Garden party fundraiser this weekend

  • Oct. 22, 2014 5:10 p.m.

Bethany Collegeside is hosting a fundraiser this Sunday to welcome the community to the grounds and to support the project of a new instalment of gardens at the facility.

The senior care facility houses a wide variety of clients who benefit greatly from the numerous gardens, walking paths and the small dog walk area that are on the grounds, officials say. The garden party is a means of raising funds to continue to allow areas such as these to be built and maintained on site.

The garden party will take place on Sunday from 2:30 p.m. until 4 p.m.

“The garden party is a fundraising initiative for the gardens at Bethany Care Centre. We’ve invited past donors, members of the community, family members of residents – anyone who would like to come is welcome. We just want to invite people to become involved with us,” said Kay Parkkari, senior development officer at Bethany Café Foundation.

“Basic healthcare is covered by government funding and basic residence fees cover living expenses. The extras like pianos, gardens, new TVs, nice furniture for common areas – the things that make this feel like a home, are not covered. We have to be cognisant that this is a home for people, and we want to make it feel that way as much as possible.”

Many studies have shown the benefits of gardening and those have been taken into account as a large project was underway to provide a number of walking paths and raised garden beds for those living at the centre to enjoy.

The cost of the project is roughly $150,000 and the garden party fundraiser is a way for Red Deer’s community to come together to support the financing of the project.

Hazel Flewwelling will be making an appearance as a guest speaker. One of the Bethany residents will also make a presentation during the party to let the community know the benefits of the project from the perspective of a resident.

The event is free and all members of the community are welcome to attend.

“Originally, we were going for a tea party but we’re wanting to celebrate the garden so we’re going to have all the food themed around ‘ fresh from the garden harvest’. It’s more of a sampling of different garden foods,” said Parkkari.

“Community members are more than welcome to join. There is no fee, but they should call 403-357-3700 and give their name. The person running the reception is collecting RSVPs.”

The project is one of several that Bethany has undertaken to allow the residents some freedom and beauty in their environment, said Parkkari. She stressed the importance of outdoor spaces in senior care, especially in a place like Bethany where many of the residents roam freely around the grounds.

“It’s so important to have a liveable space for seniors to come and enjoy being outside in. A lot of people, before they end up in a senior facility, are avid gardeners. It’s great for depression, anxiety, arthritis, dementia and a general sense of well-being,” she said.

“The food grown here is also actually going to be used in the kitchen. There is such a sense of accomplishment in growing something, and we’re excited to be able to provide that to the residents.”

kmendonsa@reddeerexpress.com

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