Ucluelet’s Water’s Edge Shoreside Suites dished out donation cheques to four important organizations. Back row from left, Nancy Hobbs of the Waters Edge Society, Water’s Edge general manager Dianne St. Jacques, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue member Yarrow Eagle. Front row from left, Ucluelet Elementary School’s Kim Clark, Sandy Leslie and Kaytee Devlin of the Food Bank on the Edge Society and Betty Winpenny of the Seaview Seniors Housing Society. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Ucluelet’s Water’s Edge owners dish out donations to four local groups

“We are delighted to give back to this truly awesome community.”

A group of part time locals recently spread some full-blown love around Ucluelet.

Water’s Edge Shoreside Suites dished out $6,000 worth of community-boosting funding.

The local Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue team, Seaview Seniors Housing Society, Food Bank on the Edge Society and Ucluelet Elementary School’s breakfast program, all received $1,500 of support.

Water’s Edge is strata-run with each of its 48 units individually owned. The owners came together three years ago to launch the W.E. Society and agreed to give monthly contributions into a fund that would go towards local causes in need of support.

“They all love Ucluelet and they want to participate and support local non-profit societies,” the resort’s manager, and Ucluelet’s mayor, Dianne St. Jacques told the Westerly. “None of them actually live here but they spend quite a bit of time here and they want to give back to the community…They really appreciate it and the community values that we have and they want to support it. Really, it’s just them wanting to be a part of Ucluelet.”

Society member and suite-owner Nancy Hobbs echoed St. Jacques sentiment.

“Although we are not full time residents of Ucluelet, we feel very much a part of this wonderful community,” she said. “We are delighted to give back to this truly awesome community.”

She added Ucluelet’s friendly atmosphere helps draw visitors into Water’s Edge and the society enjoys paying the beauty they benefit from forward.

“We employ 22 members of the community and we benefit from all the amazing beauty and attractions of the area,” she said. “Our guests are constantly commenting on the pristine beauty and great variety of activities.”

Seaview Seniors Housing Society is the local organization that operates Forest Glen, a 10-unit assisted living community for local seniors.

The society’s Betty Winpenny was thrilled with the donation from Water’s Edge. She touted the W.E. Society as being “very generous with local donations to various causes,” and said local support is vital for the housing society’s ability to cater to its clientele.

“As Sea View is a non profit, we rely on donations and our own fundraising for anything not covered by [Island Health] and BC Housing,” she said.

She added the $1,500 infusion would be put towards amenities in a new park that’s expected to be installed across the street from Forest Glen.

Ucluelet’s Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Society, Unit 38, is comprised of roughly 14 volunteer mariners who serve at the ready whenever distress hits surrounding waters.

“We’re an ocean community,” Unit 38 Station Leader Dave Payne told the Westerly.

“If anything happens on the water, we’re the first ones that are called to go out and help…If someone gets in trouble, or someone gets lost, our paging system goes off and away we go.”

The local RCMSAR crew receives funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada whenever it’s called out to an emergency or attends training, but that funding doesn’t cover its costs, according to Payne who said local supporters, like the W.E. Society, are “critical” to keep the lifesaving organization alive.

“Other than those circumstances, we’re completely dependent on the public,” he said. “We’re operating a very expensive boat with expensive equipment that has to be maintained and the funding pretty much all comes from corporate or public funding.”

He added that he’s been thrilled to see that funding on the rise as locals catch on to the importance of RCMSAR’s efforts.

“These past three or four months, we’re feeling the warmth,” he said adding the boost in assistance has helped the society get out from under a sizeable debt brought on by maintenance costs.“It’s looking much better.”

While it’s located in Ucluelet, The Food Bank on the Edge serves as the West Coast’s regional food source for locals in need and its executive director Cris Martin said the W.E. Society’s “very generous” contribution is highly appreciated.

“The ongoing monetary donations we receive from the community mean that we can purchase essential hamper items for clients,” Martin told the Westerly. “It really fills our hearts when clients come in, get to shop, enjoy a cup of coffee and a treat, pick out their produce and take away a hamper that will improve the quality of their lives.”

Ucluelet Elementary School’s breakfast program helps ensure local youth have the energy they need to focus on their studies by starting off with a nutritious launch into each school day.

The school’s volunteer breakfast club team served over 2,600 morning meals to students last year.

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