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General News · 21st November 2013
SCCA Board of Directors
The Cortes Island Seniors Society has pledged $10,000 toward creating a new kitchen and food services at Manson’s Hall. Thanks to the CISS Board of Directors, individual donations in the last few weeks and other grants, we now have $30,000 but still need to raise $20,000 to qualify for a $50,000 federal matching grant which would then fully fund constructing and equipping a new community kitchen in Manson’s Hall and adding new programs for seniors.

In a letter in support of the SCCA’s application to the New Horizons for Seniors, CISS President Ruth Zwickel notes that many seniors’ uses of Manson’s Hall “have been compromised since food service provided in the Pioneer Room was shut down.” Before the Cortes Café closed at the end of summer, the inspector for the Vancouver Island Health Authority informed the SCCA that he would not approve a permit for the kitchen until it was brought up to current standards. The 31-year-old kitchen and its appliances were in such poor condition that a complete makeover is necessary.

The SCCA plans to enlarge the kitchen with new flooring, wall finish, a dropped ceiling with a skylight, new wiring, plumbing and lighting and a serving counter into the main hall. The estimated cost of renovating the room is $28,500. The kitchen would be equipped with commercial-grade appliances, stainless steel work surfaces, shelving and kitchenware. Russell Foods has given us a quote of nearly $50,000.

The seniors plan to organize a soup kitchen, meals that can be delivered to home-bound elders, cooking and food preserving classes for young people and a supper club in addition to their weekly lunches in the Pioneer Room. If the grant application is successful, their $10,000 contribution will be matched, providing another $10,000 to establish their new programs over the next two years.

The new kitchen will not be leased to a private operator but managed by the SCCA so it can be available for multiple uses. The SCCA will hire staff to bring back mail day food service in the Pioneer Room. The kitchen will also be available for rent for special occasions like weddings and to individuals for preparing food that can be labeled and sold in local stores and at Friday Market. It will be used for cooking classes in the SCCA’s annual Summer Youth Recreation Program. Revenue from the kitchen will go to the SCCA to maintain the hall and SCCA programs.

We need your help to make this happen. If we can’t raise the additional $20,000, we won’t be able to get the matching grant. Because the SCCA is a registered non-profit, charitable society, your donation will give you a Canadian tax credit--and there is a new “super tax credit” for first-time donors. The details are on the Revenue Canada site at this link:

You can print the “SCCA Donor Form” in the attached pdf and mail a cheque. Or you can donate right now by going to our website and clicking on the yellow “donate now” button. That will take you to Click on the “donate now” button there and select “Creating a New Kitchen” from the Fund/Designation list. Canada Helps will email you a tax receipt.

For those who pay U.S. taxes, the SCCA can arrange for tax-deductible donations of $1,000 or more to be made through the Tides Foundation until the end of December. After January 1, Tides will only handle donations of $5,000 or more. Please contact hall manager Mary Lavelle at for details if you want to contribute this way.

Thanks to the many who contribute materials, time, tools, machines and money to keep our community centre a place where we want to go to be together. We are well on our way toward completing improvements that will make it a great place to be for many years to come.

Cheers from your board of directors: Julian Ayers, Desta Beattie, Diane Daly, David Drysdale, Mags Johnston, Myrna Kerr, Jim Murphy, John Sprungman and Cathy Winter.