Manitoulin donation community vanMINDEMOYA, Ontario – Community Living Manitoulin (CLM) has received a significant financial donation toward the purchase a full-size van that will be able to transport their clients to appointments and other functions in the community and off-Island.

Jeff Smith, executive vice-president of Manitoulin Transport, presented a cheque in the amount of $10,000 to CLM Executive Director Tammie Molenaar and CLM management staff last Friday in Mindemoya.

“We understand Community Living Manitoulin (CLM) is in need of capital funds for a new van for its clients,” Mr. Smith told the Recorder. “We felt this donation would be a great way to give back to the community and benefit the clients of CLM.”

“We’re hoping to finance $80,000 to purchase a full-sized van; we have several clients in wheelchairs and others who have accessibility issues who have difficulty getting around, so we are looking at this automatic hydraulic van,” Ms. Molenaar said. “So far we have raised $48,000 with Manitoulin Transport’s very generous donation. And we are currently receiving a portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold in Mindemoya through the Catch the Ace draws being put on by the Little Current Lions Club.”

Mr. Smith read a letter that Manitoulin Transport had received from CLM, explaining “Community Living Manitoulin has been a presence on Manitoulin island assisting individuals from the Manitoulin district for over 30 years. Our first group home, ‘Hope Farm Residence,’ opened in 1980 when the board of directors purchased Hope Farm. Today, we have four group homes supporting 25 people; a Supported Independent Living program supporting 36 people; and a Community Hub supporting over 40 people with volunteering, employment, and recreational opportunities.”

CLM, “continues to operate within a tight budget with zero increases in the past few years. We come to you again in search of support in the form of a financial donation. We are currently in the process of upgrading our small fleet of transportation vehicles as a couple of them have reached their maximum usefulness. As you know, transportation on Manitoulin is crucial to socialize and work. Our individuals are no different. The government is pushing us to have our clients out more participating in community events and activities. With the push to get out more, our aging vehicles and no capital vehicle dollars available from the government, we find ourselves in need of financial support from our communities.”

“The individuals we support are counting on your generosity to help them realize their dream of an accessible vehicle. A vehicle equipped to meet their need, allows them the freedom to go to necessary appointments and to have a social life,” the CLM letter explains.

Ms. Molenaar explained, “we have a small accessible van that was very gently used that we purchased for a very good price from Rolly Piche, whose wife had M.S.”

“The new full-sized van we are still fundraising for would allow us to take all of our clients who have difficulty getting around for appointments and outings, and the smaller van will be used when we take individuals for medical appointments,” said Ms. Molenaar.

The Move Mobility Ram Promaster Rear Lift 159″ wheelbase van is known to live up to the challenge of tough wear-and-tear of transit fleet, with flexible seating options and wheelchair positions to meet the needs of every client. Seating is provided for up to 10 passengers, in a wheelchair or ambulatory passengers and the vehicle has auto-floor and swing and fold systems. Seats can be moved around and added or taken away depending on need. No lifting is required as all the seats roll.

Mr. Smith added, “we hope our donation encourages others to give similarly to this most important Island agency.”