Despite it being soggy and muddy out, spirits were high at the Bowen Children’s Centre this morning
In the last day of the centre’s matching-funds campaign, Mr. and Mrs. Dong, who live out at Cape Roger Curtis, donated $10,000 to the infant-toddler wing.
“As residents of Bowen Island, we would really like to support children’s education,” said the Dongs through a translating device. “It is a pleasure to live in this community.”
Former board member Noah Pryce-Jones had done some work with the Dongs and asked them if they'd be willing to contribute, and they agreed.
“We’re over the moon,” said the centre’s executive director Ann Silberman.
More about the infant-toddler wing
The wing, which is currently under construction and will open for care July 16, is to fill a pressing need on-island for daycare for young children, said Silberman in an earlier interview.
In the 2016 census, Bowen had more than 450 children under five.
“There’s a huge population of families that are desperate for care for their young ones,” she said.
Once the infant-toddler wing is completed, two full-time spots will open up, and there will be six part-time spaces, with the potential to help 11-15 families.
One anonymous donor donated $50,000 to the new wing, but, according to Silberman, that donor wanted the community to recognise what important work the centre does. The donor made a second $50,000 available in a matching-funds campaign.
Today is the last day of that campaign.
“The response from the average family has been phenomenal,” said Silberman. She said she’s also been impressed by the support from people who neither have children nor any connection with the centre.
“I would like to thank everyone for the donation they were able to give,” she said. “There’s nothing more important than giving children a head-start in life.”
Though the deadline for the matching-funds campaign is midnight tonight, the centre will continue to accept donations in coming days and weeks.