Agassiz funds doubled by single donation

Morden Community Thrift Store President Jean Hildebrand and board members Angie Kinsman and Norah Wiebe (right) presented Agassiz Fundraising Chair Bob Wahl and Agassiz Medical Centre Community Board Chair Myrna Mayor with $150,000 toward the clinic's expansion project on Sept. 23. (LAUREN MACGILL/Morden Times)

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A generous donation from the Morden Community Thrift Store has doubled the fundraising effort of Agassiz Medical Centre’s expansion project.

On Sept. 23, the Thrift Store donated $150,000 toward the project, which boosts the total raised to about $300,000.

Thrift Store President Jean Hildebrand said the store tries to support projects that help the most amount of people. “When we hear that there’s so many people without a doctor, that was something that we really felt that we should support,” she said.

The money was left over from the store’s spring presentation, which brings the Thrift Store’s total donations up to $652,000 this year.

“We feel very privileged to live and work in the community that we’re in,” Hildebrand said.

Fundraising Chair Bob Wahl said the donation is appreciated. “When you look at a donation of $150,000, it puts everybody speechless,” he said. “It’s more that what I expected at one time, that’s for sure. It’s going to make an impact.”

The total cost of the project sits at around $1.3 million, and the Community Board has committed to fundraising $500,000 of that.

Wahl said donations of any size help the clinic move toward their goal. “There’s a lot of different ways you can donate, whether it’s online, drop something off at the clinic,” he said.

Wahl said the board is hoping that the construction portion will kick off this fall.

Hildebrand said it’s gratifying for the volunteers at the store to see their hard work paying off. “We’re very grateful for the community that we have, that supports us the way they do,” she said. “The volunteers that come out, the donations we get, the sales, it’s all a package. We need all of it to be able to donate funds out.”

The Thrift Store is always looking for more volunteers. Hildebrand said they would love to get two dozen more people on board.

“There’s real flexibility in shifts,” she said. “It’s not that you have to commit to be here every day… every volunteer that comes out is contributing to the community.”

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