillon, everyone is so happy with the results.
The total project goal is $12 million. Of that, $4 million will be collected from taxes and an additional $7.5 million will be raised by the District of Vanderhoof.
The community fundraising goal is $500,000 and including the donation from Nak’azdli, the amount raised now stands at $451,000.
For Alec McKinnon, councillor for Nak’azdli Band in Fort St. James, the facility is for everybody.
“This will help Fort St. James,” McKinnon says.
Nak’azdli’s youth representative, Desiree Whitely couldn’t agree more.
“It will be great for our youth to have a pool so close where they can learn water safety and have fun,” Whitely said.
Nak’azdli sees the importance of learning how to swim. Being surrounded by the water of Stuart Lake, children in Fort St. James can now have the opportunity to take swimming lessons at the new facility.
Nak’azdli’s comprehensive community plan and the Band’s strategic plan both identify community health as a priority.
“Our youth is our future,” McKinnon said. “Nakazdli’s donation is an investment in that future.”