The Armstrong Regional Cooperative donated $11,000 to Vernon’s Schubert Centre Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, getting them one step closer to their goal of $130,000. From left, Schubert Centre director Sue Slater, Armstrong Regional Co-op Board president Hugh Chalmers, marketing and sales manager Jason Keis, and Schubert Centre president Diane Weaver. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Donation warms Schubert Centre’s fundraising efforts

‘We are still in great financial trouble… but we’re still here,’ says Schubert Centre manager

The Armstrong Regional Co-op’s Friday, Sept. 11, donation brings the Schubert Centre’s one step closer to a new furnace.

The hub of activity for seniors and the community alike has required a new furnace since winter, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted fundraisers planned to raise the necessary funds estimated around $130,000.

The Armstrong Regional Co-op’s donation of $11,000 brings the centre’s total to $80,000.

Schubert Centre manager Shirley Higgins said the centre had hoped it could raise $100,000 on its own with, but now they are relying on donations and digital fundraising efforts.

Most recently, the Schubert Centre hosted a Facebook auction that raised around $5,000.

But the popular downtown centre is not out of the woods yet.

“We are still in great financial trouble,” Higgins said. “But, I’m very pleased to say we’re still here.”

These financial constraints came into play before the novel coronavirus closed the centre down, Higgins said, but generous donations from centre users, the business community and individuals have helped keep it alive.

COVID-19 closed the centre’s doors mid-March and Higgins spent that time applying for grants.

“I’m happy to say and offer a big shout out to the RBC COVID-19 Relief Fund, 1705 RCA CC Cadets, the Community Foundation and Health Age Canada,” Higgins said. “We have received grants since March and that has allowed us to continue to do our Meals on Wheels program.”

The Meals on Wheels program was the only program the centre maintained amidst its closure. Thanks to volunteers, more than 200 meals are delivered each week to seniors.

Other grant funds were used to give the place a facelift.

“Of course, COVID-19 brought on more challenges but it also, besides not being conducive to raising funds for the centre, has been our friend in the fact we’ve been able to use grant money to renovate inside,” Higgins said.

Since the doors were closed to the public, staff had the opportunity to redo the floors in the cafeteria, offices and washrooms, plus the majority of the centre got a fresh coat of paint.

“That’s all stuff that would have been difficult to do if we were operating.”

The Schubert Centre reopened its doors to the public two weeks ago and its cafeteria and thrift shop are ready to welcome back diners and shoppers.

The cafeteria is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10-1 p.m. for fresh, farm-to-table lunches.

The thrift store’s doors are open Monday through Wednesday between 10-2 p.m. Donations are accepted every day by appointment.

To donate to the Schubert Centre, call 250-549-4201, visit 3505 30th Ave., connect on Facebook or send an e-transfer.

READ MORE: WATCH: Vernon youth put film skills to the COVID test

READ MORE: Vernon centre keeping self-isolating seniors fed through COVID-19


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