Fraserway RV has announced that it will be allocating $275,000 to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) towards the replacement of the fire hall in Loon Lake.
The hall was destroyed during the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire, and was a critical piece of infrastructure for the community. The TNRD assumed responsibility for fire protection services in Loon Lake in January 2019, following a referendum in the community in 2018.
“I’m overjoyed, and impressed with people’s ability to think of others,” said TNRD Area “E” director Sally Watson, whose area includes Loon Lake. “What a gift! I’m so excited.”
The TNRD has chosen a new, more central location for the new fire hall at Loon Lake, and Watson said that they are now working on obtaining the land from the province and getting First Nations approval. A second site further along the lake will have an annex to the main hall.
The TNRD estimates that it will cost approximately $500,000 to construct a new main fire hall, and last year said that a loa
The money was raised by the Adventurer Foundation, which is the charitable arm of Fraserway RV Ownership and Family.
The Foundation ran a B.C. Fire Relief fundraising initiative to help rebuild communities that were affected by the wildfires of 2017. The original goal was to raise $500,000 in five weeks, but they ultimately raised $670,000.
The funds were raised by donating $1,500 from every RV sold in B.C.; donating 10 per cent of retail parts sold and 10 per cent of retail rental bookings from B.C. rental locations; donating $750 from every RV sold at any of their seven dealerships outside of B.C.; offering a $1,000 credit on an Adventurer Group Cash Card for evacuated or displaced residents purchasing an RV; and matching donations dollar-for-dollar by 800+ employees within the Adventurer Group
“We are happy to be a small part of the rebuilding initiative and without the tireless work of organizations that we support the end result of our collective efforts would simply not be possible,” said Amanda Henschell, campaign spokesperson for the Adventurer Group.
“We thank the various organizations along with their employees, volunteers and supporters for providing essential and community services while ensuring that these funds will be efficiently and effectively managed.”
In addition to the Loon Lake fire hall, the funds are being allocated towards community Food Banks, the Samaritan’s Purse, Canadian Red Cross, and Secondary Breakfast programs in Clearwater and Barriere.
Earlier this month, the Foundation donated nearly $20,000 in matching funds to the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department, to help them purchase a new primary fire engine. An online auction in December 2018 raised more than $19,000 for the new engine, and Fraserway had pledged to match the money raised up to a maximum of $100,000.
“Huge thanks to Fraserway,” said Cache Creek fire chief Tom Moe. “I’m not sure why they picked us, but we’re very thankful and appreciative. The truck has been ordered, and the expected delivery date will be late summer, early fall 2019, hopefully.”
There is still $80,000 yet to be designated, so communities with a tangible project directly related to the 2017 wildfires are encouraged to contact Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.