Quesnel-area charities get $55K funding boost thanks to strong RV sales

Amata Transition House residence co-ordinator Angela Neufled accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Amata Transition House residence co-ordinator Angela Neufled accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Prince George animal rescue society owner Nicola Redpath accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Prince George animal rescue society owner Nicola Redpath accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Spirit of the North Healthcare foundation Darcy Bryant accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Spirit of the North Healthcare foundation Darcy Bryant accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel SPCA manager Colby O’Flynn accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Quesnel SPCA manager Colby O’Flynn accepts a cheque from Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Six organizations across the Cariboo got a little bit richer thanks to RV buyers and Chemo RV.

The RV sales group donated $250 from every sale this summer to six organizations in Quesnel, Williams Lake and Prince George. With 222 trailer sales in the year, over $55,000 was donated to the groups, who took home more than $9,000 each.

“We had no idea what it was going to total up to because we had no idea what the year was going to bring,” Quesnel Chemo RV manager Steve Rutledge said.

“We were definitely optimistic to be giving decent sized donations to the six charities.”

Receiving cheques were the Prince George Animal Rescue, Quesnel SPCA, Amata House, Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre.

“Community is one of the key pillars in our mission, vision and values, and being a big supporter of the local community we figured it was time to give back,” Rutledge said.

For the Quesnel SPCA, the donation couldn’t have come at a better time. Manager Colby O’Flynn said the donation would go towards general animal care

“It definitely takes a weight off the shoulders,” she said.

“Now instead of having to plan a fundraiser, which has been incredibly difficult with COVID anyways, this money can buy us some breathing room, and get us into the new year.”

Amata Transition House in Quesnel also isn’t sure where the money will end up going. Executive Director Lauren Johnson said the donation’s use will be decided by other donations, mentioning the house needs a new dining room set, and is looking to purchase a used van and extra storage shed.

“There’s so many different avenues to tackle,” she said.

Amata Transition House provides provides short-term housing, advocacy and support for women and children. Johnson said people in Quesnel are surprised to hear what the transition house can do.

“The whole thing is a new concept — that a woman can leave a relationship, and find safe housing and be cared for and nurtured and not need to have money to show up someplace,” she said. “That is a mind-bender for some women to grasp.”

While $9,000 can do a lot for local groups, for the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation it’s a piece of a bigger puzzle. The group works to purchase expensive medical equipment.

“We don’t fund mainstream equipment Northern Health would be able to fund on their own,” Chief Executive Officer Judy Neiser said. “We fund things that will bring new services to the area, improve services, shorten wait-lists.”

For the Spirit of the North, COVID-19 has come with negatives and positive effects. While fundraising is tougher, Neiser said the increased attention to the health care system has helped mitigate those shortfalls.

“It’s definitely hampered our events in some ways, and our ability to reach out to our donors,” she said.

“At the same time people truly understand that health care is so important, so on the funding side of things, I really feel people have been very, very generous and we truly appreciate it.”

Rutledge said Chemo RV and their customers would continue to support the community.

“We will most definitely do something to give back to the community, and this one has been very successful,” he said.

“I don’t know if we’ll do the exact same thing next year, but there will definitely be community-focused fundraising of some nature.”

READ MORE: Donated trailer could unlock Quesnel Search and Rescue’s potential

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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