Thetis Islanders know how to Get To The Point.
In fact, that was the name of their fundraiser and the reason for their exercise around the Island Saturday. The approximately 12.5 kilometre walk around the island gathered about 72 participants for the Forbes Hall Expansion and Renovation project.
Forbes Hall is Thetis Island’s community centre and main gathering place, but it’s going to be undergoing an extensive transformation.
“The whole other hall will still be there,” noted Ann Dickie, one of the main organizers of the weekend fundraising activities. “We’re basically adding a new assembly hall and a new kitchen.”
It’ll all be brought together under one roof, if you will, with expanded facilities to essentially double the current space. A more expansive kitchen was especially required to meet the needs of the community.
A total of $100,000 was made available to Thetis – and also Penelakut Island – from BC Ferries from cost savings that resulted after a revamped ferry schedule between the Islands and Chemainus.
“Instead of protesting, we worked hard and got a schedule that worked for us,” noted Dickie.
“That kickstarted the whole thing and generous Islanders chipped in a whole bunch.”
A total of $25,000 came from the Thetis Island Community Fund, plus additional donations of $105,000, $100,000 and two of $200,000. Islanders are matching one of the anonymous $200,000 contributions.
With a final tab at $930,000, the Forbes Hall expansion plans are with the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Islands Trust. Dickie said there’s just a couple of matters to be dealt with before the project goes to tender.
“We’d love to start this spring,” she said.
If everything doesn’t quite fall into place, the last planned start date would be June 1 next year.
In either case, Thetis Islanders are going to take great pride in having a modern facility for future endeavours, with an athletic floor for badminton, dance or other such functions being a featured attraction.
The walk brought everyone together in the spirit of adventure and required participants to be taken by boat for part of the course. Walkers were picked up at Pilkey Point to the end of North Cove for the last five kilometres.
After the walk, “we all go home really proud of ourselves,” quipped Dickie.
A $25 per plate lasagna dinner and local trivia night was held Friday night at the hall. The final total raised from the event was still being determined.